In Vietnam, there are many types of local hats but Non la is the most special one. Non la was first manufactured for the purpose of sunshade heads but later it is also used as an accessory of women. Each region has its own characteristics in producing this conical hat but Hue is the center of producing Non la in Vietnam with the beauty that you cannot find anywhere else. As a result, you must visit traditional non la making village on your Hue tour.
Tay Ho Village
The conical hat has been making industry develop in Hue for hundreds of years, with many famous traditional villages such as Da Le, Phu Cam, Doc So, Tay Trieu, Kim Long, etc. Today, famous craft such as Tay Ho, Phu Ho, My Lam, Phu My, Phu Vang, Phu Cam, Phuoc Vinh, Doc So, West, Huong So in Hue makes millions of Non la every year, which is not only to adapt the guests’ demand, but also to supply as a special souvenir for visitors to the four directions to Hue.
Leaf making Non la
Tay Ho is the most prominent name in making Non la that is the origin of the famous conical hat in Hue. Tay Ho conical hats have origin from Phu Ho Commune, Phu Vang District, about 12 km from Hue City. You must remember to visit here to have the best tours in Vietnam. In Tay Ho, not only women know how to make a hat but even men can help to make a ring to the hat. Initially, the hat was mainly made for relatives. But after many tourists have come and love the scenery here, the conical hat with poems squeezed between two leaves became an indispensable souvenir. Today, to make the hat more attractive, the craftsmen also press the picture of the Perfume River beside the poem.
Even though Tay Ho is famous for making Non la, when finding a place to buy genuine conical hats, tourists often come to Da Le Market, Thuy Van Commune, Huong Thuy District on their Hue tours. However, every market in Hue sells conical hats, from big markets such as Dong Ba, An Cuu, Ben Ngu to small markets such as Sia, Pho Trach, Da Le, etc are the name most attracted by both making and selling hat.
The conical hat in Hue is a true artwork. In order to have a hat convention, artisans making Hue cones have to go through many meticulous steps, requiring the diligence and skill of the craftsman, from picking frame, corrugated, roofing, cutting pattern, finishing the hat and finally polishing for preservation. Perhaps that is the reason why Hue hat is very popular with many visitors who enjoy their Hue culture tour.
Making the frame is the first step to determine the degree, roundness, shape, size of the hat. The cone is made of lightweight wood with curved roofs of various sizes. If there is no change in design to meet the market demand, the cone is made of trunks, mulberry trees. Each hat has from 15 to 16 rings, which many people said that it is to imply 16-year-old girl. Leaves used in Non la are normal conical leaves, but they are selected through a variety of treatment, steaming, drying, frosting, flat so that the leaves are kept white at high standards.
Next step is arranging leaf stage, set patterns, symbols between the two layers of leaves so that when looking from the inside, the symbolic pattern is clearly balanced. The hidden symbol in the conical hat in Hue is often the image of Truong Tien Bridge, Ngu Binh Mountain, Ngo Mon Gate, Phu Van Lau, Thanh Toan Tiles, etc. Along with the symbols are some famous poems written about Hue on a five-color paper, highlighting the background of white cones. Hue conical hats are always made of two layers. The craftsman must be careful in arranging the leaves so that they are not overlapping layers. In some place, they finally cover the conical hats with oil several times before drying it under the sun.
For a long time, Non la and Ao Dai have become the interesting parts to discover in a culture tour in Hue. If you want to go to Hue, you should visit the handicraft village.