Located on the bank of Day river, Chuong village (Thanh Oai district, Hanoi) is not only known for its hat making for more than 3 centuries but also for its peaceful beauty and images of the conical hats swinging in the wind. Not as busy as other villages, Chuong village is more peaceful and filled up with thousands of traditional white conical hats. Chuong village market is held every 6 days of the lunar month, on the 4th, 10th, 14th, 20th, 24th and 30th and the only item that is sold in the market is the conical hat.
The conical hat of Chuong village is famous throughout Vietnam for its high quality and style. Each hat has to go through 10 steps including crumbling, drying under the sun, frosting, creating the round frame, cracking, and sewing the edge.
The leaves are taken from palm trees of the mountainous Quang Binh, Ha Tinh, Nghe An region. The craftsmen have to select the leaves with bright green color, crumble them in sand, dry them out two to three times until they turn yellow, and make them shiny yellow and smooth. Bamboo stick is used to make the rounded frame. The conical hat has about 16 – 20 rounded layers which are to make the conical shape. After that, the two layers of leaves will be used to cover the outside of the hat and then stitches are sewed from the inside out. During the stage of sewing, the craftsmen may start decorating the hat with the colorful paper flowers or stitching colored threads at two opposite points to make the handle. This is such a work of art.
Today, the elders of Chuong villagealways want to preserve the skills of making conical hats by teaching their younger generations. Tourists may easily find a young girl helping her mom sewing and selling conical hats in the market. Each hat is filled with love and passion from many generations. Chuong villagers are even more proud that there are many local and international tourists have visited to learn about this traditional craft of the village.