Hanoi’s craft villages developed in close association with the history of Thang Long - Hanoi. In the past, the population was mainly indigenous people - craft villages appeared but were still scattered. After King Ly Thai To decided to transfer the capital from Hoa Lu to Thang Long, people from all over the country rushed to the outskirts of the city to live and work. Both men and women brought with them skills passed on from their parents and grandparents.
The craft villages are mainly concentrated on the outskirts of the city. Around West Lake, there are many villages that grow flowers, vegetables and ornamental plants, craft bronze castings, silk weaving and paper making. Ha Dong region has villages growing mulberries, raising silk worms, silk reeling and silk weaving. The left bank of the Red River with Bat Trang village is famous for making ceramics. At the beginning of the 20th century a number of new professions emerged such as tailoring, shoe making and photography.
After 1954 craft cooperatives were established and private production disappeared. Since 1986, with the renovation policy, the development of the market economy and international integration, the cooperatives gradually dissolved and as a result, the traditional crafts faced many difficulties. Some villages changed products, improved techniques and increased trade to recover and develop.
In 2019, Hanoi had 1,350 craft villages with more than 300 of these craft villages recognized as traditional craft villages. The craft village has a close relationship with “The 36 Streets" area, both to sell products and provide workers for craft streets.
The exhibition: “Hanoi - The land of hundreds of occupations” introduces 5 craft villages: Bat Trang ceramics, Phu Vinh bamboo and rattan weaving, Van Phuc silk weaving, Quat Dong embroidery, and Dinh Cong jewellery.