Madeira Bordado (Madeira Embroidery)
Bordado Madeira is a typical embroidery from Madeira island. The fabrics used are linen, silk, cotton and organdy. The technique is used on tablecloths, dresses, shirts, sheets and handkerchiefs. Madeira embroidery factories are located in Funchal but traditionally embroiderers work from home. Madeira embroidery is world –renowned.
It is worth stepping back in time and looking briefly at its origin, by the time Madeira was discovered in the 15th century, the art of embroidery was already prevalent throughout the world, including Portugal, so it is assumed that it was brought here by the first settlers.
At the time, embroidery was an activity that the ladies from the upper class indulged in, as well as the convent nuns, most of whom were then of noble origin, who did it out for ornamental purposes, specifically for garments and trousseaux.
As time went by, the technique came to be mastered by women of all social classes, and was certainly perfected and refined, contributing to the growth of a commercial activity that became decisively established from the second half of the 19th century onwards.
It is has become a source of income for many and it is one of many souvenirs worth purchasing whilst on the Island.