Embroidery is actually a simple activity that anyone can take part in. VNS Photo Tường Vân

A female fashion designer with a passion for her art is running a modern embroidery workshop to connect with people and add variety to what was a monotonous life.

Nguyễn Kim Chi, 37 is the class organiser and teacher. As a fashion designer specialising in tailoring, her interests are sewing, drawing, and colour matching.

The Cúc Chi class is held in 25B Hàn Thuyên Alley in Hà Nội to introduce the embroidery craft. Since its inception in 2019, it has attracted many learners from a wide range of backgrounds.

"My life's rhythm became repetitive after running a tailor shop for six years, making me feel bored. In 2017, I enrolled in a basic embroidery class to have a bit of fun, but soon discovered that I absolutely love it. I spent nearly two years on my own researching, learning, and practising various stitching methods," Chi said.

"In 2019, when I became acquainted with stitching, I decided to share this experience with everyone. It was my desire to open the workshop to entertain people. Because at the time, there were very few workshops in Hà Nội."

A workshop of the Cúc Chi class.

Unlike traditional Vietnamese embroidery, which is learnt privately and takes many years to perfect, this style of embroidery just takes a few days to acquire the basic techniques.

"Traditional embroidery appears to contain few repeating patterns. Meanwhile, there are various forms of modern embroidery that I greatly enjoy because of its richness," Chi said.

Attending an embroidery course can also help learners relax after a long and stressful day at work.

"When you embroider, your mind will be brought to an empty state, like you are meditating," said Nguyễn Thị Yến Nhi, an assistant teacher.

"You only need to focus on the needle and thread. Embroidery was something that anyone could do," she said.

"Before I began practising embroidery, I assumed that it was an activity reserved for a select group of gifted individuals. This activity, however, is open to individuals of all ages and genders."

The activity is held monthly in the city, with the goal of providing participants more frequent opportunities for interaction and sharing. Since the group is small, the quality of embroidery in the course is ensured, and everyone feels at ease connecting.

The Cúc Chi class has organised a variety of embroidery activities.

Nguyễn An, a 34-year-old office worker in the course, said: "Actually, I used to teach myself to embroider. I signed up for this class because I wanted the teacher to provide suggestions that I would not have known if I had studied online. I gained many new methods after taking this course."

The Cúc Chi class has a lesson plan that includes fundamental and widely applicable embroidery patterns. The class consulted a number of close students after a few years of organising sessions. As a result, the stitching activities have become more novel, and students learn what is most practical.

The class has also taught various forms of embroidery, including mask embroidery, bag embroidery, scarf embroidery, and hair tie embroidery.

"For a newbie like me, these embroidery tutorials are challenging. Ms Chi, on the other hand, has a good method of communicating that I find easy to comprehend, so I'm not having too much trouble. I will go to embroidery lessons whenever there are any available," Thanh Huyền, a university lecturer and participant, said.

Chi is delighted with the success of the class and hopes it will find an ever wider group of participants.

"The form of organising embroidery classes has gained popularity around the world, particularly in South Korea and Japan. Most of those classes have a somewhat high participation fee and are primarily for locals. So, I have a dream that I will go to many countries across the world to organise embroidery classes for the overseas Vietnamese community."

In addition to Hà Nội, the Cúc Chi class has held embroidery activities in other localities, such as Hải Phòng, Đà Nẵng, Huế, Hồ Chí Minh City, An Giang, and Cần Thơ. The class is also planning to establish workshops for foreigners in Hà Nội in the near future. VNS