The production process of Madeira Embroidery is as authentic today as it was 150 years ago, still being entirely produced by hand. A very clear decision was made by the Madeira Embroidery industry to maintain and place value on the authenticity of this handicraft developed with perfection and under strict standards by the hands of Madeira embroiderers. Today there are several companies producing Madeira Embroidery in the Region and around 4,500 embroiderers that are dedicated daily to the art of Embroidery.
Throughout its history, Madeira Embroidery has conquered markets all over the world. This famous brand was first promoted in Europe, where there are significant markets including the English and Italian markets and going as far as the United States, Brazil, Australia and Singapore, among others.
Design is the soul of Madeira Embroidery. Nature lends its movements to embroidery, giving the embroidered items their uniquely respectable, refined romantic characteristics.
The range and beauty of the designs is born of the inspiration of Madeiran designers, true artists, who over the past and the present century, have composed thousands of very delicate drawings under the determining influence of an island where beauty reigns, but also under multicultural influences and a variety of artistic movements.
There are several characteristics that give the designs used in Madeira Embroidery their unique identity, in particular, the gracefully flowing movement, the composition of natural motifs where the abstract and imaginary flowers, as well as geometrical figures, provide graciousness and refinement in the embroidered items.
All of the elements used in Madeira Embroidery make it unique, arranged in a structure that above all, reveals the artistic liberty and intense creativity that are adapted to the evolution of fashion tendencies and decoration.
Before reaching the end consumer, every item of Madeira Embroidery has its own history.
It all begins with the inspiration of the designer who traditionally elaborates his/her drawings on wax paper.
This design is later passed on to the perforator, who will perforate the wax paper along the lines which outline the drawing.
Tracing is the next phase which follows perforation. Here, a sponge soaked in a special blue ink is rubbed onto the paper, marking the areas that are to be embroidered on the fabric, by penetrating through the small perforations in the paper, thereby transferring the drawing onto the fabric.
Once tracing has been done, the fabric is prepared and sent to the embroiderer who lives in the countryside. In her home surrounded by the intensely magnificent landscape of the island, she will develop her meticulous work of perfection. The character of this piece of Madeira Embroidery will be, to a great extent, determined by her agile and patient hands which for many hours will be occupied in composing her work of genuine unique beauty.
After the embroiderer has finished her work, the items return to the factory which in most cases is situated in the city, where her work will be checked, trimmed, washed and ironed. Only after all these operations have been carried out will the Embroidery be ready to be certified.
With its history of around 150 years, the production process of Madeira Embroidery still maintains the same authenticity as from the start, being entirely produced by hand. A very clear decision was made by the Madeira Embroidery industry to maintain and place value on the authenticity of this handicraft developed with perfection and strict standards by the hands of Madeira embroiderers. The embroiderer is the key performer in Madeira Embroidery. Each embroiderer knows her role, in which perfection is the standard.
In Madeira, embroidery is not intended only to enrich and beautify the fabric but is a means of personalizing an item in linen, silk or batiste, turning it into a work of art, which will be passed on from generation to generation.
The embroiderers normally work at farming with their husbands and they learn how to embroider from their mothers who also were embroiderers.
Nowadays there are around 4500 embroiderers in Madeira who dedicate their time daily to the art of Embroidery. Working from home is the embroiderers’ option.
No item of Madeira Embroidery is like any other. Each piece of work has the embroiderer’s personal touch in her handiwork of long hours dedicated to achieving its meticulous perfection.
The Madeira Institute of Wine, Embroidery and Handicrafts, Ltd., is responsible for the quality control of all items of Madeira Embroidery. After strict control of the perfection and authenticity of the whole production process of the embroidery item, a guarantee stamp is attached to it, in order to ensure the quality and authenticity of the items produced on the island of Madeira.
Madeira Embroidery Stitches
1. -Pulled Thread
3. -Ladder Stitch
6. -Padded Satin
7. -Closed Blanket- and Scalloped Blanket Buttonhole
8. -Satin Stitch
9. -Whipped Running Stitch
10. -Pin Stitch/ French Stitch
11. -Open Leaf and Satin Leaf
13. -Open Eyelet and Satin Circle
14. -Long and Short
15. -Broderie Anglaise With Bars
16. -Seed Stitch
17. -Richelieu/ Cutwork With Bars
18. -Shadow Work
One counts the strings inside the area of the drawing. The strings are extracted both in the horizontal and in the diagonal. The holes created will be stitched by using the embroidery line.
This stitch is obtained by extracting the strings of the cloth and stitching only one side of the hole with the embroidery line.
To obtain this stitch you extract the strings of the cloth and stitch the hole on both sides with the embroidery line.
This is a simple stitch that shares the same hole in which the previous stitch ends.
This is the backside of the Outline Stitch.
This stitch is raised due to the warping (several sequences of bastings in the area of the drawing) it implies and it is finished with a specific covering.
Closed Blanket- and Scalloped Blanket Buttonhole
This stitch is raised due to the warping it implies and it is finished with a specific covering.
This stitch is not raised since it is not warped. The filling is closely embroidered and consists of long stitches placed obliquallly.
Whipped Running Stitch
This stitch is appliqué in the outline of the drawings and its done in spiral. This stitch is embroidered in avery close and regular way. It is also used in the holes, in Broderie Anglaise With Bars Stitch and in other types of stitches.
This stitch always requires more than one piece of cloth. One of them is used for the bottom and the others work as appliqué. The first stitch is appliqué to the clothe to work as an appliqué. The second one is appliqué to the cloth that will work as the bottom.
Open Leaves and Satin Leaves
This stitch can be divided into Open Leaves and Satin Leaves.
Open Leaves: The outline is finished up with thread.
Satin Leaves: They are warped an covered.
The Roundel Stitches can be in a row, have a crowning ornament or be basted.
The stitches in a row and with a crowning ornament always have round shapes and are covered. They have no warping.
This stitch can be divided into Greek Open Hole or in Open Hole.
The Greek Open Hole has half of its circle filled with baste. (page 6)
The Open Hole has the edge of its hole covered. It is trimmed and finished up with Whipped Running Stitch.
Long and Short
The drawn area is covered in a parted way and with no warping.
Broderie Anglaise With Bars
This stitch is composed by the Whipped Running Stitch (page 9) and has the same effect as the Cut work With Bars Stitch (page 17) what concerns the trimming. It is used in lighter cloths.
This stitch is used in drawings intended to shade. These are common and well distributed stitches with very regular size.
Caseado com os rebordos no lado de recorte.
This stitch is appliqué on the reverse with running knots in the shape of an X, producing the shade on the right side and the “Atraz” Stitch on the edges.
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