Quat Dong Embroidery Village: The cradle of Vietnamese embroidery

Quat Dong Embroidery Village
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Quat Dong village is famous for traditional embroidery, founded by embroidery ancestor Le Cong Hanh. Embroidery in Vietnam has been around for a long time, originating with the formation and development of the village from past to present.

Quat Dong embroidery village is located in Quat Dong commune, located on the left side of Highway 1 (in the direction from Hanoi), in Thuong Tin district – Hanoi, about 20km from Hanoi center. Quat Dong embroidery village is located in the center of Quat Dong commune, with an area of about 50 hectares, of which residential land is about 17 hectares, the rest is agricultural land. This is determined to be a craft village in the list of priority investment projects to develop craft villages associated with tourism in Hanoi City by 2020, with a vision to 2030.

History of village development

During the Nguyen Dynasty, Quat Dong commune was one of nine communes belonging to Tong Binh Lang Phu, Thuong Tin town, Son Nam Thuong. Quat Dong village is a large village with a population accounting for 2/3 of the entire commune’s population. Quat Dong commune has many villages and hamlets doing embroidery, but Quat Dong village is considered the origin of hand embroidery. Because according to records in Ngu Xa communal house, Quat Dong and Tu Thi temple, Hanoi, the founder of Quat Dong embroidery as well as the general embroidery profession of the North, Central and South regions is Dr. Le Cong Hanh, whose real name is Bui Cong Khai, lived in the 17th century in Quat Dong village.

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Quat Dong communal house, Hanoi

Quat Dong commune currently has 8 villages: Quat Dong (Quat Dong 1 and Quat Dong 2), Quat Lam, Quat Tinh, Duc Trach, Do Quan, Nguyen Bi, Huong Xa, Lieu Xa.

History of development of traditional embroidery

In Vietnam during the time of King Hung, Lac Viet people knew to “wear pullovers, button the left button, girls wore embroidered dresses”. Old documents also record: During the Tran Dynasty, kings and mandarins used parasols and embroidery. Thus, embroidery has existed in Vietnam since very early times but unfortunately has not been fully recorded.

During the period from 1900 to 1918, the book “Vietnamese Handicrafts” by author Vu Huy Phuc wrote: “In Ha Dong, the first profession ranked is embroidery” and recalled the origin of the profession from the Le do Dynasty. Le Cong Hanh taught the people of Quat Dong area.

In 1939, according to Bulletin’s statistics on the number of Vietnamese craftsmen, the whole of Tonkin at that time had 2,315 embroiderers concentrated in four large regions corresponding to the four towns around ancient Hanoi. Of these, more than half are Ha Dong workers concentrated in the Quat Dong area. Perhaps this was the heyday of embroidery in the whole country in general and the Quat Dong region in particular.

 

The period when embroidery was most developed (1972 – 1986), especially in Thuong Tin district, which was the original hometown of embroidery, so this profession from Quat Dong and Thang Loi was replicated in almost all communes in the district: Le Loi, Dung Tien, Nguyen Trai, Chuong Duong,…

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As of February 1, 2002, Quat Dong embroidery village had more than 400 embroidery households (almost the entire village) attracting nearly 1,000 workers

But in the past few years, the embroidery profession of Quat Dong village seems to have subsided and not developed like in previous years. Visiting the embroidery village today, there are not only journalists and people looking to learn the trade, but also many foreign visitors who come to the place to place orders and buy products as they wish. They not only know Quat Dong embroidery but also know highly skilled artisans such as: artisan Bui Dinh Han (deceased), artisan Pham Viet Tuong (deceased), artisan Pham Viet Dinh (deceased). passed away), Mr. Bui Thi Tuyet, Mr. Bui Thi Hanh, Ms. Hoang Thi Khuong, Uncle Hoang Viet Chinh,…

Ancestor of Vietnamese Embroidery

Le Cong Hanh’s birth name is Tran Quoc Khai. He was born in the year of the Horse (1606) in Quat Dong commune, Thuong Tin district, Ha Dong province (now Thuong Tin district, Hanoi).

In the year of the Dog (1646), he was sent as a messenger to the Ming Dynasty. During this mission, he accidentally learned embroidery and taught it to the villagers of Quat Dong and then expanded it to other provinces, including Bac Ninh and Hung Yen.

Le Cong Hanh
Ancestor of Vietnamese Embroidery, Le Cong Hanh

Besides, he also taught people how to make parasols. To remember his gratitude, after Le Cong Hanh died (in 1661), people in the area built a temple and honored him as the Ancestor of embroidery.

Some documents say that before Le Cong Hanh taught embroidery and parasol making to the people, these occupations already existed in Vietnam. However, it developed on a small scale, with quite simple techniques, with only a few colors of thread and mainly serving the king and mandarins.

Le Cong Hanh
Ancestor of Vietnamese Embroidery, Le Cong Hanh

Old history books still record that in the Tran dynasty, our kings and mandarins used embroidery and parasols. In 1289, more than 350 years before Le Cong Hanh’s envoy year, King Tran sent King Nguyen a red cushion embroidered with gold thread and a brocade carpet with ruffled edges (according to Tu Minh Thien written in Thien Nam Hanh Ky). .

Traditional craft characteristics

Embroidery in Quat Dong village is divided into 3 types:

  • Embroidery pictures (landscapes, flowers, animals, landmarks, …)
  • Portrait embroidery (Kings, Historical Figures, Heads of State,…)
  • Embroidering royal costumes, restoring costumes,…

Embroidering pictures is considered the simplest because of the freedom to create according to the embroiderer’s emotions, depending on the level of passion and love for the job, whether the lines are delicate or rudimentary and will show the quality of the picture.

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Embroidery pictures

Portrait embroidery is the most difficult because it is necessary to understand and feel the charisma of the character, then you must know how to express that spirit through the threads. If it is not delicate, it will not be successful.

Portrait embroidery
Portrait embroidery

Embroidering and restoring royal costumes requires strict adherence to the principles prescribed for royal costumes, showing the rank of each type of costume, color, and pattern must be accurate, not creativity.

Embroidering and restoring royal costumes
Embroidering and restoring royal costumes

Quat Dong village embroiderers have produced many diverse products, from traditional product groups such as parallel sentences, rituals, parasols, flags, tents, tablecloths, and traditional stage costumes. …to landscape embroidery paintings, creative portrait embroidery such as: Uncle Ho’s stilt house, One Pillar Pagoda, portrait of Lenin… In addition to embroidery, many families also sew, attach beads, attach horns, and assemble bags. handbags…on embroidered products. Every house works on orders with pre-given designs or creates their own. Every 2 days, units and tourists come to buy and transport goods to the provinces.

Production process of traditional products

Production materials

Embroidery is not too complicated, the biggest requirements for those who do it are perseverance, carefulness and a sense of teamwork. Tools used in embroidery are quite simple. Embroiderers only use a minimum number of materials such as embroidery frames, embroidery needles of all sizes (round and rectangular), scissors, ruler, brushes, grease, embroidery fabric (white fabric, satin, silk…), embroidery threads of all colors. Therefore, embroidery is very suitable for Vietnam’s labor resources, especially in rural areas. The needle quickly moves the lines back and forth, and shapes with vivid colors gradually appear.

  • Thread: silk thread and thick thread
  • Embroidered fabric: embroidered fabric or fashion embroidered fabric (embroidered clothes, embroidered pillowcases…)
  • Embroidery frame: Round or rectangular embroidery frame.

Producing process

Over time, Quat Dong craftsmen have developed traditional embroidery techniques with elaborate new techniques such as double-sided embroidery. Double-sided embroidery is made on thin chiffon material, using silk embroidery thread, which is popular with many people. Looking at the double-sided embroidery, one cannot tell where the starting point is and where the ending point is, because the thread pins are hidden in the middle by the artist. That’s why only old artisans can master double-sided embroidery, and this process of embroidering pictures takes 3 or 4 times more time than regular embroidery.

The production process of embroidery products includes basic stages: cutting, printing, embroidery, inspection (technical embroidery, finishing embroidery), washing, and packaging.

quat-dong-embroidery-village
Hand embroidery is a sophisticated technique

Embroidery technique

Over time, Quat Dong craftsmen have developed traditional embroidery techniques with elaborate new techniques such as double-sided embroidery. Double-sided embroidery is made on thin chiffon material, using silk embroidery thread, which is popular with many people. Looking at the double-sided embroidery, one cannot tell where the starting point is and where the ending point is, because the thread pins are hidden in the middle by the artist. That’s why only old artisans can master double-sided embroidery, and this process of embroidering pictures takes 3 or 4 times more time than regular embroidery.

k-embroidery
K-embroidery with quality hand-embroidered products

In general, the traditional embroidery village of Quat Dong is a testament to the development of Vietnamese embroidery. When considering hand embroidery techniques, Vietnam is one of the leading countries. If you need a suggestion about embroidery manufacturers in Vietnam, K-Embroidery will definitely be a name not to be missed. We are committed to providing high quality hand embroidered products, at reasonable prices. Contact us via WhatsApp, Email or leave a comment below the article for the fastest response.

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