Elaborate Red Dao needlework, Sapa, Vietnam

Vietnam’s Red Dao (Yao) people are noted for the elaborate embroidery that decorates their clothing.

Red Dao women TaPhin village

Red Dao woman

A woman’s outfit includes a heavily embroidered tunic, apron, and pants, as well as embroidered accessories. A traditional outfit can take a full year to complete, and traditional clothing is still worn daily by many Dao women. This means that women take their embroidery with them wherever they go, working on it whenever they have a free moment.

Red Dao (Yao) woman sewing

We visited Ta Phin (near Sapa in northern Vietnam) after the fall harvest, so the village women had time to gather together to socialize over their embroidery.

women sewing in TaPhin village

women sewing at TaPhin village

While the embroidery incorporates traditional designs and color schemes, the intensity of the colors used varies with the thread available. When we visited, many women were working with a brilliant yellow thread that glowed in the sunshine.

Red Dao woman sewing

Red Dao woman sewing

Red Dao woman sewing

Red Dao embroidery

Red Dao woman embroidering

It’s gorgeous work.

Vietnam 2015 Itinerary

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