Hanoi's veteran artisan helps promote embroidery craft hinh anh 1

79-year-old embroidery artisan Nguyen Quoc Su still works on his embroidery frame every day, helping to preserve and promote the traditional craftof the nation (Photo: VNA)


Nguyen Quoc Su, a 79-year-old embroidery artisan who has practised the craft for over 60 years, still works on his embroidery frame every day, helping to preserve and promote the traditional craft of the nation.

Su was born in 1942 in Khoai Noi village, Thang Loi commune, Hanoi's Thuong Tin district, which is considered the "cradle" of the traditional embroidery craft. For more than 400 years, the craft has been preserved by local people and passed on to younger generations.

Talented craftsman 

Su said he has been acquainted with embroidery frames and colourful threads since he was a small child, even before he was taught how to embroider. Su officially learned the craft when he was 13 years old and time has nurtured his love for this craft.  

With his skillful hands and eagerness to learn, he was just 16 years old when he began working as a technician at Hop Tien Embroidery Cooperative, becoming the youngest worker there.

Su is now the owner of Quoc Su Handmade Embroidery JSC in Thang Loi commune, which has an office in Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi. These are prestigious sources of beautiful handmade embroidery pieces for those with a love for the craft.

The firm is not only famous in this country but also in foreign markets. Its products are exported to many countries and territories of the world.

Hanoi's veteran artisan helps promote embroidery craft hinh anh 2

Apicturesque still-life embroidery (Photo: VietnamPlus)


With Su’s skillful hands, the embroidery products produced there are unlike those produced anywhere else. Each product is a sophisticated piece of art. Due to the demand for such intricate items, Su still works hard to serve demand even though he recently turned 79 years old.

With more than 60 years of experience, Su has embroidered many amous works. He had displayed his products at many competitions and exhibitions worldwide, helping to promote the beauty of Vietnamese culture to international friends.

With the work "Uncle Ho's stilt house," shown at an exhibition in Russia in 1980, Su was awarded a prize for scientific and technical innovation as well as the Order of Lenin by General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, L.I. Brezhnev. 

Su’s embroideries are not only harmonious in colour, but also precise and smooth down to every stitch.

In 1972, Party General Secretary Le Duan visited the Hop Tien Cooperative and showed keen interest in the handmade embroideries.

Encouraged by the General Secretary, Su attended a painting class at the central college of fine arts. In 1975, Su started to embroider Uncle Ho's portrait after graduated from the training course.

Whenever he talked about his first embroidery portrait, which is also his favourite embroidery, Su was still moved.

The artwork made him famous throughout the embroidery villages of the north at that time. More than 40 years have passed and the embroidery portrait is still placed in the living room of his house.

Landscape embroideries made by the elderly artisan also have an irresistible charm.

Su said creating a landscape embroidery is like writing, your stitches have to express the soul of the clouds, the sky and the wind.

Efforts to keep the embroidery craft alive

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, the craft has been seriously affected but Su has still been exerting every effort to maintain the operation of his cooperative.

In recent years, Su and his family have organised free embroidery classes for those who wanted to learn.

With his mastery of the craft and enthusiasm for the profession, Su has trained many generations of good workers. Some graduates have been able to open their own embroidery workshops while some have been recruited to work at Su’s workshop.

Source: VNA