Embroideries of Viana

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The embroidery of Viana has its origin in the ancient costumes of the peasant women of the region.

Originally made in linen and embroidered with thread of the same kind, the motifs have always reflected a country inspiration and a deeply romantic character. The designs, of a touching simplicity, contrast with the richness of the stitches used. Open stitches, flower-stitch, sieve, cord, net, crenelle and many, many others, are the result of the hands of the embroiderers from the city of Viana.

The result are true works of art that today decorate our homes in the form of tablecloths, on our tables... In costumes, the embroidery of Viana is applied today in exceptional situations. This is the case of local festive costumes or exceptional works made for specific tailoring.

A Lady of the Nobility, founder of the Portuguese Women's Crusade, with the aim of alleviating the misery in which many Portuguese families were plunged, as the men were mobilized to fight in France during the First World War. It is with an active solidarity towards poor women who, alone, have the burden of guaranteeing the livelihood of their families, that this Valiant Lady throws herself into work, helping women from the outskirts of Viana to find the resources they are lacking.

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The motives of the Embroideries of Viana do Castelo are based on motives of the fauna and flora of the region, as well as the daily life of the Minho's countrywomen.

The peasant women from Minho are women with an artistic sensibility which allowed, and still allows, them to improvise original compositions which reflect their own experiences. For this fact, it is easy to find pieces where the Embroidery of Viana do Castelo is also used as a way of expressing love in blocks of genuine, poetic and artistic inspiration.

The embroiderer, in her compositions, is not concerned with the rigor of truth, that is, we can often find, for example, drawings of roses with vine leaves, but what matters is to obtain sets that please and are harmonious.


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Sintra, Portugal


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