23/09/2014 09:55 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Nha Xa Silk

Located near the Yen Lenh Bridge crossing the Red River, linking the two provinces of Hung Yen and Ha Nam, Nha Xa Village in Moc Nam Commune, Duy Tien District, Ha Nam Province is well known for silk weaving and its silk is ranked second only after Van Phuc silk in Hanoi.
Legend has it that the village’s craft founder was Prince Nhan Hue Tran Khanh Du, a talented general in the Tran Dynasty. During a trip on the Red River, he taught people in the village how to catch fish on the river for breeding, to plant mulberry, to raise silkworms and to weave silk. Since then, the silk weaving craft in Nha Xa Village has been handed down from generation to generation.

Most households in Nha Xa have a self-contained production line.
Photo: Viet Cuong/VNP

The silk reeling system in a family in Nha Xa Village.
Photo: Viet Cuong/VNP

Dyeing silk using a traditional method, one of the important stages
in the process of making silk in Nha Xa Village. Photo: Viet Cuong/VNP

The silk craft provides jobs for the locals and people in neighbouring areas. Photo: Viet Cuong/VNP

Drying dyed silk. Photo: Viet Cuong/VNP

During the early 20th century, Nha Xa silk products were available in many provinces and cities nationwide and ranked second only after Van Phuc silk in Hanoi. Although facing tremendous difficulties in production and looking for markets, the villagers have made great effort to preserve their traditional craft.

Visiting the village on an asphalt road today, we saw a bustling working atmosphere with the sounds of power-looms in households. The village has undergone great changes. According to Nguyen Hong Tien, Chairman of Nha Xa Village’s Silk Craft Association, 90% of households and 800 people are engaging in the craft. The whole village has about 200 power-looms. Some households have a production line with 4 - 5 power-looms which operate at full capacity. Many large workshops have dozens of weaving machines, including ones specialising in producing high quality products to provide to Hanoi, Hue, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City, and export to Laos and Thailand.

New silk products in Nha Xa. Photo: Viet Cuong/VNP

Silk scarves, one of the famous products of Nha Xa Village. Photo: Viet Cuong/VNP

Besides traditional products, Nha Xa villagers also make plenty of new products
to meet the taste of customers. Photo: Viet Cuong/VNP

Pham Thi Ha, the owner of Hoat Ha Workshop in the village, said that due to the unstable market in recent years her workshops and others have faced tremendous difficulties in looking for markets to sell their products. To meet the demand of customers, they make different products of high quality, such as tussore, satin and flax.

The craft now not only has developed in the village but also in other neighbouring areas such as Lanh Tri, Chuyen Ngoai, Hoa Mac and Dong Van, providing jobs for hundreds of households. Despite the ups and downs, the craft has been preserved by the villagers who always desire to introduce their products to not only the domestic but also to foreign markets.
Story: Tuan Anh - Photos: Viet Cuong