Van Phuc Village, in Ha Dong District, has been famous for silk weaving since the Ly Dynasty, their products being used by the the royal family and exported to foreign lands.
Recently, the local Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism made plans to upgrade Van Phuc Village to promote it as one of the major tourist villages in Hanoi.
Van Phuc Village, which sits along the Nhue River, is about 10km from the city centre. It has retained many of the features of a traditional village – banyan trees, old wells and the regular market meeting. One modern adaptation is the textile machines, which can be heard throughout the village.
Currently, there are over 1,000 textile machines in Van Phuc, each worths VND20 million (USD960), but even with the machines a lot of skill and effort is required in the silk making process. Though the old hand looms are no longer in use, people can still view them in the village shrine. The silkworms are mostly bought from Bao Loc, Ha Nam or Nam Dinh provinces. Those of Bao Loc are especially sought-after for their quality and colour.
The villagers are not only trying to revive their traditional craft, but also market their wares to the outside world once more. They have started to use the internet for promotion and join international trade fairs.
The project to build a centre to show the silk production process is near completion and will be up and running in October.