The origin of Viana do Castelo Embroidery is closely linked to the work done in the region's costumes: "Vianesa Costume" or "Lavradeira Costume".

In our days we can find many and varied works with Viana do Castelo Embroidery, such as napkins, towels, bread bags, aprons, slippers, clothing, etc., however, all the embroidered motifs originated in the regional costumes that were later transposed for these works.

The "Lavradeira Costume" was totally created by the peasants of some parishes near Viana do Castelo, it was they who scratched, wove, worked and embroidered it.
The costumes all decorated with the embroideries made by these women of the field, and that differ from parish to parish, are used in days of festivals or fairs.

Within these embroideries we can distinguish some richer ones than others, depending on the social class to which they refer.
The richest use "pearl" cotton, sometimes sequined with beads, beads and beads.
The Viana do Castelo embroidery motifs are based on the flora and fauna of the region, as well as the daily life of the peasant women.
They are: hearts (outlined with flower feet, and based on the metaphorical sense that the peasants give to the "love box" for which they embroider a key), clover, ivy, strawberry, vine and oak leaves (always stylized) (the cross of Christ embroidered with the cross stitch, already used in the handkerchiefs), birds, angles (broken lines or curves linking certain motifs), japoneas (flower stylization) (straight or curved lines from which small leaves come out), vases (stylings of potted plants), wings (small rings that finished the embroidery of old shirts), little buttons (small collars embroidered with cord or full) , snails (small holes, also known as eyelets), little ones (set of points thrown in a group of two, each group being cut in half by a point thrown horizontally), murids (ant points imitating a wall), closed chickens (small balls embroidered full), cracked yarns (broken lines with right stitches), roses, bunches of grapes (bunches of grapes stylized by a series of circles).
Peasant minhotas are women with an artistic sensibility that allowed them, and still allows, to improvise original compositions that reflect their own experiences. For this reason, it is easy to find pieces where the Viana do Castelo Embroidery are also used as a way of expressing love on blocks of genuine, poetic and artistic inspiration.

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

Bibliographic references:
Paulo Fernando Teles de Lemos Silva, Traditional Portuguese Embroidery, Master's Dissertation in Design and Marketing - Area of ​​Specialization in Textile, University of Minho, 2006
Ana Pires, Viana do Castelo Embroidery Specification Notebook, Viana do Castelo City Council, 2006


In our online store you will find products with this symbol of "Certified Embroidery" that attests to the authenticity of the Viana do Castelo EmbroideryLearn more HERE

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