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Ana Luisa Santos

  • Embroiderer
  • Porto Da Cruz, Portugal
  • Master Artisan
Ana Luisa Santos Embroiderer
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Perfect stitch

  • • Ana Luisa chose Madeira embroidery over wicker
  • • As is customary, she learnt from the women in her family
  • • Her craft requires perfect execution to be harmonious

Ana Luisa Santos belongs to a community of talented women embroiderers spread over the island of Madeira who are keeping their craft alive. “I was given the choice when I was 12 to learn wicker or embroidery. As my mother and grandmother were embroiderers I followed their steps.” When she returned to Madeira after spending 10 years abroad, she enrolled in an embroidery course at the IVBAM Madeira Wine, Embroidery and Handicraft Institute where she now teaches. The craft requires various steps from the design to the final execution but it is the quiet and intricate manual perfection such as Ana’s that makes Madeira embroidery so refined. There are less embroiderers today but IVBAM is actively working to safeguard their island’s historical and cultural treasure.

Read the full interview

Works

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Tablecloth

This refined circular tablecloth is a perfect example of Madeira embroidery. The uniform white linen enhances the embroiderer’s beautiful relief and cutworks. It is typically used in Madeira island to decorate and embellish small tables such as tea tables.

Diameter 120 cm

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Table centrepiece

This piece, finely embroidered in cotton thread, was traditionally placed on small tables during the Christmas period as a decoration under the image of Jesus or other saints. It was also used as a centrepiece to decorate other furniture in the house.

Height 50 cm
Width 90 cm

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Table centrepiece

A beige linen cloth embroidered with light brown cotton thread used to decorate any type of table or other furniture. It can be made in different sizes and shapes depending on the need and its aim is always to embellish and give character to one’s home.

Height 120 cm
Width 40 cm

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Tablecloth

This white linen tablecloth is livened with the colourful embroidered decoration. It is usually used to embellish dining tables and is traditionally offered as a gift for weddings or other special occasions passed down from generation to generation.

Height 250 cm
Width 150 cm

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Bathroom towel set

This colourful bathroom towel set is embroidered in the bright linen colours of green, red and yellow applied on terry towels. The red flowers are poinsettias, traditionally used in decorations in Madeira Island during Christmas and Easter time.

Height 75 cm
Width 15 cm

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