October 18, 2012

Portugal - a living museum of embroidery

Olá! Today we'll have another small break in our historical reviews on Portuguese embroidery... Well... Maybe it won't be a break. Consider it instead as a visit to a living museum of embroidery.

Yes, I believe that Portugal can be seen as a living museum of embroidery... In every home we find beautiful stitches and even in the street you would be surprised at the pieces of embroidery that are being sold.

Last weekend I was out for a weekend near a beautiful town in Alentejo, Estremoz. As always I visited the Antiques and Flea Street Market and my favorite stall that sells vintage embroidery. And this time I asked my husband to take some pictures...

Vintage Stitches
Antiques and Flea Street Market in Estremoz, photo by ZPmoreira
It was great to have all these beauties nearby... But, at the same time, it made me wonder about what happened to all the families that have sold their treasures. All the embroiderers that worked these beautiful stitches never imagining that they would end up in a street market... As we would say in "good Portuguese", É a vida! "That's life!" And at least these embroidery pieces will end up in the hands of someone who will find them precious!!!

Vintage stitches
Beautiful stitches, photo by ZPmoreira
Each piece of embroidery was more beautiful and colourful than the other...

Vintage stitches
Beautiful embroidered tablecloth, photo by ZPmoreira
I asked the seller if she could tell me where the embroideries came from. But I obtained no answer, once she was more interested in assuring me that they were not stolen :)

Vintage stitches
One of my favorites, photo by ZPmoreira
I promise I will make my research work... I would like to be sure that these stitches have Portuguese Soul...

Vintage stitches
Beautiful flower embroidery, photo by ZPmoreira
It was so difficult to choose the photos... I would like to show you all of them, but as it is not possible, I hope you like my selection!

Vintage Stitches
Vintage and colorful stitches, photo by ZPmoreira
Next week I'll show you more of this living museum of embroidery...


  1. Lovely, I got totally inspired too when I went to Lisbon last year

  2. Cara senhora,
    que lindos bordados...
    peças únicas em seu colorido....
    bem latino...bem português
    no encanto que transmitem...
    Gostei imenso de ver essas fotos....
    Estive em Estremoz aos 11 anos, hoje tenho 55...
    Gostaria de lá voltar num dia dessa feira...
    quando acontece????

    Desde já um grande abraço de MF

  3. Awesome pictures! That is some great artwork. That must take a lot of skill. I know of some embroidery places in Township, NJ.

  4. The last image with the orange flowers-- absolutely lovely! They look like they took ages to get perfectly full and luscious! I can imagine sitting in a kitchen, surrounded by children running around and the smells of a delicious lunch being prepared as this design was being made. Absolutely stunning!