In harmonious combination with Ao Dai- Vietnamese women's traditional dress, "non la" creates charming and romantic beauty leaving deep impressions on any tourists who visits this S-shaped strip of land.
The hat is creatively made of simple and available materials, such as dry palm leaves, bark of Moc tree and bamboo. After being carefully selected, young green palm leaves are displayed under the sun until they dry but are still soft enough to be flattened. Afterwards, the leaves are sewn on a conical frame consisting of 16 round bamboo rims.Finally, the hat is trimmed and painted with a coat of attar to keep it clean, smooth, and water-proof. Thanks to the hand of skillful artisans, those natural materials are smoothly tapered from the base to the apex to produce beautiful conical hat.
For visitors who want to know how conical hat is made, let travel 30 km South West of Hanoi to Chuong traditional village which is well-known for its hand-made palm-leaf conical hats for centuries. Vietnam’s special conical hats are usually adorned with colorful manually-stitched patterns of traditional countryside landscapes, rice fields or bamboo hedges.
The ancient capital of Hue, birthplace of many famous and talented poets, is famous for its “non bai tho” (poetical conical hats) which are decorated with poetic verses, romantic characters and beautiful images of Hue. Those unique and sophisticated decorations become readable when being exposed under the sunlight. Being useful and convenient, the “non la” has been widely used in Vietnamese daily life, especially in rural areas to protect themselves from the sunshine and rain.
In general, Vietnamese clothing is very diverse from region to region. Some of traditional clothes are now not very popular, but they will never been forgotten because of its frequent presence in special occasions like Tet holiday, traditional festivals and cultural shows.