Weaving village in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta stands test of time

Weaving village in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta stands test of time
Foreign tourists browse for checkered and striped shawls at a stand in the Long Khanh weaving village in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

A long-standing cotton-weaving village in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta has reinvented itself to thrive by attracting tourists with its diverse products.

Smiles are often visible on the faces of artisans in the 100-year-old Long Khanh cloth-making community in Hong Ngu District of Dong Thap Province, which the Mekong River crosses.

Decades ago the community used to grow mulberries and keep silkworms to have material for fabric.

Its generations experienced ups and downs in the business as they relied on the two yearly periods when farmers harvested rice crops in order to sell their products, which were only checkered black-and-white shawls.

The shawls are typically donned every day by women on the head or wrapped around the shoulders as a cushion against heavy loads or objects for mopping sweat.

They were once seen going with the costume that distinguishes natives in the Mekong Delta from Vietnamese people of other regions but they are not a very common sight now, especially among young people.

Weavers here have lately tried to preserve their tradition by adding more hues to the color scheme for checkered shawls and creating various other products like hats, ties, bags and clothes, which again have patterns of squares or stripes.

A tourist sits with a seller at a shop in the Long Khanh weaving village in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A tourist sits with a seller at a shop in the Long Khanh weaving village in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The woman (in pink) poses for pictures in a wedding dress made by the Long Khanh weaving village in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The woman (in pink) poses for a picture in a wedding dress made by the Long Khanh weaving village in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Over 1,000 checkered shawls are produced daily by the village’s 50 workshops.

The government is planning to build more quays for tourist boats visiting the community, which lives on a small island in the Mekong River.

Many local couples choose checkered ao dai, Vietnam’s traditional gown, which are made here as wedding clothes.

A visitor shows checkered and striped shawls in the Long Khanh weaving village in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A visitor shows checkered and striped shawls in the Long Khanh weaving village in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A baby wears a hat made in the Long Khanh weaving village in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A baby wears a hat made in the Long Khanh weaving village in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A woman winds thread at her workroom in the Long Khanh weaving village in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A woman winds thread at her workroom in the Long Khanh weaving village in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A loom is pictured at a workshop in the Long Khanh weaving village in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A loom is pictured at a workshop in the Long Khanh weaving village in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A woman works by her loom in the Long Khanh weaving village in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A woman works by her loom in the Long Khanh weaving village in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Fabric is seen at a workroom in the Long Khanh weaving village in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Fabric is seen at a workroom in the Long Khanh weaving village in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A woman piles shawls in the Long Khanh weaving village in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A woman piles shawls in the Long Khanh weaving village in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A woman hangs fabric in the Long Khanh weaving village in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A woman hangs fabric in the Long Khanh weaving village in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The Long Khanh weaving village (red marker) in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam, is seen in this Google Maps screenshot.
The Long Khanh weaving village (red marker) in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam, is seen in this Google Maps screenshot.

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