If design is the essence, embroiderers are the soul.

They are simple women who have the mastery of a secular technique, usually passed on to them by their most direct family members, mothers or grandmothers. But to embroider well, the sole technique knowledge it is not enough, gift and sense are required.

Madeira Embroidery involves a lot of dedication, fondness and time, as it is a manual activity whose “tools” are the needle and the thread and each drawing implies a considerable number of stitches, some simpler, others more elaborate, but all made with detail and precision.

The number of hours that must be devoted to each piece is countless, therefore it is impossible to determine them, that is why these women are paid for the number of stitches and not for the workload, besides that, despite it is an activity performed with pleasure, being so minucious it is practically impossible to carry it out within the parameters of the known working hours.

It is a demanding work, which requires a physical position that limits movement, as well as a considerable eye effort, what justifies the fact that embroideres develop their activity at home where they are allowed to combine this activity with others, such as domestic or agricultural tasks, as the majority live in rural areas.

Embroidering in Madeira was and continues to be a complementary activity, a source of income to help to support the family economy.

Currently the estimated number of embroiderers is about 3,000 and they all benefit of labor and social protection.