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Portuguese whitework from Guimarães

Portuguese Whitework embroidery runner

I first saw an example of Guimarães embroidery in an old book at my guild library. It immediately made me think "What is that? I have to know more about that embroidery!" It was like nothing I had ever seen before: a shirt featuring gorgeous whitework, with a profusion of bullion knots combined with drawn thread work.

Guimarães embroidery comes from the town of Guimarães, in northern Portugal. It has a framework of drawn thread embroidery, with surface embroidery of mostly bullions and eyelets worked on the square and rectangular sections of fabric created by the drawn thread work. The contrast of the open work (the drawn thread parts, and the eyelets) with the highly textured bullions creates a beautiful, sumptuous look, unlike other forms of embroidery.

It is predominantly white on white, though occasionally other colours, such as red, blue and black, are used for the embroidery. Motifs used are usually floral - leaves and flowers. Traditionally, the embroidery featured on shirts and blouses. These days the embroidery is worked on household linens, soft furnishings and clothing.

Guimarães motifs

How to pronounce "Guimarães"

In phonetic notation, Guimarães is written as follows:

guimaraes phonetic notation

Listen to the word "Guimarães" being spoken.

Learning Guimarães whitework

We provide a number of ways to learn Guimarães whitework embroidery:

  • Yvette Stanton's book Portuguese Whitework: Bullion Embroidery from Guimarães is a wonderful book showcasing Guimarães embroidery. This 104 page book will show you historical embroideries, and teach you how to make 10 gorgeous projects. With detailed step-by-step instructions and over 500 diagrams, this book will show you all you need to know. Order your copy now!
  • Guimarães whitework classes. Yvette teaches embroidery at shops and guild groups around Australia. She is an accredited tutor with the Embroiderers' Guild of NSW.
 

Yvette Stanton's book
'Portuguese Whitework: Bullion Embroidery from Guimarães'

Portuguese Whitework: Bullion Embroidery from Guimarães

Purchase your copy today!

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