In the process of trading with foreigners, especially with the Chinese, there is an undeniable truth which is the high quality and rich in colors of Chinese goods. Therefore products like brocade, silk and cloth are often favored by the mandarins, kings and lords, even ordinary people because of the great quality.
Vietnamese products, also, are very popular with the Chinese, such as ivory, rhino horns and tortoises. Among those, there is a very valuable product highly appreciated by Chinese king and mandarins - Banana silk, a very specific product from Vietnamese agricultural culture.
Banana silk fabric, a typical product for Vietnam's agricultural culture
Weaving has been a traditional profession for Vietnamese people for generations. Products from weaving industry are all derived from plants and herbs such as silk fabric, jute cloth, hemp cloth and cotton. All of which tell the characteristics of Vietnamese from ancient times like mingling or having a close-knit and familiar relationship with nature, relying on nature to survive. Among those fabrics, the product of banana silk has become the pinnacle of weaving techniques of Vietnamese people, highly appreciated by Truong Bot, a Chinese scholar in the book of Ngo Luc, “the fabric is so fine and soft, wearing it in hot seasons feels really cool”.
At present, banana silk does not appear in any region or locality in the country. Even in archaeological sites, people can not find traces of this fabric (?!). Although banana silk is no longer available, we can still learn about it through records on old documents such as China's Book of Magazines: “In Jiaozhi, the stem of the banana split like silk, woven into cloth called sand pepper, easy to tear, but beautiful, pale yellow, also called Giao Chi cloth. ” or Truong Bot's book Ngo Luc recorded: “Banana silk fabric is woven with banana fiber, Filipinos call this fabric Abaku. This fabric is smooth, a specialty that is popular with Chinese people, they call it "Giao Chi".
Banana silk fabric is a culmination of Vietnamese weaving techniques
Banana silk is a culmination of Vietnamese weaving techniques, but when did this fabric appear to be an unknown answer? Hopefully, in the near future, with the efforts of archaeologists and historians, we will find traces and recover the fabric that brings Vietnamese reputation.
Over thousands of years of development, the Vietnamese people have taken weaving technology to a new level, comparable to China's fabric and silk items. Along with silk, jute, hemp and cotton, banana silk is the pinnacle of Vietnamese people's fabrics. It has proved the close relationship ancient people have with nature, from the way we eat, dress to accommodate.