Enduring and prospering across centuries, the centuries-old Dui Nam Cao silk village in Kien Xuong district was a source of pride for Thai Binh province. This cradle of renowned rustic yet supple silk fabric once faced oblivion from the ravages of time. The 1980s marked the golden age of Dui Nam Cao silk when its fame transcended national borders, with large quantities exported to discerning Eastern European markets.

However, as science and technology advanced, newly-emerged synthetic fabrics with vibrant colors and trendy patterns gradually overshadowed the modest, simple charm of Dui Nam Cao fabric, leading to the village's silk weaving decline. Some artisans departed for other prospects, while stalwart few remained steadfastly devoted to preserving their hereditary craft. Through sheer passion and perseverance, these few kept the embers of hope glowing until the establishment of the Dui Nam Cao Weaving Cooperative sparked the renaissance that elevated their village's ancient silk weaving from the brink of extinction to attain National Intangible Cultural Heritage status.

If you appreciate traditional silk products, join To Vang in retracing this historic trail to better understand the legacy of Dui Nam Cao silk village. Emanating a timeless aura within each fabric yard, the breath of tradition lives on. 

For over 400 years of development, the Dui Nam Cao silk weaving village (Nam Cao commune, Kien Xuong district) has been a source of immense pride for Thai Binh's people, renowned nationwide for its exquisite yet modest silk fabrics emblazoned with the imprint of cultural heritage. Whereas modern industrial silk manufacturing follows streamlined, high-volume processes, each yard of rustic Dui Nam Cao fabric bears the unmistakable mark of human artistry - painstakingly handwoven through deft movements by skilled village weavers. The extremely labor-intensive handweaving necessitates the weavers to submerge their hands in water around the clock, persevering through sweltering summers and numbing winters alike. Other arduous manual steps like warping silk strands, winding bobbins, fabric beating, and loom weaving are all meticulously executed by the dexterous artisan hands. Even the natural dye colors derive from plants like annatto seeds or cocoon silk itself...As a result of this painstaking hand craftsmanship, Dui Nam Cao remains the world's sole surviving village still practicing complete handwoven silk production. This laborious human touch imbues Dui Nam Cao fabric with an unparalleled, modest, rustic elegance and uncompromising quality - a refreshing counterpoint amidst today's industrialized silk products.

Despite the vicissitudes of history, Dui Nam Cao's age-old silk tradition endured, with the familiar cadence of clacking looms becoming a soothing lullaby echoing childhood memories for generations of villagers. Nonetheless, by the 2000s during the economic downturn when silk weaving could no longer sustain the weavers' livelihoods, the village teetered on the precipice of irreversible decline. The once ubiquitous loom clatter fell ominously silent, with only three households sporadically working their looms amidst an eerie village hush. Yet the unquenchable passion and determination to safeguard their heritage still flickered in the hearts of Dui Nam Cao's people. Unwilling to let their ancestral craft die, they ignited its revival through establishing the Dui Nam Cao Weaving Cooperative. Thanks to enabling policies and the ceaseless efforts of a passionate local woman alongside fellow village artisans, the silk village gradually regained its vitality. The familiar loom rhythm once more reverberated through the village streets, rekindling residents' joy and hope. 

"Our village's revival fills us with a childlike elation at being able to continue our forefathers' legacy and participate in cultural festivals again. In my 60 years, I've never witnessed Dui village as vibrant as today, with weavers being treated as esteemed artisans," shared Ms. Nguyen Thi Mui (Nam Cao, Kien Xuong, Thai Binh).

Through reformation, Dui Nam Cao silk products have regained favor for their premium quality, wearability, easy maintenance, natural cooling for summers yet insulating warmth for winters, perse patterns, and profound aura of cultural heritage.  

The revitalized Dui Nam Cao silk village exemplifies the enduring vitality of Vietnamese cultural traditions. Overcoming seemingly insurmountable adversity, this craft has been resurrected and continues flourishing as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage, helping to preserve and propagate the nation's precious cultural legacies.