Sedge mat weaving industry in Vinh Thai has just been recognized one of six trade villages of local by Khanh Hoa Provincial People’s Committee.
Sedge mat weaving industry had been in Vinh Thai (Nha Trang city, Khanh Hoa) for over 100 years. Previously, Vinh Thai commune is an agricultural commune that lived mainly on planting rice, after each harvest, people weaved sedge mat to increase revenue, ensure life with available material resources. In the commune, there were some brackish marshes, alkaline suits papyrus (an herbaceous herb, soft, spongy; when harvesting about 1.2 -1.8 meters high) is main raw material to weave mats. Another material for weaving mats is “Tra” plant or jute. Jute is also grown in brackish marshes; “Tra” is also taken from the mountainous area. The fiber of jute and ‘Tra” are spun into fibers, i.e. frame running along to weave into mats. However, now the material area (more than 40 hectares of jute) is no longer, so people have to buy materials completely.
Weaver is preparing mat frame.
Before people cut sedge in the field to dry in the sunlight, classify according to the length of the sedge body to weaving mats into different sizes, now whereas people buy materials made available. After buying, weavers bring sedge to dye with different colors (the usual colors are green, red, yellow) and then dry for fastness, durable color. For the fastness colors, the makers have to stain skillful, right dose and in process, the water has been boiled fast, and then add sedge into.
Once enough material, the first step of weaving mat is to build looms. When weaving, two hands of workers give “cự” (“cự” is made of bamboo) forward creating uncovered fiber between two lanes of fibers. At the same time, there is a person sitting besides put sedge fiber into “lụi” (“lụi” is made of bamboo trees) and workers put “cự” into making the sedge fiber close fitting, each time putting the sedge mats into the fiber must comply under certain colors to create colored mats sophisticated pattern. The weavers continue doing until the mats are completed. While weaving, workers often notice broken two borders for beautiful mats, not crossing out.
The finished mat has been colorful and sophisticated pattern to be liked by many people.
Finishing the first sedge mat, the workers turn to weaving looms to weave the second mat. Vinh Thai has many diverse sedge mats with all kinds of thickness, thin size from 8 inches width to 1.6 meters, many patterns (such as three-piece flower, flag flower, and berries flowers), and change according to user tastes.
Mat weaving is passed down through generations of the same family; solve the idle workforce after the harvest. These mats with brilliant colors and sophisticated pattern are liked by many families. However, sedge mat weaving now in Vinh Thai is increasingly eroded, only a small number of households follow this occupation because the material is out of under the influence of the project planning in the province, the output for all products limited, small-scale, depends on the domestic market, lack of funds ...
Ms. Pham Thi Nho (Thuy Tu hamlet, Vinh Thai commune) said this job is suitable for the older, young people quit this job to work elsewhere. Her two sisters support each other to weave from morning to evening only finish two couples of mats. After deducting expenses of materials, only earn about VND 50,000/day. Although low income but also longer than nothing to do, not have to soak into the rain and the sun. Moreover this job is granted by the ancestors, so they should try to keep it.
For mats weaving industry in Vinh Thai not only products sedge mats but also as a tour attraction to introduce the trade village for visitors as before, local authorities and relevant agencies need to support for capital, product output ... to maintain villages, survive and develop.