Van Phuc Silk

There are many traditional silk villages just outside the city of Hanoi, which have been there for hundreds of years. Silk has remained popular throughout this regions history because of its beauty, strength, and mixed nature of breathability and insulation for both summer and winter. Traditional Vietnamese clothing was often made of silk and these garments continue to be popular today. By hearing about whole villages being dedicated to silk production, as well as the materials presence and stunning color found everywhere in the city, I made an effort to venture outside to visit one famous town - Van Phuc. While there, it was a pleasure to see what really goes into making silk fabric, and all the beautiful, time-enduring procedures and tasks to make it as soft and comfortable as it really is!  Take a look at this process.

Here we see the silk worms in regular evolutionary fashion, weaving their silk hideouts for a nice cozy existence. They are not the most pleasant to look at or touch, but maybe that's why they create something so beautiful?

Here the silk cocoons are unwound into silk fibers a few strands thick. They are woven and rewoven to add strength. Coloring is also added. This grandmother stood by this machine with such familiarity that it seemed she probably knew it better than her own son or daughter. Rickety, on the brink of collapse in many stages of its motion, but it completes the task. 

This is what automation of patterns looks like here. These dot and spot sheets are rapidly fed into the brain of these antiquated looms. Dots create flowers.

This is where everything is put together. This room is like entering a concert hall, except the smooth harmonies are exchanged for banging, squeaking and general discomfort. 

The final product.  Soft touch, amazing intricacy and relaxation on the skin. One of the world's many gifts.