Crochet dolls: Restoring a nice cultural trait

Beautiful crochet dolls and animals made with wool and yarn, which were once abandoned, have shown the return of a nice practice by Vietnamese women.
We attended an offline meeting of members of Facebook group, NoLi Handmade in Hanoi, to learn about the process of crocheting a doll from wool.

Mai Khanh Linh, founder of NoLi crochet group, had a special love for crochet which was inspired by her crochet wool shirts from her childhood. After Linh had a baby, she started making crochet animals from wool and yarn as toys for her little child. To bring back the art, a beautiful cultural trait which was once ignored, Linh set up her “Noli Handmade” page on Facebook and the website “” in April 2017, which have drawn major attention. 

NoLi  now has 29,800 members nationwide who share their experiences and skills in making crochet animals. With the passion of young girls combined with skills of older women, NoLi members create new and unique items with instructions on how to make them available for everyone who wishes to learn. 

An offline meeting of NoLi members.

The group has nearly 30,000 members of different ages. 

Nguyen Thi Binh, a skilled member of the group.

Nguyen Minh Chau (standing) instructs other members on how to crochet different parts of the product into one.

Tools include a crochet hook, sewing needle, scissors and a tape measure. 

Inserting cotton is an important step to shape a beautiful doll. 

It takes between two and four hours to finish a doll depending on the complexity of the item. 

Decorating is the final step.

Nguyen Thi Binh, 66, a NoLi member who has been in the group for one year, finds the group very useful for her to learn new beautiful patterns. “Being in the group is really interesting because I learn a lot from young creative people. We old people only know how to crochet simple patterns, but now I can make cute toys for my grandchildren,” Binh said.

Some crochet products. 

Story: Ngan Ha - Photos: Khanh Long

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