Silk Lãnh Mỹ A comes from Tân Châu silk village in An Giang province, Vietnam, and is known as the silk queen of Vietnam, with no rival. It is no coincidence that Lãnh Mỹ A is honored in this manner. It is a truly one-of-a-kind silk, made from the finest silk fibers and dyed using an extremely complex weaving and dyeing process.
The origin of Lãnh Mỹ A – lacquer silk
In family weaving mills in Tân Châu, the technology for producing this premium traditional material is passed down from generation to generation. An old-fashioned Lãnh Mỹ A silk must have all three elements: it must be made entirely of natural silk, woven using the satin-8 techniques (the highest level in weaving technique), and dyed with diospyros mollis fruit (or mặc nưa, from now on we use this word to show the respect and honor to the master of Lãnh Mỹ 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 phase. It is the mặc nưa fruit dyeing technique that gives Lãnh Mỹ A its famous shiny, jet-black color and its ecological processing. On average, 50 kilograms of mặc nưa fruit is required to dye a 10 meter silk roll. To ensure that each silk thread is evenly absorbed, the silk must be dipped in the dyeing solution approximately 100 times. The dyeing process starts with drying the silk over and over from morning to noon. Then the silk is 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 it's 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 any excess resin on the fabric, then comes the beating process so that the mặc nưa resin penetrates deeply 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 would take 3 or 4 months.
It is the feat in the process of creating this finished product that Lãnh Mỹ A silk is becoming increasingly "extinct" even in its birthplace, with artisans who hold this secret now relying solely on their fingertips.
Of course, because it is entirely handmade and natural, it is the ideal choice for sustainable fashion. We’ve come a long way to find these silks and transform them into ground-breaking designs.
The future of Lãnh Mỹ A
Lãnh Mỹ A is in danger of being lost forever for a variety of reasons. The main issue is the diminishing supply of mona fruit. Each territory of Lãnh Mỹ A roll is 20 meters in length and 90 centimeters in width; each roll requires approximately 80-100 kilograms of mặc nưa fruit or more to dye. There are no longer vast lands of trees in the past. Although it is the soul of Lãnh Mỹ A , silk is simply a common material without the characteristic glossy black color that creates the signature brand of the silk queen.
Mặc nưa trees used to grow wild in Tân Châu and were also heavily planted. However, due to many up-and-down incidents of climate change, the forests are shrinking, and it is also uncommon for people to set aside land to plant mặc nưa trees because they take three to five years to bear fruit. Many mặc nưa trees have been cut down in order to grow food or use land for more productive purposes. The artisans who are still passionate about Lãnh Mỹ A no longer have enough mặc nưa fruit resources to produce in the same quantity that they did previously.
The scarcity of skilled workers is another reason why Lãnh Mỹ A will be rare in the future. The silk manufacturing process is extremely strict. Weaving this silk requires great skill, as well as good health and vision. The silk artisans who are skilled in the dyeing process are mostly elderly and have few heirs. The fellowship of this ecological process is extremely rare.
The cost of Lãnh Mỹ A is also a concern. Lãnh Mỹ A is quite expensive compared to many other fabrics due to the use of high-quality materials and complicated manufacturing processes. That is why so few designers worldwide are interested in this material - because it will not be economically viable. However, if many people learn about this unique lacquer silk and place large orders, Tân Châu will run out of Lãnh Mỹ A. This vicious circle is extremely difficult to break. Fortunately enough, Yvette LIBBY N’guyen owns this limited roll.
Keep a dream for the queen of silk
It is not an exaggeration to say that Lãnh Mỹ A is one of the fashion industry's luxury treasures. When you hold Lãnh Mỹ A, the cool silk layer will glide on your fingers, soft and smooth like skin, with a light natural scent of mặc nưa fruit.
The outstanding feature of Lãnh Mỹ A, which is made from premium silk yarn, is that it does not stretch and does not absorb moisture, making it cool to wear in the summer and warm in the winter. Lãnh Mỹ A has a glossy and a matte side, and its magical black color will not fade over time; in fact, the more you wear it, the more jet-black it becomes.
Lãnh Mỹ A contains imprints of grasslands, sunlight, wind, river water, the fragrance of precious tropical fruits, the essence of people who are passionate about beauty, and time imprints.
Yvette Libby is one of those designers who is constantly concerned with preserving local cultural values. Yvette Libby's designs from Lãnh Mỹ A have helped to bring the essence of the Vietnamese traditional handicraft industry into the fashion world. As previously stated, Lãnh Mỹ A or lacquer silk now has no commercial value. Yvette Libby came to lacquer 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 your dream to yourself. Keeping a Lãnh Mỹ A shirt or coat in your closet is like keeping a dream, because the uncertain future of Lãnh Mỹ A makes it feel like a fairy, and we don't know if she will ever disappear.
The beauty and preciousness of Lãnh Mỹ A come not only from the rarity of this type of silk but also from its "fascinating" beauty. Furthermore, because lacquer silk is regarded as the ideal material for sustainable fashions, the silk queen becomes even more noble and aspirational to fashion lovers.
Do you want to have a lovely dream with the silk queen today? Don't pass up the chance to touch this "legacy."