There are many embroidery villages in Vietnam, but Quat Dong village in Hanoi is well known for its high quality embroidery products. Located next to a national highway, the Quat Dong embroidery village is one of the most well-known traditional handicraft villages in Vietnam.
Embroidery has been developing around here since the 17th century, local skilled artisans were chosen to make sophisticated embroidered costumes for the Vietnamese King, Queen and other Royal family members before Vietnam became a socialist republic country.
The first man who taught the local people how to embroider was Dr. Le Cong Hanh, who lived during the Le dynasty. He learned how to embroider while on a trip to China as an envoy, and taught the villagers of Quat Dong upon his return. Although these skills eventually spread across the country, the Quat Dong’s embroidery creations are still highly appreciated.
In order to create beautiful embroideries, an artisan must be patient, meticulous and have an eye for design, along with "clever" hands. Nowadays, Quat Dong products may range from clothes, bags, pillowcases, to paintings and decorations, which are exported to many countries all over the world. An opportunity to meet in person with artisans in Quat Dong would indeed interesting and eyes- opening to watch these true, hardworking artisans who seem to put all their heart in each work they produce.
These beautiful works that hold traditional values of Vietnam would slowly disappear without a relentless effort of artisans who strike to pass their passion and skill to the next generations. This is also one of the main reasons that urges Empower Women Asia to work closer with different groups of artisans, especially the women and girls in the villages, so their works could be widely understood and appreciated both domestic and internationally.