Lam Dong Province Raising Handicraft Production

9:40:32 AM | 7/12/2007

Currently, handicrafts and local traditional cloth in particular attract great demand from foreign tourists and overseas Vietnamese. They often buy them as the special gifts when coming to Lam Dong. They love these products because of their unique features of remarkable minority national culture.
The attraction of the handicrafts
The handicrafts in Lam Dong province are diversified and abundant, including major items such as handmade embroidery picture, wool thread products, crochet products, dry flowers, fine art wood products, splendid sawed products, butterfly pictures, handmade knit products of bamboo and rattan and textile products of traditional local cloths. Handmade embroidery pictures are a typical special item of handicraft production in the province, a famous product that always leaves a strong impression on Vietnamese and foreign tourists. In Da Lat city there are about 10 units producing and selling this product, among which the XQ Da Lat Co., Ltd is most famous for carrying the style of Hue city with dreamlike and mysterious features. The Da Lat Historic Unit is the production factory, and at same time it is a destination where tourists can learn about the special art. In addition, many other units such as Huu Hanh Cooperative for Fine Art Handicraft, Embroidery Picture Heritage Co. Ltd, Dang Viet Company and Ky Vong Private Company for Handmade Embroidery also welcome tourists.
Bamboo and rattan knitted products, wool products and dry flowers are also special advantages for the province. Trung Vuong Wool Knitting Cooperative at Lau A market in Da Lat city, the Unit CD Crochet at 78A Hoang Dieu street have become famed names for fine wool products popular among domestic and foreign clients. The Factory of Minh Dry Flowers and Hieu Dry Flowers display many beautiful and unique dry flowers. In recent years, the newly born type of art is the butterfly picture gaining the tourists’ attention. It is made by Anh Kim Unit at provincial city Bao Loc based on breeding butterflies at home, then dried and pressed into pictures.
The local textile cloth is traditional product of minority nations. In the past it was made only for family use, later villages producing traditional local cloths were formed. The local traditional cloth items, although not exported to other countries, have expanded beyond the province. Almost all tourists, when arriving in the province, have a good understanding of the products and are ready to buy them. Currently, in Dalat city there are many tiny shops for local cloth sale at tourism locations such as the Valley of Love, Langbiang Waterfall, Prenn Waterfall and Lake of Moaning. In addition, at restaurants and hotels, tourists also can see the products used as table cloths and decorations for the rooms. To grasp the size of the local cloth market, you should tour the restaurants and hotels serving foreigners in Dalat. Most local cloth businessmen are ethnic minority people producing the local cloth, such as people of Cham, Ma, Lach and Kho, among which Cham are the biggest group. They sell the products by bringing them along the streets to the city centre. In addition vendor sales, some people specialize in collecting the cloth of their own nation to sell.
Ethnic village products each have their own special features. The Cham local cloth has soft and refined features. Kho and Lach products are thick, raw and wild. The Ma local cloth is elaborate, with refined features and a good thickness that users prefer very much. The local cloth may sell for US$ 6 – 12 per item. Especially, certain Ma cloth sells for US$ 16 per item. Products are sold from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m. These days, local cloth is sold mainly to foreigners and overseas Vietnamese as gifts. They prefer the products for their unique and wild national features triggering the strong and fine impression.
Diversification of handicrafts
In accordance with current situation of the handicraft industry, the Lam Dong People’s Committee has prepared development policies, in particular developing the handicraft industry in the regions with a long history of handicraft production such as Da Lat city and Bao Loc town, the three districts in the south, and along major roads and in tourism locations. The textile industry will expand its operation to communes around the industrial centres and zones and, in long term, to all regions with good development conditions.
Lam Dong province will focus on boosting the development of existing items such as bamboo and rattan, wood products, local cloth textile, embroidery pictures and lace. In the long term the province will push items having advantages on materials and market outlook such as terra-cotta, porcelain, high class wood products and wood carvings. The province encourage all sectors in handicraft production, grants priorities for cooperatives and companies of small and middle size, units using many employees, boosts integration and joint ventures with big domestic companies, especially with companies in Hochiminh city, raise production capacity and support the sale and export of products.    Together with the development of handicraft villages, the province will form materials zones in combination with industry development to secure a stable source of materials, and apply advanced technologies to speed up handicraft production.
Hong Hanh