The Grass Weaving Craft Of Vietnam

Weaving with grass is a traditional handicraft in rural areas of Vietnam. Different regions use locally growing grass varieties to weave mats, and other products
Women making tatami mats with grass in Vietnam                                Michael Habana Coronel / Shutterstock
Women making tatami mats with grass in Vietnam Michael Habana Coronel / Shutterstock

Weaving With Sedge Grass

The tradition of weaving with grass has a long tradition in Vietnam. Places like Phu Tan village in Tuy An district and Kim Son village in the province of Ninh Binh are well known for their history of sedge weaving and cultivation. On mudflats between dykes and the sea, the locals cultivate sedge fields and use the plant to make products like mats, bags, and more. 

To increase the strength and colour of the grass, weavers choose the sedge plants with care before splitting them into threads and drying them in the sun. Those who grow the grass follow a traditional saying, "Bring it out when it is sunny and bring it in when it is rainy."

The loom used for weaving is made of two large parallel wood poles with warps of jute that are tightly wound. For the weaving process, two people are required. A long, thin wood stick is used in place of a shuttle to enter the weft while one person sits on the loom to manipulate the heddle.

Sedge mats are woven in a process similar to weaving textiles by moving the sedge weft in an over-one-beneath-one pattern into the warp. The mats are then washed and embellished with patterns and prints. 

Weaving With Guot Grass 

The grass-weaving tradition of Luu Thuong village dates back over 400 years and has been passed down through generations. The villagers use "guot" grass, which is found in the northern mountainous provinces of Yen Bai, Lang Son, Cao Bang, and Bac Kan. Guot is combined with other materials such as sedge, corn leaves, rattan, bamboo, and water hyacinths to make a variety of products.

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