After years of research into the trade, a businessman has made his dream come true by spending most of his money setting up a silk-making village for tourists.
He is Le Thai Vu, director of Quang Nam Silk Company, who has spent VND20 billion (USD9.6 million) on two hectares of land to build the Silk Village at 28 Nguyen Tat Thanh, Hoi An City. According to Vu, he had always wanted to introduce the silk-weaving industry of Quang Nam Province and Hoi An’s brocade-making trade to tourists.
Hoi An City was one of the destinations on the Silk Road and was known for its top quality silk. Now, sadly, many traditional silk villages are disappearing. To realise his dream, Vu consulted many experts and studied hard about silk-weaving.
At the village entrance stand the mulberry trees that have been collected from many areas for the purpose of making silk; 40 of the trees are said to be over 100 years old. The rare Cham mulberry, which is thought to create the best silk, is also planted in the village.
Houses typical of nha ruong architecture (house is built with many beams and pillars and a surrounding garden), a highly visible presence in the old quarters of Quang Nam Province, were also built in the village.
Old looms from the famous silk village, Ma Chau in Duy Xuyen District or Trung Phuoc Village in Que Son District, are also displayed.
“We want to preserve traditional values and introduce to tourists an impression of Hoi An’s appearance 300 years ago, as a prominent and famous trade conduit.” Vu said.
The artisans now work and produce many silk products in the village.
The village started to operate in August 2012 and attracted a number of tourists. Tourists who come here can watch the artisans at work on the looms or have first-hand experiences with silk-making themselves. Jobs such as picking mulberry leaves to feed the cocoons are available, and, if they don’t feel like working, tourists can see over 100 traditional costumes of the 54 ethnic groups.