Besides beautiful gardens and toboggan rides, Madeira is also known for embroidery and its namesake wine. I got to kill two birds with one stone at the Bordal embroidery factory. We stumbled upon the factory by chance and while exclaiming over the shop goods, they invited us up for a tour. How cool is that???
Much like the carpet makers in India, the embroidery is done not here at the factory, but at homes across the island. It's a dying art and they're steadily losing their supply of skilled embroiderers.
The patterns are hand drawn and the stitches are counted or measured using map tools. This determines how much the embroiderers are paid.
|Tracing the pattern
|All their nails were painted with blue polish
The fabric is sent out to be embroidered and then brought back for washing, ironing, and cut work.
|Hand washing away the dye
|Carefully cutting to reveal the stitch work
|Yes, I bought some.