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11 Awesome destinations for traditional textiles around the world

best destination for textiles around the world

Despite the rise of mass produced, industrially manufactured fashion, the world is still full of artisans and designers making traditional textiles. These wares, dating from a rich history of culture clothing, are often made in the same way they have been for generations and sold at local markets across the world.

Whilst this can seem remarkable, it is and has been a way of life for generations. And you can experience the authenticity and heritage firsthand by dodging the middleman and travelling to textile destinations yourself. You’ll be supporting local designers, sustaining the trade and sourcing incredible fabrics to take home. Here are 12 of the top worldwide destinations for traditional textiles.  


traditional textiles peru fanandez (1)

Photto credit: Fanandex blacket by design-junkie.com

11. PERU

Cuzco in the Peruvian Andes is rich with Incan traditional heritage. It also has the most authentic range of Frazadas, ethnic blankets made from hand spun alpaca wool. Modern artisans use the same techniques as generations before them, and a single Frazada takes about a month to complete. The lengthy process means that many makers are going in search of faster incomes, and there has been a decline in the weaving of this traditional fabric in recent times.

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Countries Life on the road Vietnam

What to pack for a Hill Tribe Tour

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It doesn’t matter how often I travel or how much notice I get before hand, I always leave packing until the utter last minute. If you watched my live Facebook video today you will know that tomorrow I head off on a 9 day fashionable adventure around North Vietnam with Asia Plus to research my route for Haute Culture’s future hill tribe textile tours. Once again it’s the night before and I’m throwing stuff into a bag with as much consideration as a kid in a sweet store, but jokes/bareface reality aside, I thought you might like to know what I pack on my fashionable adventures around the world! Lets have a gander…


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No trip is complete these days without a selfie! Me with the Darang ladies in North Thailand.

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Akha Dao Hmong Traditional Dress Traditional Textiles Vietnam

54 Traditions Under One Roof! Why Vietnam’s Museum Of Ethnology Is Totally Worth The Taxi Ride!

Vietnams museum of ethnology hanoi

Vietnam’s Museum of Ethnology presents an outstanding collection of anthropological artifacts from Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minorities and it’s neighboring countries in South East Asia.  Cultural costume, traditional textiles, handicrafts and tribal art are creatively curated indoors 2 buildings, along side an impressive display of life size ethnic houses and every day objects.  Although the museums location is 20 minute taxi ride from the city center, the Museum of Ethnology is a must for any culture vulture and craft lover visiting the countries capital city and northern rural provinces.

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Countries Traditional Dress Traditional Dress & Textiles Traditional Textiles Vietnam

4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Miss The Vietnamese Women’s Museum In Hanoi

Vietnamese women’s museum Hanoi

Located in the heart of Hanoi, the Vietnamese Women’s Museum is a modern memorial dedicated to showcasing the outstanding creative and political contributions Vietnamese women have made to society and culture. Textiles, fashion, stories, portraits and art made by Vietnam’s truly heroic and talented women are beautifully curated over four floors, making the museum a must see sight for anyone passionate about women’s studies.


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1950’s Vintage Flower Hmong blouse with hand stitched embroidery and applique

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Countries Dao Traditional Dress Traditional Dress & Textiles Traditional Textiles Tribes Vietnam

Ethnic Embroidery Lessons With The Red Dao in Vietnam

Ethnic Embroidery Lesson with the Red Dao in Sapa

Ta Phin is a Red Dao hill tribe village near the Chinese Vietnam boarder. Just a short 3 hour hike from the former French colonial town of Sapa, Ta Phin has become a popular tourist destination for it’s epic landscapes and ethnic minority encounters. It is impossible to walk by the village without seeing a abundance of scarlet clad sewers eagerly stitching their souvenirs to sell to passers by. January 2016 would be my 5th visit to Sapa from my home in Hanoi, only this time I would be taking the traditional textile techniques into my own hands by enrolling on a 1 day Red Dao ethnic embroidery class.


Hiking in Sapa

One of the incredible views on the hike to Tamay’s house in Ta Phin

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Countries Lao Lu Traditional Dress Traditional Dress & Textiles Traditional Textiles Tribes Vietnam

Turbans, Textiles and Traditional Dress of the Lao Lu in North Vietnam

Ethnic travel Lao Lu hill tribe Vietnam

Lao Lu people have many different names and live in a range of countries spanning South East Asia’s boarders, in Vietnam this decorative and resourceful Buddhist group reside in isolated and introverted villages found deep in the low lands near the mountains of Lai Chau province. Miles away from the nearest roads visiting the Lao Lu feels like you have stepped into a National Geographic postcard. Women can be seen weaving and wearing their traditional threads on a daily basis, smoke billows from chimneys on top of wooden stilt houses, and fields of corn crops blow lightly in the breeze against a back drop of forest clad highlands.

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Countries Hmong Traditional Dress & Textiles Traditional Textiles Tribes Vietnam

Textile Tribes of Vietnam: Black Hmong Hemp & Indigo with My & Ker

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Hi everyone I would like to introduce My, a Black Hmong girl living at ETHOS – Spirit of the Community with her mum, and Ker, a tour guide at Ethos specialising in hemp and indigo cultivation. These two lovely ladies will be our teachers today, explaining and demonstrating how Hmong people still grow, weave and dye hemp fabric and indigo for their clothes.

The aim of these video demonstrations is to create a understanding of Hmong heritage, traceability and to encourage the future production of Hmong organic fabrics and fashion. 


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Countries Dao Guides Hmong Shopping Tribes Vietnam Vietnam

Responsible Tourism: A Guide to Giving Back in Sapa

Ethical things to do in sapa

With the vast majority of hill tribe minorities in Sapa formally uneducated and therefore unemployed I have put together a list of socially responsible and/or independent people and places to invest your precious cash and time with. I hope that this guide will give tourists more opportunity to make a conscious and caring choice when visiting Sapa.

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Countries Dao Traditional Dress Traditional Dress & Textiles Traditional Textiles Tribes Vietnam

Textile Tribes of Vietnam: The Dao of Tinh Tuc

Tinh Tuc Vietnam Textile Tribes

In August 2015 I set off on my own self initiated tribal textiles tour of Ha Giang Province in North Vietnam. Known as home to 70% of Vietnams 54 registered ethnic minority groups, Ha Giang promised to be a eyeopening and electic adventure for any textiles ethuasist.

The majority of people touring this province are either free-spirited motorbikers or nature loving tourist groups. I was on a mission to make contact, see and try and learn about traditional dress and textiles of the enigmatic people living in these remote areas.

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Countries Dao Traditional Dress Traditional Dress & Textiles Traditional Textiles Tribes Vietnam

Red Dao Weddings, Ta Phin, Sapa

Red Dao Wedding Sapa

The Red Dao hill tribe population of Sapa are one subdivision of Dao people living in the highlands of North Vietnam. Red Dao women are considered the most skilled embroiders of all hill tribes. Their scarlet drenched ensembles are sophisticated examples of hand stitched cultural symbology and showcase generations of dedication to sewn storytelling. The Red Dao wedding dress is seen as the summit of success in a women’s sewing accomplishments. Mother and daughter are known spend up to 1 year making nothing else but a brand new ceremonial outfit in preparation for the big day.

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Countries Hmong Traditional Dress Traditional Dress & Textiles Traditional Textiles Tribes Vietnam

Bac Ha Market: Flower Hmong Fashions

Flower Hmong Hill Tribe at Bac Ha Market, Vietnam

Bac Ha market is heavily populated with the colour clashing, pattern loving, bead encrusted, Flower Hmong hill tribe people of Vietnam. Women and girls of all ages are a sight of sore eyes sporting an almost psychedelic colour pallet of rainbow adorned cultural clothes that contrast against the drab concrete backdrop of the town.  2 1/2 hrs drive from Sapa makes Bac Ha market it a worthy destination for any textiles tourist traveling the Lai Chau and Lao Cai provinces.

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Countries Lolo Traditional Dress Traditional Dress & Textiles Traditional Textiles Tribes Vietnam

Ethnic Travel in Vietnam: The Black LoLo Hill Tribe of Bao Lac

Ethnic Travel in Vietnam Black Lolo Bao Lac

My ethnic travel adventures in the North of Vietnam unexpectedly introduced me to the Black Lolo hill tribe of Bao Lac. The Black Lolo (also know as the Lolo Den and Lolo Noir) reside high in the mountains surrounding the small town of Bao Lac in Cao Bang Province. The Black Lolo are identifiable by the black cultural clothes they wear from which their name derives. In August 2015 I motorbiked from Ha Giang to Bao Lac to research the cultural costume and textiles of some of the 54 ethnic minority groups that live in these rural areas. It was on this visit to the Lolo village that I began to question the ethics and responsibility of my research when visiting remote communities.

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Countries Guides Shopping Vietnam Vietnam

25 Things To Do In Saigon ( Ho Chi Minh City )

Haute Culture Guide to Saigon Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
Dress by Lucy’s Dream 

Want to skip the tourist traps and escape the city’s sweltering surge? Saigon has heaps of secret places to shop, amazing street art to see and an electric skyline to sip cocktails over in style.  Throughout this post Haute Culture is going to introduce you to Saigon’s best kept secrets for a more sophisticated and savvy stay in Vietnam’s capital for commerce and contemporary culture.

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Countries Traditional Dress & Textiles Traditional Textiles Trends Vietnam

Conscious Clothing & Sustainable Textiles in Vietnam

Kilomet 109 natural dyeing eco fashion Vietnam

Conscious Clothing – Sustainable Textiles – Grow Local – Wear Global

Thao Vu, winner of the British Fashion Councils Young Creative Entrepeneur Award is the aspirational visionary designer behind the contemporary conscious clothing brand Kilomet 109.

Established in 2012, Kilomet 109 specialises in seamlessly merging simple yet sophisticated european silhouettes, traditional ethnic details and endangered natural dyeing techniques to create her own sustainable textiles range. The range is practically grown from seed to seam as Thao also owns organic cotton, indigo and hemp plantations employing Nung minority women to weave the natural fibers into her latest collections.

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Countries Guides Shopping Vietnam Vietnam

10 Things To Do In Hoi An Ancient City, Vietnam

haute cultures guide to hoi an vietnam

Looking for awesome things to do in Hoi An? Let’s take a look at Haute Culture’s Top 10 highs and lows for you to make the most of your time here.

The ancient port town of Hoi An dates back to the 15th century and is home to an artistic architectural fusion of Chinese, Japanese and French aesthetics. The pretty and peaceful town has both a traditional and cosmopolitan charm and is blessed with sun drenched streets most of the year round. Fashion lovers flock to Hoi An to take advantage of its long lineage of tailors famous for magically making made-to-measure clothes and shoes in just a few days.

With an array of beautiful beaches to bask on, romantic lantern lit streets to stroll along and arguably is Vietnam’s finest cuisine to dine on, scroll down to view my top 10.

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