The hospitality of ethnic minority children and adults warms visitors who put on three or four jackets and traverse hundreds of kilometers of winding roads and in cold weather to the village. There, they are welcomed by friendly smiles and greetings of locals, particularly lasses.
What surprises visitors to the village is that the Mong women do not need to wear shawls and jackets in such a harsh weather, as their clothes made of linen help keep them warm from the bitter cold in the mountainous region.
“Linen is like an air conditioner as it cools our body in summer and keeps us warm in winter,” a Mong lass says.
She furthers that is why the Mong people have chosen brocade linen as the main material for dresses for many generations and preserved the tradition of weaving this cloth until on January 19.
It takes some 41 steps to weave a piece of cloth. In brief, people have to dry the flax, take out the fiber, crush and boil it in ash and wax water before threading yarn on a loom. A finished cloth needs to be washed for about ten times and rubbed with beeswax until it becomes smooth and silky.
Local women are not only good at weaving but also master in textile dyeing with a unique technique and skills hardly seen in other parts of the country.
The brocade craft tradition at Lung Tam Village used to be on the verge of extinction when the mass production of clothes with much cheaper prices from China flooded the local market. But it has been restored since 2001 and provided job for more than 120 people.
Local women now can diversify their brocade products and make not only dresses but also shirts, skirts, iPad and pillow covers and tablecloth.
With eco-friendly material, unique patterns and colors, the artwork of Lung Tam artists are preferred by foreign tourists, especially Japanese and European visitors.