Category Archives: Textiles

The Lacemakers of Peniche (part 2)

One of the great things about the lacemaking festival of Peniche this summer was that there were so many opportunities to chat to the women about a skill which traditionally takes place behind closed doors. Many of the older lacemakers … Continue reading

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The Lacemakers of Peniche (part 1)

A few weeks ago I went to Peniche, a small fishing town an hour’s drive north of Lisbon,  where I spent the day watching dozens of women (and a couple of men) in a local park making intricate lace under … Continue reading

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Tia Ná’s Blanket

For as long as I can remember, this blanket has been part of my life. It was made by my  great aunt, Tia Ná. She died suddenly when I was eight years old and losing her was my first painful … Continue reading

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Carpets of Colour

Arraiolos rugs have been around for hundreds of years and are still frequently seen in portuguese homes. The patterns are often intricate and can look quite busy, not always ideal in a smallish, cluttered flat like mine. But in the right place, … Continue reading

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The Green Island

My family on my paternal grandfather’s side is from the Azores (Açores in Portuguese). These remote islands, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, which I’d never visited, had always seemed rather magical to me. Last summer, the year of … Continue reading

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Fifty Shades of Brown

It doesn’t get much sexier than this! I first came across Ecolã a few years ago, on a visit to the Feira do Artesanato, a portuguese arts and crafts fair, that takes place every summer in Estoril near Lisbon. The small family business makes … Continue reading

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My Chita Habit

I love chita –  a cheerful and inexpensive patterned cotton fabric which can still be found on sale in some shops in Portugal. It’s been around for a long time but like  many things in Portugal, it’s difficult to trace … Continue reading

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