During a trip to visit friends in Thua Thien-Hue province’s Huong Tra town in 2018, Vo Ngoc Hung happened to see a thick and large forest of almond leaves, and the idea of making conical hats from the leaves came to him.
Making a conical hat involves a lot of work. First, Hung needs to choose suitable leaves and soak them in a baking soda solution to remove the green pigmentation.
He then takes them out a month and a half later to scrape off whatever green is left, leaving behind leaves that are transparent.
"I shape the conical hat with the stalks on top to form the tip of the hat, weave it, and put it through a moisture-proofing process to avoid mould," Hung said.
In addition to transparent almond leaf conical hats, Hung also sells conical hats painted with landmarks, flowers, or patterns of the former imperial capital.
He has also created many other products from almond leaves, such as bags, hats, fans, and umbrellas. These products have contributed to creating popular tourism products in the former imperial capital.
Hung said: "An almond leaf conical hat boasts both modern and traditional characteristics. It is highly usable and eco-friendly, and can make women look beautiful."
The small house of artisan Vo Ngoc Hung has become a destination for many visitors to Hue.
Hung plans to open vocational training classes for disadvantaged and street children, to help them find stable jobs and continue to create unique and specific products from Hue./.VNA