|Lotus love: Families that produce paper flowers in Hue's Thanh Tien handicraft village are operating at full capacity to satisfy the increasing demand for paper lotuses. — Photo btv.org.vn
THUA THIEN-HUE (VNS)— Families producing paper flowers in Hue's Thanh Tien handicraft village are operating at full capacity to satisfy the increasing demand for paper lotuses.
"Customers are demanding so many flowers that my facility can't fulfill all the orders, as the lotuses take a long time to make and the process is very complicated," said artisan Than Van Huy.
Thanh Tien Village was established more than 300 years ago. At that time, locals had an easy time making a living by crafting paper flowers for ritual purposes. Today, they find it harder to survive, as contemporary Hue residents prefer fresh flowers.
But seven years ago, Huy revived the technique.
After he promoted his lotuses at several Hue festivals, they became highly sought after.
Nguyen Hieu, whose family also produces the paper flowers, said he had many customers in the city and neighbouring provinces.
His workshop produces around 400-500 paper lotuses a month, selling each for VND10,000 (US$0.5).
Since 90 per cent of people in the village are familiar with the techniques, the family often employs others to help when there is significant demand.
Currently, there are only eight families in the village doing the job year-round.
But as the market expands, with customers from outside the central region clamoring for paper lotuses, more may resume the trade.
"I bought them to put on my ancestors' altar, as Hue was my father's hometown and he wanted to see the beautiful products from Hue in our house," said Nguyen Khoa Lan Anh, a HCM City resident. — VNS