Vietnamese nature pressed in books

By carefully putting dried flowers, leaves and grass between pages, Hoa la co (Flowers, leaves and grass) workshop has created nature books that have made an impression on international visitors.
If you pass by shops in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, you can see a small and beautiful corner shop displaying Hoa la co books.

The idea of making these books was initiated by Vu Thi Hien, a former student of the Faculty of Biology, Hanoi University of Science. Hien realized that the world of flowers and plants in Vietnam is very rich and beautiful. Since Hien wanted to create an art playground for women, the brand of handmade books inspired by flowers and plants was established.

Wishing to spread the beauty of nature, Hien uses the dried and pressed leaves and flowers as the raw materials. Each type of flower and leaf has its own beauty and makes a unique impression for each book. Hien and her team at Hoa la co workshop have gone to many localities in Vietnam to collect leaves, flowers and grass. They bring the materials back to Hanoi to be pre-processed by hand then are used to decorate the covers of books. From flowers, leaves and grass, those books have become a cultural beauty in Vietnamese life.

Vietnamese nature is pressed in Hoa la co books. 

The idea of making handmade books was initiated by Vu Thi Hien, a former student of the Faculty of Biology, Hanoi University of Science.

A book making class attracts a lot of young women. 

Young men are also interested in making books. 

Books made in Hoa la co workshop are handmade, creative and sophisticated products.

A class held by Hoa la co workshop in Hanoi. 

A foreigner and his hand-made product after a book making class. 

Size, thickness, type of paper and color scheme for stitching of books by Hoa la co workshop are carefully chosen. 

Dried pressed flowers, leaves and grass are put between pages of Hoa la co books. 

Students at a book making class. 

Customers choose to buy Hoa la co products. 

Students are happy in a book making class. 
Hien organizes weekly workshops to teach how to make the books and inspire people with similar interests. Every month, the workshop introduces new collections of sizes and materials suitable for many uses. Hoa la co handmade produces 100 sophisticated and creative notebooks per month.

Recently, Hoa la co workshop released a book collection called "The book from the jungle" made from many layers of leaves, with green ones overlapping yellow ones and the fresh ones overlapping the worn-out ones. The cover of these books is made from leaves, reflecting the colors, lines and shapes of the leaves. They also have released a collection called "Something in nature" with dry leaves but combined with hand-dyed linen from yam roots. They have focused on the size, thickness and paper types to make the color of the books. The books from the flowers and leaves preserve the freshness of nature and have become beautiful handicraft items that are bought by foreign tourists. Some Vietnamese people also buy these special books to build their own collection. The price of a book is about 450,000 dong, which is much more expensive than normal books, but it is still wanted by customers.

At the Hoa la co shop on Tran Thanh Tong street, many foreign tourists come to visit and buy handmade books as souvenirs./. 
Story: Bich Van - Photos: Viet Cuong & Files

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