An embroidery class in Tây Mỗ Village, Hà Nội. Photo baomoi.com
HÀ NỘI The women in Tây Mỗ Village, Nam Từ Liêm District of Hà Nội are teaching embroidery for free to young people, in the hopes they will keep the traditional handicraft alive.
This class is special in that the teachers have been skilled artisans who mastered embroidery in the French colonial period.
Đỗ Thanh Hương, founder of the embroidery class said that Tây Mỗ Village has female artisans who have been embroidering since the resistance war against the French colonialists.
Hương said: “Our wish is to gather and exchange embroidery, moreover, we hope the embroidery profession of Tây Mỗ Village will be restored and developed."
Nghiêm Thị Bình, one of the teachers said: "I’m over 60 years old. The class brings back the memory of decades ago, when my parents taught me embroidery before I was married.”
Bình said when she was 17, she joined the embroidery group with other unmarried girls.
“There are nights we gathered to do embroidery all night,” she said.
"Now, I’m very happy to teach young people in the class. Every day I look forward to coming to class.”
“Young women in the class acquire skills very quickly. It’s only the second day, but their embroidery lines are very soft and sharp.”
Trần Bảo An, 17, said that she is very happy and excited.
"I really want to learn embroidery, it's not very difficult for me. This is the village's traditional handicraft and I want to follow in the footsteps of artisans.
Trần Văn Long said when he was a child, it wasn't hard to find women holding embroidery frames in one hand and a bundle of colourful threads in the other.
All the products from the classes are completely made by hand.
"The machine can be fast, but surely can't be soulful”, said Nghiêm Thị Bình.
Also according to Bình, hand-embroidered products are more durable, sophisticated, and also more expensive.
Not wanting the embroidery profession to be lost was the goal of women when they came to embroidery class.
In the summer, many students also took advantage of their extra time to go to embroidery classes, to spread their passion for the traditional craft of their ancestors.
Trần Thị Khánh Vân, head of the Tây Mỗ Village embroidery group, said: "The village has many famous and beautiful places such as Am temple and the ancient communal house.
“The image of women next to an embroidery frame, inside the ancient communal house, is very impressive and attracts visitors, especially if the local authorities organise in conjunction with craft village tours.”
Those who once spent their childhood embroidering want the local authorities to preserve the traditional craft village.
Moreover, they hope Tây Mỗ Village will be an attractive destination for visitors who not only buy manual embroidery products but directly witness the talented hands of artisans creating beautiful products. VNS