April 25, 2013

Cotton Pearl With Portuguese Soul

Olá! In the last few weeks I’ve been talking about Guimarães Embroidery... And this week I will not be far from this Portuguese town.

When I was taking the first steps in my agulha não pica’s project, I was determined to use Portuguese floss in my embroidery kits… At that time I discovered Limol, a manufacturer of 100% cotton yarns for crochet, hand knitting and embroidery purposes. And do you know where they come from? They are based in Ronfe, near Guimarães!!

Pink Limol Pearl size 8, my photo

Some years ago a very popular embroidery floss brand was still working in Portugal, they had a mill in the North of Portugal, but it was transferred to another European country. So, as far as I know, the only embroidery floss made on Portuguese soil is this one…

Although many of you still think that “Madeira” floss is made in Portugal that is not true… Madeira threads have nothing to do with Madeira Island nor even with Madeira Embroidery… I was repeatedly asked about this and some weeks ago I contacted the manufacturer and I was kindly informed that: “Actually there is no real relation between our company, the island and the embroidery. A long time ago the former owner was searching for a name for his embroidery threads company and named it after the famous Madeira embroidery. Very simple but effective.”…

I couldn’t say better… Simple but effective…

Charming boxes of Limol pearl size 8, my photo

In my kits usually I work with crochet thread sizes 12 and 6… I love the final work of the size 6 thread and for those that are learning to embroider I believe it is easier to use a thicker thread. And of course… crochet thread is less expensive than embroidery thread…

But for a long time I wanted to try Limol’s cotton pearl (in Portugal we say perlé) size 8, created for embroidery works. Last week I visited them in Guimarães and bought some boxes of this embroidery floss. The boxes are beautiful, inspired by fiancé kerchiefs embroidery, what made me even happier about choosing this thread.

This cotton pearl is a long staple cotton fiber with double mercerizing and fine shine and it can be used both in free embroidery and in cross-stitch. The differences between this thread and crochet thread involve not only the manufacturing process but also the raw materials used. Embroidery thread is made of the best cotton quality fibers and the manufacturing process is more demanding, implying double mercerizing.

Limol, a medium-sized Portuguese company,  in 1971 began manufacturing 100% cotton thread for crochet.  Many years later, the move to always improve the manufacturing process and the commitment to innovation made possible the production of embroidery thread. But as they say, there was another motivation… "The essence of the creation of Limol’s Perlé 8 is the need for preserving the secular tradition of the Bordado de Guimarães” (Guimarães Embroidery).

This thread was very well accepted, they sell it in Portugal and abroad and one of their most important and special clients are Portuguese regional embroiderers, since pearl cotton size 8 is used in Regional Traditional Portuguese Embroideries like Viana do Castelo and Guimarães.

Beautiful colors of Limol Pearl cotton size 8, my photo

In our country they are famous for their crochet threads but their metalized yarns are very well known, too. Their linen threads are extremely beautiful and recently Trama rústica (rustic yarn) became very popular in knitting works, its rustic look is truly charming...

I was so happy with these new acquisitions. It's great to see that in my country many of us are still working and doing their best to maintain the richness of our embroidery traditions. And I do believe that using thread made in Portugal in our works helps to assure that our Stitches have Portuguese Soul...

These threads are available in the Agulha não pica Etsy store.


  1. Lindíssimas as a cor das linhas e as caixas! Boas Compras!

  2. Maria J. RodriguesApril 25, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    thank you Gabi for this great post, as ever!

  3. Eu P R E C I S O M U I T O de uma caixa destas!!!!!

  4. Onde se podem comprar estas caixas? Obrigada

  5. Stunning! What type of needle are you using for these? The thread look beautiful!!!!!

  6. Can you send me a mail to agulhanaopica@gmail.com ? Thanks

  7. Shannon, usually I use a chenille needle size 24... I don't know why... But I love chenille needles :)

  8. where to get these yarns?