Van Lam Embroidery Village (located in Ninh Hai Commune, Hoa Lu District of Ninh Binh Province) is one of the most ancient and famous craft villages in North Vietnam.
According to ancient books, the craft of embroidery was first carried out by Van Lam villagers in the Tran Dynasty (1225-1400), with the products made to provide to the royal palace or for decorations in temples and pagodas. In spite of historical ups and downs, the craft of embroidery in Van Lam has never disappeared. Currently, over 3,200 Van Lam residents, 96% of 1,200 households in the village are making a living from embroidery. This craft supplies the local people work and brings them considerable income.
The most famous Van Lam embroidered products are bedsheets, bedspreads, and pillow covers, curtains, paintings, kimono. For years, Van Lam embroidered products have had a position in competitive markets, such as the United States, Germany, Japan, France, and Russia.
It’s not difficult to learn to embroider but to make a beautiful product of high artistic value requires the craftsman’s devotion and skills. The items made by Van Lam embroiders can be differentiated from the similar ones made in other areas due to their harmonious mixture of embroidery, lace and hemstitching, which are always renewed with new designs.
Every year, on the craft patron saint’s anniversary, a contest is held for skillful embroiderers, which is a chance to highlight their merits and devotion to the craft. Located in the Tam Coc – Bich Dong tourist complex, which annually attracts millions of domestic and foreign visitors, Van Lam Village has an advantage of developing tours to visit traditional crafts.
The embroiderers’ association in Van Lam Village has a plan to invite skillful embroiderers to work at public sites, such as the boat landing stage and the communal house’s yard, for visitors to observe. Each household in the village is a visiting site for tourists who can stay for a few hours for meals and drinks, and learn embroidery under the guidance of the house owner.
Van Lam Embroidery Village is one of the most ancient and famous craft villages in North Vietnam. If you have a chance to travel to Ninh Binh Province, do not forget to visit this special village. By the way, you can visit Kim Son Sedge Village in Kim Son District, Phat Diem Stone Cathedral in Kim Son region, one of the oldest and most beautiful cathedrals in Vietnam.