The Embroidered Flowers of Portugal

The “lavradeira” costume fully developed from the mid-1800s forward. “Lavradeira” refers to a girl who farms or works the land.  The term was used until the mid-20th century to identify the costume from the villages around Viana do Castelo in contrast to costumes from other regions of Portugal. The Vianese tradition stands alone with its vibrant colors and detailed floral patterns, both embroidered and woven. The floral embroidery on blouses, mostly stitched in blue, indicated the home village of the wearer as well as her economic status.

This workshop will teach several basic embroidery stitches used in traditional clothing from Northern Portugal dating back to the 1700s.  Fun for new and advanced embroiderers alike, we'll study the traditional costumes of  Viana do Castelo and practice stitching a traditional floral pattern inspired by the designs on women's blouses. Use your embroidery to make an envelope (as pictured below) or, bring your own blouse and we will flower it up!! Learn about the traditions of this lesser-known region of Portugal and support a disappearing form of embroidery.


Date: Sunday,  April 7th, 2019
Time: 1 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: TATTER Blue Library, 505 Carroll Street Suite 2B, Brooklyn NY 11215
Cost: $90
What to bring: All materials are provided in this course.  
Students are welcome to bring their own blouses or garments to embroider flowers on as well.


Sarah Pedlow, artist and founder of ThreadWritten Textiles

Sarah Pedlow is interested in traditional embroidery, cultural preservation, and creating a global community of makers connected via cultural heritage skills. From 2012 - 2015 she researched Hungarian Kalotaszeg written embroidery in Transylvania, Romania and made products with women artisans.

Through many trips to Hungary and Romania her love of embroidery grew, prompting travel for artist residencies in Iceland, Mexico, and The Netherlands and Ukraine.

This past August she attended an annual festival in Portugal with over 600 women dressed in costume and visited the studio-factory of a heritage-certified embroiderer. She is planning a textile tour-retreat to Portugal in August 2019.  

Sarah teaches workshops and lectures in the San Francisco Bay Area and across the country. She holds a BA in Studio Art and French Studies from Scripps College, Claremont, CA and an MFA in Visual Arts from Rutgers University.  

For more information about ThreadWritten Projects, or to join the mailing list for info on her upcoming Portugal Retreat click here. / IG @threadwritten

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