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Van Lam embroidery village

In Vietnam, the embroidery has been well known for the products of trade villages from Ha Tay, Bac Ninh, Hai Duong provinces, but perhaps, no other places can be compared to Van Lâm village (Ninh Hai commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province) with their original embroidery products adorned with open-works.
According to the available annals, the embroidering trade has been set up here more than 700 years ago. The ancestor of this trade is Mr. Do Cong Hau - a general of Tran dy eir children to learn and maintain their traditional trade.
Nevertheless, like many other trade villages, to keep their position in the market and maintain their traditional trade, the Van Lâm inhabitants have faced numerous difficulties and have had to find their own way.
There are a few of old craftsmen alive as Chu Van Chon (nearly 70 years old), Chu Van Luong (76 years old) and Chu Van Hue (nearly 80 years old). It is just these respected old men who have witnessed many ups and downs of their homeland’s trade. Before the 1970s, when the handicraft articles were not exported yet to Eastern Europe, the productive activities in the village were o­nly in small size, in a form of autarkic production. Since this market was opened, the number of people engaged in embroidering has increased multifold. That time, in the subsidy-based system, however, the producers were limited in many aspects, and consequently, the embroidering trade did not develop so much. It happened that in comparison to the rice production, the embroidery was quite shadowy. During about 15 recent years, it is the market-oriented system that has made the local craftsmen to "change themselves". In the village, a number of production groups have been established with tens of craftsmen each. From the traditional multicolored lace-embroidery, the producers have begun to move to high-quality white lace-embroidery with new different designs to meet the demand and the desire of modern life. Today, when talking about Van Lâm, the consumers will think about products of various sorts, attractive for the local and foreign markets. They are namely bed-covers, pillowcases, 6-piece and 36-piece set of napkins, window blinds and kimono clothes... with the velvety, shining embroidering part as silvery pots in the soft and charming lace.
In Van Lâm, there are over 700 households of the total of 830 families engaged in making embroidery.