Here is where you will find our growing list of artisans; weavers, leather workers, and the like.
For details about our experiences with our artisans, please check out our blog.
Lu are a unique, remote group located in the northern mountains of Vietnam. They are distinguished by their black teeth dyed with a black-honey shrub and benzoin resin paste. Before getting married, all Lu girls must know how to weave and the bride-to-be spends a whole year making her dress. Fabrics used to make clothes are dyed in indigo for 7 days; dyed and dried twice a day, until they are finally dyed black. The weaves used on the skirts, which are featured on The Day to Night Bags, can take a highly-experienced weaver up to 6 months to both weave and embroider a completed pattern.
Cham use two types of traditional looms; the ‘daneng aban khan’, which produces wide cloth sheets, and the ‘daneng jihdalah’, which produces longer and narrower cloth sheets. Cham people are experts in dyeing their textiles in a wide variety of colors via natural dyes extracted from leaves, rind, stems and roots of plants that can be found in the nearby forests. However lately, most prefer buying colored threads from the market, instead of cultivating cotton, spinning it and dyeing the threads themselves. We use these weaves on our Cham Totes and sell these by the yard. Read our blog on the history of weaving for more information.
Mrs. Diem is from My Nghiep Village in Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam. She runs the local culture centre and is responsible for making some of the Cham weaves you see featured in our bags. Mrs. Diem learned how to weave at the age of ten by her mother, Mrs. Trao. She was kind enough to whip us up some instant noodle when we arrived in the village after a long train ride. Thank Mrs. Diem!
Mrs. Nga is also from My Nghiep Village and weaves in the weaving workshop. She learned how to weave at the age of ten and now is extremely skilful in weaving detailed motifs like the Shiva pattern above.
Mrs. Trao is from My Nghiep Village as well and is responsible for managing the weaving workshop. She learned how to weave at the age of twelve and now is a weaving veteran with a lot of experience. Mrs. Trao was very open about Cham culture and allowed us to record her whilst we asked questions.
Our Leather Worker
Mr. Viet, who is Chinese-Vietnamese, has been making leather handbags for over 20 years. He originally had to teach himself leather craftsmanship as it was kept secret amongst other bag makers in Vietnam years a go. After a long time practicing and patiently learning, he now is an expert and one of the most experienced bag makers in Ho Chi Minh City.
Mr. Viet is a quiet man, but you can easily see the joy he gets from our reactions when we see our bags come to life.
My Nghiep Cham Weaving Village