Meet the Artist
Vu Thao is a clothing designer who seamlessly merges contemporary silhouettes with traditional Vietnamese techniques of natural dyeing, beeswax printing, hand quilting and embroidery. She collaborates with ethnic minority women from the northern mountains of Vietnam to grow and produce natural dyes from indigo, yam and magenta plants – and fibers from organic cotton and hemp – then weaves her own fabrics for her designs. For buttons and other trimmings, she uses natural materials like nuts, wood, coal, stone, bamboo and bone. She finds design inspiration in her eclectic collection of traditional costumes, natural materials and indigenous artifacts that fill her studio. Sophisticated and stylish, Thao is a self-confessed culture lover.
The VAWAA experience includes
- 6 days in Cao Bang, an artisanal village north of Hanoi
- Working with ethnic women learning the indigo dyeing process.
- Understanding how to grow indigo, green tea and other natural roots.
- Making dyes.
- Pre-dye process.
- Different dyeing process for different roots and pigments.
- Your handwoven & hand-dyed samples up to 5 metres long.
The artisanal village of Cao Bang is a 8-hour drive from Hanoi with countryside views, plenty of fresh vegetables and traditional dishes. This experience includes private taxi from Hanoi to Cao Bang and hotel accommodation in Nung village, a small town 15min. drive from Cao Bang. Please note that Thao's VAWAA cannot be booked during heavy rain season (Dec - Feb) as it is difficult to access the fields.