Different colors of central province’s mat making village

By Tran Minh Tri, Huyen Phuong   May 29, 2020 | 01:28 pm GMT-8
Ban Thach Village in Quang Nam, famous for its traditional craft of making mats, attracts tourists and photographers.
Different colors of central province’s mat making village

The sedge field along the Thu Bon River is the main source of raw materials for the village to make mats. The village is in Duy Xinh Commune in Quang Nam Province’s Duy Xuyen District.

Tran Minh Tri, a Quang Nam native, shot the "Colors of Ban Thach mat making village" series.

Different colors of central province’s mat making village

A woman harvests sedge. The harvest season is April-May.

Ban Thach Village got its reputation as a place for making mats in the 80s. The mats here used to be exported to Eastern European countries.

Different colors of central province’s mat making village

After being harvested, the sedge is tied into bundles. Mat making has many steps like chopping, drying, dying, and weaving.

Different colors of central province’s mat making village

Hoa, 80, chops the sedge down with care. In Ban Thach Village, 80 percent of the people know how to make mats.

Different colors of central province’s mat making village

Sitting next to her is Du, who is also chopping sedge. People in Ban Thach help each other to speed up the work.

Different colors of central province’s mat making village

The men here usually handle the harvesting, chopping and drying. It takes two full days to dry the sedge in the sun.

Different colors of central province’s mat making village

During the process of drying, people have to keep an eye on the sedge to ensure it does not burn in the sun.

Different colors of central province’s mat making village

After drying, it is time for dying. This stage requires care for the sedge to acquire the color and shine needed. Various colors like red, blue, purple, and yellow are used. The sedge is dipped into heated color two or three times.

Different colors of central province’s mat making village

The colorful sedge is then dried under the sun. But if there is too much sun, the sedge can easily break while if there is not enough, it can get moldy.

Different colors of central province’s mat making village

The next step is weaving the sedge into mats. This requires two people.

Different colors of central province’s mat making village

A skilled artisan can weave three or four mats a day.

Different colors of central province’s mat making village

The mats, when completed, are sold to traders or in nearby markets. A 1.2-meter mat fetches VND100,000 ($4.3) while a slightly larger one at 1.4 meters costs VND120,000 ($5).

 
 
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