Thao Thi De keeps Mong traditional costumes alive

Chia sẻ

(VOVWORLD) - Mong ethnic women learn to embroider and sew at a young age. Even today Mong women embroider and sew for their families’ needs. Many even open tailor shops and earn their living –and at the same time preserve their traditional cultural values – by making clothes. Thao Thi De of Phong Lai commune, Thuan Chau district, Son La province, is among the Mong women that keep the craft of making traditional costumes alive.

Thao Thi De keeps Mong traditional costumes alive - ảnh 1Thao Thi De contributes to preserving Mong traditional costumes (Photo: VOV)

Realizing that the demand for ethnic costumes is increasing, Thao Thi De took a basic tailoring class, then opened a tailor shop that makes traditional Mong costumes. At first, her customers were her relatives and local people. When orders began to increase, De invested in machines and equipment, purchased industrial textiles with varied motifs and patterns, and improved her sewing techniques to keep up with the demand. De said: “If you want to make a perfect costume, you must take a basic tailoring class to learn the basic techniques. Before opening this shop, I took a course and learned the basic techniques needed to create beautiful traditional costumes.”

Making a Mong ethnic costume requires diligence, meticulousness, and sewing skills. The tailor knows how to combine different fabrics and patterns to create beautiful dresses, performance costumes, and hats.  Many costumes have intricate details created with beads or coins on the body, sleeves, and edges. An elaborate Mong costume can take 10 days or more to make.  De says she only makes 10 costumes per month.

Thao Thi De keeps Mong traditional costumes alive - ảnh 2Mong costumes are modified in new style (Photo: VOV) 

De was hampered at first by a lack of experience and limited access to the market. Her products were sold mainly at local fairs or markets. Gradually, her products became better known through social networks like Facebook and Zalo.

“After the COVID-19 pandemic, localities organized many events, which led a greater demand for costumes for weddings, festivals, and travel. I started a costume rental service,” said De.

De taught other women how to make costumes to help them earn more money. Sung Thi Mai of Phong Lai commune, Thuan Chau district, said: “De is a dynamic and creative person. I learned from her many embroidery and sewing techniques for making traditional Mong costumes. Now I’ve opened my own tailor shop and earn rom 400 USD- 500 USD per month. I really want to express my gratitude to her.”