Sustainable fabrics for clothing: Lành Mỹ A

Silk Lành Mỹ A comes from Tân Châu silk village in An Giang province, Vietnam and is known as the silk queen of Vietnam, without rival. It is no coincidence that Lành Mỹ A is honored in this way. It is a truly unique silk, made from the finest silk fibers and dyed using an extremely complex weaving and dyeing process.

The origin of Lành Mỹ A – lacquer silk

In family weaving mills in Tân Châu, the technology to produce this premium traditional material is passed down from generation to generation. An old fashioned Lanh My A silk must have all three elements: it must be made entirely of natural silk, woven with satin-8 techniques (the highest level of weaving technique), and dyed with diospyros mollis fruit (or lước nưa, from now on we use this word to show respect and honor to the master of Lanh My A silk and its fellows). High-quality silkworm weaving materials are required because those that do not meet the standards will easily break during the weaving process, resulting in a coarse product.

Among the stages, dyeing silk is the most complicated stage. That’s it now fruit coloring technique that provides Lanh My A its famous shiny jet black color and its organic processing. On average 50 kilos now fruit required to dye a 10 meter roll of silk. To ensure that each silk thread is absorbed evenly, the silk must be dipped in the dye solution approx. 100 times. The dyeing process starts with drying the silk over and over from morning to noon. The silk is then sun-dried on large lawns – the grass must be firm enough to lift the fabric but soft enough not to scratch it. Silk is expensive; but its texture is similar to cotton, and cannot withstand the hot sun or the high temperatures of a drying oven; it can only be dried in a meadow with light sunlight and wind.

Alternating between dyeing and drying, the silk is washed with Mekong water to remove excess resin on the fabric, then comes the whisking process so that now resin penetrates deep into each silk thread and makes the silk soft and shiny. If the weather is good, it will take about two months for a finished silk cloth. But if it rains, the process will take 3 or 4 months.

It is the feat in the process of making this finished product that Lanh My A silk is increasingly “extinct” even in its birthplace, and craftsmen who keep this secret now rely solely on their fingertips.

Of course, because it is completely handmade and natural, it is the ideal choice for sustainable fashion. We have come a long way to find these silks and transform them into cutting-edge designs.

Photo: Yvette Libby N’Guyen

The future of Lành Mỹ A

Lanh My A is in danger of being lost forever for a number of reasons. The main problem is the decreasing supply of monofruit. Each territory of Lanh My A the roll is 20 meters long and 90 centimeters wide; each roll requires approximately 80-100 kilos now fruit or more to color. There are no longer large lands with trees in the past. Even if it is the soul of Lanh My A silk is simply a plain material without the distinctive glossy black color that creates the silk queen’s signature mark.

Don’t worry trees used to grow wild in Tân Châu and were also heavily planted. But due to many up-and-down events of climate change, forests are shrinking and it is also uncommon for people to set aside land for planting now trees because they take three to five years to bear fruit. Many now trees have been cut down to grow food or use land for more productive purposes. The craftsmen who are still passionate about Lanh My A no longer have enough now fruit resources to produce in the same amount as they did before.

The scarcity of skilled workers is another reason for this Lanh My A will be rare in the future. The silk production process is extremely rigorous. Weaving this silk requires great skill, as well as good health and eyesight. The silk artisans who are skilled in the dyeing process are mostly older and have few heirs. Community in this ecological process is extremely rare.

The cost of Lanh My A is also a concern. Lanh My A is quite expensive compared to many other substances due to the use of high-quality materials and complicated production processes. That is why so few designers worldwide are interested in this material – because it will not be financially viable. But if many people learn about this unique lacquer silk and place large orders, Tân Châu will run out Lanh My A. This vicious circle is extremely difficult to break. Fortunately, Yvette LIBBY N’guyen owns this limited roll.

Photo: Yvette Libby N’Guyen

Keep a dream for the queen of silk

It is not an exaggeration to say that Lanh My A is one of the fashion industry’s luxury treasures. When you hold Lanh My Athe cool silk layer will glide on your fingers, soft and smooth like skin, with a light natural scent of now fruit.

The unique feature of Lanh My Awhich is made from premium silk yarn, is that it does not stretch and does not absorb moisture, making it cool to wear in summer and warm in winter. Lanh My A has a glossy and a matte side, and its magical black color will not fade over time; in fact, the more you use it, the more jet black it gets.

Lanh My A contains the imprint of grasslands, sunlight, wind, river water, the scent of precious tropical fruits, the essence of people passionate about beauty, and the imprint of time.

Yvette Libby is one of those designers who is constantly concerned with preserving local cultural values. Yvette Libby’s design from Lanh My A has helped bring the essence of the traditional Vietnamese craft industry into the world of fashion. As previously mentioned, Lanh My A or lacquer silk now has no commercial value. Yvette Libby came to varnish silk not with a business idea in mind, but with an unconditional love for silk; as we aim to keep dreams alive.

You can also keep the dream to yourself. To hold one Lanh My A shirt or coat in your closet is like holding a dream, because the uncertain future to Lanh My A makes it feel like a fairy and we don’t know if she will ever go away.

Photo: Yvette Libby N’Guyen

Conclusion

The beauty and expensiveness of Lanh My A comes not only from the rarity of this type of silk, but also from its “fascinating” beauty. Furthermore, because patent silk is considered the ideal material for sustainable fashions, the silk queen becomes even more noble and aspirational for fashion lovers.

Do you want to have a lovely dream with the silk queen today? Don’t miss the chance to touch this “heritage”.

Photo: Yvette Libby N’Guyen

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