Ninh So is one of Thuong Tin's long-standing traditional craft villages and can be considered the oldest in Hanoi. The community is well renowned for utilizing the double frame technique to weave bamboo and rattan into fishing baskets to aid the life of fishermen. Many of these fishing baskets are now turned by artisans into our every day hanging pendants while retaining the original architectural and fishermen stories.
The Seagrass Village
Whether cultivating raw materials or weaving finished products, every hamlet in the Kim Son area is involved in its town's historic seagrass handicraft tradition. Because of the town's favorable saltwater environment, the community is the primary source of natural seagrass imports to other East Asia nations.
One of the things we love about this kind of production is that it not only supplements the women's income but also allows them to weave the baskets at home while still running a small farm and caring for their children.
Bamboo Craft Village
The village's bamboo weaving craft is thought to date back about 400 years ago. Under the reign of King Thanh Thai (1889-1907), the 10th king of the Nguyen dynasty, nine senior bamboo and rattan weaving artisans of Phu Vinh village were rewarded honorary titles by the King.
While visiting the garden of one artisan, we were greeted by a circle of four ladies of varied ages conversing, smiling, and weaving their hands on a stage in the creation of a bamboo woven basket. There is no machinery or a bustling factory here. After looking at a few interesting pieces, we sat with the women and watched them do their bamboo cutting, shaping, and hand-weaving. Ms. Mai showed us her designs, and each of the designs we picked up had its provenance of materials, the intricacy of its pattern, and its own story with some featured tales of her grandparents.