A brocade preserver


(QNO) - Nguyen Thi Kim Lan, a Co Tu woman is known for nearly 20 years of preserving her ethnic brocade.

Nguyen Thị Kim Lan
Nguyen Thị Kim Lan

After nearly 20 years since she first left her village with some brocade products for cities, Kim Lan is now a manager of the Zara traditional brocade corporative. She is always found at every festival or exhibition in Quang Nam, Da Nang, or Ha Noi.

As a Co Tu woman, Kim Lan knew how to weave brocade when she was young; and she loves it. The loom is considered as Co Tu women’s life; however, it once hung up against the wall. It was the time when Co Tu brocade was neither attractive nor useful to the Co Tu people themselves. Thinking about the risk of the disappearance of Co Tu brocade, she felt worried. The love of brocade and weaving brocade encouraged her to look for the way to preserve her ethnic traditional product. She tried to convince the women in her village to return to the loom with a promise of the output for their brocade products. As a result, there were 30 Co Tu women convinced and the Zara traditional brocade village was born. At that time, she was not afraid of difficulties in looking for her products’ markets and learning marketing methods. Then her attempts were reciprocated. Her Zara traditional brocade village was chosen in the programme of traditional craft village restoration in Nam Giang district (Quang Nam province) funded by the Foundation for International Development/Relief (FIDR) in 2003.

Co Tu brocade is beautiful, strange, and fascinating with a variety of unique patterns. It is the reason why the Co Tu brocade booth under the Zara traditional brocade corporative is always attractive to visitors at the festivals or exhibitions. Besides cloth, there are many kinds of brocade products, such as clothes, handbags and decorative things, made by Zara village. It is the beauty of Co Tu traditional brocade, the creation and the love the woman named Kim Lan reserves for Co Tu brocade that make Co Tu brocade products are well-known not only in domestic markets but also in international ones such as the USA, Japan, Australia. The Co Tu women can now be proud of their weaving products, which helps to raise their income, better their lives and their future.

For Nguyen Thi Kim Lan, Zara brocade is her blood and her life. She never tells anything about herself but weaving brocade and Zara. As a grandma of two grandchildren, Kim Lan is currently no longer young; but she is still going on her journey for the sustainable development of Co Tu traditional brocade in the rise time of cheap readymade garments. Till now, it can be said that Kim Lan is a typical image of brave, energetic, decisive, and hardworking woman.