H'mong people, among other ethnic minorities living in the Northern highland of Vietnam, have a unique profession of weaving brocade. They have conserved their weaving skills for generations.
The traditional costumes of Hmong People in the Northern of Vietnam
To create brocade fabrics with many beautiful and fine patterns, the weavers need to master special techniques in each stage of the weaving process. Raw materials come from flax trees. H'mong people have to strip the flax tree (cây lanh) for its bark and pound it in the mortar to get the fibers. Then the flax fibers are boiled with kitchen ash and beeswax to make it white and soft. The after-processed fibers are used to weave fabrics.
The flax cloths (linen) will be dyed with indigo. Black is the main color but sometimes, H'mong people will dye the flax cloths into other colors, such as red, yellow, or dark green.
Indigo dyeing is used in making brocade fabric
The colorants are derived from indigo leaves (lá chàm) in the forest. In order to dye flax cloths into beautiful indigo black, the fabric must be dyed several times over several days. After each dyeing, the cloths must be dried before being dyed again.
A H'mong woman is drying the fabric
The H'mong people in Pa Co still retain a unique art. They use brass pens and heated beeswax to paint patterns and designs on the fabrics. After painting, the clothes will be dyed indigo. Since the beeswax does not absorb color, it will leave behind vivid and beautiful patterns on the fabrics.
The H'mong people use beeswax to create unique patterns on their costumes
The brocade of the Thai ethnic group in the Northwest has a different primary color from those of the H'mong people. These colors are white, red, and yellow, green, purple...
Patterns on Thai costumes and accessories often follow symbolic motifs, stylized with images from nature and everyday life.
Some of representative pattern in Thai Ethnic people's costumes
The Thai women use rudimentary tools to embroider and weave brocade with motifs inspired and improvised by personal aesthetics. Therefore, the brocade shows off the unique talent of each weaver. Because the weavers take nature as their model, Thai brocade fabrics look like a miniature natural world.
The ethnic people use beeswax linens and brocade fabrics to make clothes, decorate household items, or for religious purposes.
Stuffed animals made of hand-woven fabric of Thai Ethnic people
in Mai Chau (Hoa Binh)
At Truc Lam, our designers have used beeswax linens and brocade fabrics to create modern products such as wallets, bags, pillows, backpacks, stuffed animals ...
Some of outstanding brocade products that are showing
at Truc Lam's showroom
Thanks to that, these products have their own nuance, with both the beauty of the ethnic groups in Northwest Highland and the modernity of the West.