SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Through bright colors, shapes and design, a Sacramento woman is helping to educate her community on what it means to be a Hmong American.
Pachia Vang shows FOX40 how she’s sharing her culture through cloth.
“I love sewing. I love embroidering,” said Pachia Vang, owner of Culture Through Cloth.
As a Hmong American born and raised in Sacramento, Vang says Hmong textiles play a huge role in her culture.
“Hmong textile art in our language is called Paj Ntaub, which means flower cloth,” Vang said. “It’s really the traditional textiles that we have always done. It’s a really big part of our culture and community. We wear it. It makes up what our traditional clothing are.”
She’s been working with textiles for the last seven years and just in the last few years, she decided to turn her art into a business, Culture Through Cloth.
“A lot of people have found it really meaningful. It helps them to reconnect with who they are. Understand being Hmong from a feminine perspective which is super important in today’s Asian times,” Vang said.
Tapping into her love for sewing, embroidery, and fashion, Vang wanted to combine her passions into art pieces that people can utilize and provide a historical context.
“Right now, I’m just making earrings, actually,” Vang said.
“Making paj ntaub and Hmong textiles has always been a way to generate income, especially for the Hmong people in the refugee camps. Making small trinkets like how I’m doing now, is how they made a living.”
With this DIY charm kit, Vang is not only teaching people how to cross stitch and embroider, but also give them something that holds value in her culture.
“Charms were traditionally used to hold herbs and stuff to protect yourself from bad spirits or keep bad spirits away. They became very popular in the refugee camps just as key chain charms,” Vang said.
Keeping true to her Asian roots is something Vang strives to show in her creations, even down to the materials she chooses to use.
“Some materials I picked up in my travels, so I’ve traveled throughout Southeast Asia. I’ve bought some stuff in Laos, in Thailand, in Vietnam, and in China,” Vang said. “I made this piece in Vietnam and I made this piece in Laos.”
With an ultimate goal of having a studio space for her business to better connect with the community, Vang says in the meantime, she’ll continue to work to showcase her artwork to keep her culture’s history alive.
“We have millennia, years and years of life, culture, heritage, and traditions that we bring with us here to America and as we develop into global citizens,” she said. “