06 Jun 2019 561
Sofia Vasconcelos From Madeira to Mars
#culture #tips #tradition

What you need to know about Madeira embroidery

Have you ever had the chance to hold a piece of Madeira embroidery in your hands?
The quality of the fabrics, the softness, the touch of each handmade stitch. .. perfection.

Each piece of Madeira embroidery involves talent, extensive hours of work, art and devotion. It is an artisanal work of love, whose quality remains throughout the years. Get to know some of the history behind this artistic craft of Madeira Island. ..

The beginning

Madeira Embroidery is part of the island’s local customs. Before the nineteenth century, it was not a business, but it was a tradition well rooted among families, especially in the noblest houses and convents.

In 1851, its presence in the Universal Exhibition of London becomes a fundamental step in the promotion of Madeira embroidery as a potential local industry.

Three years later, in Largo do Phelps, in Funchal centre, Elizabeth Phelps opened the first school to teach this art. Several embroidery houses started to market this product. The elaboration of each embroidery is under the charge of the embroiderers who stitch by hand the commissioned table and bath towels, bed sheets, among other pieces.

Madeira Embroidery’s beauty and quality conquered the English, German and American markets. Currently, the export is mainly to the United States, Italy and England. It has also been exhibited in high-fashion runaways. For example, Channel has included Madeira embroidery in one of its collections.

Bring a souvenir home

Save space in your bag for a special piece !! Handkerchiefs, bed linen, tablecloths, bath towels, baby clothes, sweaters, nightgowns and many other accessories. .. 
Bordal and Patrício & Gouveia are a Madeira embroidery manufacturers and  PortoBay Prestige partners. You can find a varied range of articles, certified by the Institute of Embroidery and Handicraft of Madeira, with the guarantee seal.



Learn how to embroider

Besides getting a 10% discount at the Bordal shop, PortoBay Prestige members can enjoy a free guided tour and learn more about the manufacturing process of Madeira embroidery, starting with the design, passing through the observation of the actual stitching work by an embroiderer, to the final product. In addition, there’s an exhibition of historical photos, objects and unique pieces of embroidery.

Garanito, shadow, bastidos, corda or ilhó are some names of Madeira embroidery’s stitches. They are stitched on linen, silk, cotton and organdy in tones of white, light blue and ecru. You can learn how to embroider these stitches by attending a Bordal workshop. 
Maybe you’ll discover a new hobby? ;)
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