Madeira Embroidery

With a centuries-old history, Madeira Embroidery is synonymous with excellence, tradition, detail, art and identity. It is one of the unquestionable brand images of Madeira, the origin of which dates back to the beginning of its colonisation process in the 15th century.
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It is thought that, initially, these embroideries began by being made by noblewomen. Their main purpose was the decoration of household items, clothing and churches. From the beginning, they have been characterised by naturalistic motifs, largely inspired by the island's scenery.

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Despite its antiquity, it was only after the second half of the 19th century that Madeira Embroidery was acknowledged at the regional and national level but also internationally since some English traders established in Funchal started exporting this craft work to the United Kingdom.
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For this reason, the Madeira Embroidery business gained a more intense momentum. Several houses dedicated to this art appeared and it started to deserve the growing interest of foreigners, such as the British, German or Americans. With that investment, this productive sector suffered a radical improvement, but without ever losing its authenticity.

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This work is done manually, with impressive skill and detail. This art has been passed down from generation to generation without ever being lost. Madeira Embroidery is made using materials of excellent quality and smoothness: linen, natural silk, organdie and cotton. This is still the case today, as the authenticity of each piece is carefully certified with the guarantee seal of the Madeira Wine, Embroidery and Handicrafts Institute.
Currently, there are several types of laceworks used for this embroidery, such as Richelieu, 'Caseado' (buttonhole), 'Arrendado' (lace stitch), 'Ponto de Corda' (rope stitch), French stitch or 'Garanito', among others. Given its level of detail, each piece may take several months to be embroidered, depending on the size of the printed design.
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The range of products currently produced is also quite diverse. Among others, Madeira Embroidery is used on tables, beds, baths or clothing pieces, for both adults and children. This form of art was recently presented at major international events such as Homo Faber - the largest craft fair in Europe, Paris Fashion Week, thanks to Chanel, and also in the collections by American designer Jeff Garner. It is estimated that there are about one dozen companies currently producing Madeira Embroidery and around 1000 embroiderers who dedicate themselves to the art of embroidery on a daily basis.
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Where to buy
Handicraft Shop IVBAM, IP-RAM
Rua Dos Ferreiros, 152
Rua Dr. Fernão de Ornelas, 77 | 9050-021 Funchal
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