According to the H’mong people, in handicraft weaving, fabric made from flax is gone through many stages from tearing, rolling, drying under the wind then boiling. After being weaved into linen, they are soaked in indigo water to be brown, soaked in red sap water of one type of tree called Man Chang to have beautifully natural reddish-brown color. Flax’s barks are the major material of H’mong weaving. They are tore into small fibers and connected cleverly to each other in such a way that the tied point is not clearly seen. This job requires persistence and patience. Although the handmade embroidered patterns of H’mong are not uniform as patterns made by machines but that rustic and simple beauty creates product’s charm.
H’mong weaving is taught from generation to next generation so nobody knows exactly when weaving flax fabrics handicraft of Hmong people appeared, just know that when Hmong girls are up to full-moon age, they mastered the job even the most difficult stages.
Refer our Sapa trekking tour to Lao Chai - Tavan and Cat Cat village to explore the sophisticated brocade weaving of Black H'mong.
In Hmong’s villages, every house also has weaving loom and any woman also knows how to tear flax, weave line and embroider. No matter where, no matter what H’mong women do, as long as they have free time, they will connect fabrics and embroidery as a lighting. Each brocade product bring to itself the images of diligent H’mong women.
Ms. Ly Thi Do in Lao Chai commune, Sapa district said: “To make a beautiful product, you firstly choose a good linen. You must have perfectly square linen so that patterns are embroidered well. The main colors of Hmong fabric are indigo, black and green “.
However, this traditional handicraft weaving is facing new competition because of the strong development of market economy, appearances of similar products produced by modern techniques. Therefore, preservation and development of traditional cultural values are being noticed by both authorities and locals to help people conserve the special traditional culture and improve living conditions of the H’mong.
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To preserve traditional trade and turn them into locals’ livelihood, most communes in Sapa also consider it as one of strong points in attracting tourists to come to villages. Many home-stay tourism types are served with selling brocade products. At the same time, miniature factories with full stages of weaving flax, brocade embroidery are operated at home with a hope of introducing and promoting traditional handicraft H’mong weaving to visitors.