Ha Thai lacquer – a unique famous trade village in Hanoi


Traditional craft villages of Ha Thai lacquer lies the old highway 1A, near the Quan Ganh bridge, turn left on inter-communal Duyen Thai, pass viaduct then come to village. Past, the village has called Cu Trang Giang, in 1870 renamed the Dong Thai village and early twentieth century it was officilly named Ha Thai village. Legend, Ha Thai paint job around the seventeenth century, then just paint job clarity. The land is not ancestral of Vietnam’s paint job, but on Ha Thai painting ward was important because there are many talented craftsmen, skilled and creative.

Ha Thai lacquer -  a unique famous trade village in Hanoi

Of the early 30th of previous century, the first painter Vietnam in the school of Fine Arts of Indochina was discovered explore other color materials such as eggs shell, snails, bamboo splint … and especially bring technique grind, create a unique lacquer technique for creating lacquer paintings actually. The term lacquer and lacquer appeared since then.Lacquer color using traditional materials like black lacquer, yellow brown lacquer make adhesive matter, and other types of lipstick, silver steel, gold, steel, pearl shell …

When new born, lacquer only three colors black paint , red lacquer and yellow brown paint. Thanks to explore the creative process of many artists, the palette of lacquer is now richer. Splendid colors of lacquer, but loving, visible many layer. Lacquer products with elegant shape, the charming shapes ethnic shades such as banian tree & river wharf, ferry-boat with baboo, Halong bay, one pillar pagoda… It is often noted that lacquer is the point “nonsensical”: want to make dry drawings has just painted, drawings must be incubated in airtight cabinets and high humidity. Want to see the paintings that abration to see. Nowadays, people have built successful industrial paints can replace traditional types of lacquer, so many advantages, especially in production easier and color paintings are extremely rich.

Lacquer job have very elaborately, many stages. Each stage requires a professional to do it patiently, meticulously, take a loving care this job, if not, the complete product will not see a soul anywhere. It can be said lacquer technology only general principles, but differ in experience and techniques of each individual, each family, as it was making technical changes suitable paintings different create statue, different from decorative objects, paint cover golden age … Technology can be described by a lacquer of the following main stages: bundle of cuttings build, decorate, grinding and polishing.

Ha Thai lacquer -  a unique famous trade village in Hanoi

Create basic shape

Create basic shape (objects to paint) used to be on the trowel to use Ba paper, this paper made from Do wood that should very tough, durable firmly more fabric. A method to create basic shape was conducted following: used alluvial soil (today workers can use the stone powder) mixed with finely painted with Ban paper then fill in slit of wood. Each class paint line a layer paper (or material for mosquito-nets), then mortise chisel gills to set the paint for horizontal wood hem after wood against vertical cracks of fabric. Then, wood dried paint covered both the front, back. This stage is mainly to protect the body panels can not waterproof, no termite, environment dependent shrinkage of wood. Process more carefully, the longer the life expectancy for things to paint, each lacquer have life-span about 300 to 400 year.


When there was the framework above (or model touch as flower vases, natural picture and other things), who manufacture the items glue, paste coloring materials for the work first such as eggshell , pieces of pearl, gold, silver … then later painted surface grinding, followed by using color.

With the technical coatings paint statue and furniture like: incense, horizontal lacquered board, parallel sentences … workers do in the closed room and gather around the screen to prevent wind blown material: yellow anemone, anemone silver, avoid dust paint is still wet.

Grinding and spruce up

Because shining oil has colored to draw, it remains submerged in the gloss color forming deep level of paintings, so after each drawing must be grinding. The ancients used dried banana leaf as draft paper. Until now, the last method shine paintings nothing has replaced manual methods, because this type of paintings is not allowed the varnish. That is the unique point of lacquer. The success of a lacquer painting depends greatly on the final stages. There are some things to grinding and polishing as Xoan wood grilled, hair disorder, chicken liver stones.

To get the color of fresh products, a special stage is crucial phase of the paint. Each family, each facility has a separate paint mixing secrets, create your own style. Experience mix paint in traditional painting methods now give way to technical preparations for modern painting. There have been a few changes to reduce excess movements, creating new paint gloss, durable, beautiful. Overall, the mixing paints have especially important role, determining the success or failure of the product. So we paint mixing stage before as now, still requires an experienced painter to paint from cooking paint stage, thick painted , to try to cooked paint stages. Whether any stage also requires workers to be patient, scrupulous.

In both traditional festival held in May 6 / 2009 in Hue, Ha Thai lacquer is one of 12 villages in the country known as Chu Dau pottery, Bat Trang, Tho Ha (North region), Bau Truc ( Ninh Thuan), Go (Binh Thuan), Binh Duong Ceramics, Pottery Quang Nam, Phuoc Tich pottery (Thua Thien Hue province), Binh Duong pottery, Quang Nam pottery ,Phuoc Tich pottery (Hue), Binh Duong lacquer : Gallery of Ha Thai lacquer has attracted large crowds of visitors, especially foreign tourists.

Ha Thai lacquer -  a unique famous trade village in Hanoi

Lacquer products of Ha Thai trade villages have very nice area on the furniture of the trade Center construction materials and equipment furnished Melinh Plaza. This is where the foreign guests on the way to the airport can visit the shop and the Ha Thai lacquer products.

If you have a chance to Hanoi take a little time to visit Ha Thai trade village to get firsthand look at how the workers here blow soul in this art lacquer.

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I’m a man who love Hanoi and Vietnam. I like discovery other culture in the world. Along with the advent of Tell me about Hanoi, I want to give those who love travel, Vietnam keen to discover from the history, culture, traditions and customs to the interesting tours, the felt throughout on roads of the country more than 4000 years of glorious history. Wish everyone had enjoyable trip and feel a lot from beautiful country of this S-shaped!