Situated on the bank of Nhue River, Van Phuc Village has accumulated 1,000 years illustrious fame for fine and silk products.
Craftsmen Nguyen Huu Chinh, a person who attached his life with silk production craft for more than 70 years, said that Van Phuc villagers are proud of their traditional craft which has been transmitted from generations to generations because this craft has not only helped the villagers practise patience and studiousness but because Van Phuc silk represents thei pinnacle of silk weaving techniques.
Van Phuc silk is classified by sophisticated patterns and thickness such as plain silk, patterned silk, satin, crepe, tussore and more. However, the most famous silk product of the village is cloud silk (lua van) which is thin, shiny and patterned like a cloud. It is very difficult to weave cloud silk, and only skillful weavers can make it. Nowadays, few craftsmen in Van Phuc Village can weave cloud silk.
From traditional types of silk such as plain silk and satin, Van Phuc villagers have created new pattern designs of Madonna lily silk, ban flower silk or colored satin. Silk products of Van Phuc Village are well received by customers because of their soft, thin, cooling properties.
However, Nguyen Van Sinh, the chairman of the Van Phuc Craft Village Association said that counterfeit Van Phuc silk products have appeared, focusing on souvenir products such as hats, bags, carves, shirts and sheet silk. Counterfeit silk shops can even be found in the village which hinders customers from differentiating real and counterfeit silk products, especially foreign customers. Counterfeit silk products have affected the village reputation and left customers concerned about the quality of Van Phuc silk products.
Aware of the harmful effect of counterfeit products to the village reputation, the Van Phuc Craft Village Association has called on villagers to help protect the village brand by attaching embossed "Ha Dong Silk" labels to their products. Responding to the appeal of the association, many production units have added the village brand name to their products which have initially gained the confidence of customers. To help Van Phuc villagers protect their brand name, the Hanoi Industry Promotion Center has provided the village with a VND400 million grant to purchase label weaving technology.
Van Phuc village has paid attention to developing its brand name. Younger generations of the village have received careful training from experienced and skillful craftsmen as Nguyen Huu Chinh and Trieu Van Mao. Based on traditional refinements, artisans have created new designs to meet greater customer demands. The village has also adopted new technology into production to increase productivity and quality and reduce prices. With more than 1,000 automated and advanced weaving machines, the village produces over 2.5 million meters of silk per year, bringing the revenue of VND50 billion a year.
With an effort to protect and build the village brand name, Van Phuc Village has gained customer confidence and improved the village craft's move towards sustainable development.