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5 ways to distinguish the handicraft products of the ethnic people in Sapa and Chinese products14:15:32 | 23-04-2020 | Directory: What to buy?


5 ways to distinguish the handicraft products of the ethnic people in Sapa and Chinese products

When traveling  anywhere, besides enjoying the beautiful landscapes, specialities, the tourists always want  to buy something for their family and friends as a present. However, to choose one product of the local people is not a simple challenge,  because products of Chinese people or other locals are imported massively. To help the tourists can choose the authentic products made by the locals in Sapa-Lao Cai, we will show you 5 different characteristics between Sapa’s products and China’s products

At first glance, they have some similarities such as being colorful, having beautiful patterns, multiform designs and they are even sold everywhere; as a result, a lot of people are confused when choosing a good product which connects to the valuable culture of the ethnic people. If you take a notice, look at them carefully, and have a basic knowledge, you can completely get Sapa’s authentic products.

Clothing materials

Sapa’s handicraft products: Because they are woven from flax, passed through a lot of steps such as threading lines, weaving clothes, dying indigo, the cloth’s quality is quite rough, hard and having indigo. In addition the threads are not thick but sparse in order that they can count the threads simply while embroidering patterns.

Chinese handicraft products. The cloth’s quality is soft, colourful (blue, red, purple, yellow, etc). All the threads are woven thickly and evenly.


Sapa’s handicrafts. They are combined with various colors, but the main ones are blue, yellow, black and red. All of these are quite harmonious, restful eyes, not too brilliant and motley.

Chinese handicrafts. They are pallet with different colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, purple and so on as the rainbow with seven colons. They are quite brilliant and less skillful.


Sapa’s handicrafts: they have simple patterns as spirals, pumpkin trees, pine trees and cross… These are the symbols of agricultural life attaching to  mountainous images and local life.

Chinese handicrafts: They are copied and simulated into Sapa’s patterns above. In addition, there are a lot of different images like flowers, butterflies or birds.

Embroidery stitches

Sapa’s handicrafts: This is the most importance to distinguish between two  kinds of handicrafts. The handicraft products of ethnic people in Sapa are embroidered by hands with steady threats. After touching, you can feel the visible patterns very clearly. Threads are embroidered closely and the reverse of product has pretty much knots.

Chinese handicrafts: The stitches are quite thin and loose, the thin threads make us feel that they will be torn easily. In particular, in the middle of the embroidery lines have horizontal stitches, and having a lot of knots linked to  the patterns. This is the distinct expression of machine embroidery.


Sapa’s handicrafts: Because being handmade products with detailed and painstaking steps, they take a lot of time and efforts, so their prices are often higher than Chinese products. If two products are the same kind and different cost, you should consider to buy the higher one.

Chinese handicrafts: They are obviously produced by machines,the cheap raw materials causes the price of the handicrafts imported from China is cheaper than the Sapa handmade products.

These are five characteristics to distinguish between handicrafts of Sapa and handicrafts of China. Hope you will get the good products.

Nguyễn Mạnh Tưởng - TIPC Lao Cai

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