Vietnam is known for its handmade quilts and their comfort, softness and durability.
One of the bigger names in the trade is the non-profit organization Vietnam-Quilts, which has two retail outlets in Vietnam - one in Ho Chi Minh City and the other in Hanoi. It also has two shops in Cambodia.
The shops stock a range of ready-made quilts in many designs along with cushion covers, aprons, sheets, table cloths and much besides. They also take special orders for quilts that take four to six weeks to fill.
Down at the Vietnam-Quilts shop at 64 Ngo Duc Ke Street in HCMC, one happy customer is Sarah Le, who has decided to buy a quilted blanket decorated with lotus flowers.
"Vietnam-Quilts has handmade products with Western designs. So they are very comfortable, and modern as well. Being mainly made of cotton, this blanket and bed cover can be washed in the washing machine," she said.
* 64 Ngo Duc Ke Street, District 1, HCMC
Tel: (08) 3 914 2119
* 13 Hang Bac Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Tel: (04) 3 926 4831
Indeed, unlike silk products, quilts are easy to take care of and wash without damaging them.
Besides bed covers, blankets and cushion covers, all of them reasonably priced, Vietnam-Quilts sells handbags and cute, cuddly teddy bears featuring appropriate Vietnamese designs like women underneath conical hats, charming paper fans, rice paddies, and scenes from Ha Long Bay.
Vietnam-Quilts began life in 2001 to provide employment and generate income for poor rural women so that they could stay at home with their children and families rather than having to leave their communities to find menial work far from home.
The program, started by a French-Belgian NGO called Mekong Plus, employs women in Duc Linh in Binh Thuan Province on the lower central coast, and Long My in Hau Giang Province in the Mekong Delta.
There is much to browse through and buy at Vietnam-Quilts, enough for the most persnickety shopper, so head along to one of the shops and see for yourself.