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A Vietnamese Adventure: PART 2

Our next day trip saw Hoai drive us a little further out to an old primary school which has now been transformed into the screen-printing workshop of a talented local husband and wife duo. They gave us a tour of their working space and talked us through the process they use to bring our pattern designs to life. Again, it was really useful to gain a greater understanding of how this technique is achieved as it will definitely help when creating future screen-printed designs.

The screen-printing team in action...

Next up was a trip that took us a little further out of Hanoi and into the Vietnamese countryside where, after around two and a half hours of driving, we reached our destination of the Scarf Village! This place really was an Aladdin’s cave of scarves with every colour imaginable piled high and we learnt that each one is dyed by hand using pigments derived purely from natural materials that are all completely environmentally friendly. Having seen the scarf production in action, we’re looking forward to getting started on some new designs!

Employees from the Scarf Village, Ali, Sophie and myself modelling some scarves and the dyeing area...

Whilst on this day trip we quickly realised that, as the roads are so narrow and winding, motorbikes seem to be the most popular mode of transport for getting around the village. It was a great experience but I’m not too sure I’ll be getting back on a motorbike any time soon!

Riding the motorbikes...

Our fourth and final trip saw us up bright and early at 6am and off on a four-hour journey to visit the Vietnamese hand weavers who live in the mountain villages around Hanoi. Hand weaving on looms that are often individually built by families and kept in specially allocated areas underneath their houses is an important traditional practice in certain areas of Vietnam and one that Hoai and Diep are keen to keep alive. The fabrics produced by the weavers are often made into products for the tourist market but with demand often proving unpredictable, the link with the Hanoi production unit also provides these artisans with another reliable and important source of income. Watching the weavers work is fascinating and we definitely came away with a newfound respect for this process.

Weavers preparing the yarns, weaving equipment and the looms in action...

Before we knew it, our time in Vietnam had come to a close and it was time to board the plane back to Blighty! We’d like to thank Hoai, Diep and all their employees in and around Hanoi for making us feel so welcome and can’t wait to get going on some new designs!


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