The Madeira Institute of Embroidery is the ruling body for embroidery inspection in Madeira. Once an embroidered piece is finished, cleaned, and pressed, it goes to the Institute for Inspection. If it passes inspection, it will receive the seal of approval, or a gremio. It is attached with several pieces of threads (different colors) and then the gremio is crimped onto the thread, which is attached to the fabric.
You can see the gremio in the bottom right corner of this hankie. the different colors of threads actually do have significance. The final destination of the piece determines what color of threads are used to attach the gremio. For example, pieces that are going to be sold in Madeira are given different colors than those that are destined to be sold in the United States.
Here is another example of a gremio - upper right corner.
In 2006, the Institute for Embroidery, Tapestry, Handcrafts of Madeira (official name) merged with the Madeira Wine Institute to become the Madeira Wine, Embroidery and Handcraft Institute (IVBAM). With the advent of this entity, they switched to a paper tag, but by the end of 2007 were moving to a cloth tag. It will be sewn onto the piece and will be numbered, giving a permanent certification to the piece and will hopefully contribute to the item's value.
I think this is a great idea, as I hated to cut off the gremio! I did cut them off of my blouses, but hae actually left them on the napkins, doilies, etc. that I have used.
Maderia Embroidery beware!!!! Watch out for tags that are on embroidered pieces that say Madeira Embroidery! this means NOTHING! Remember that Madeira Embroidery is a FORM of embroidery as well as the place. If the was actually stitched in Madeira, it will say so and if it has passed inspection, it will have the tag on that says so. Anyone can place a tag on something and have it say Madeira Embroidery.
Along with the women who inspect the embroidery, the building also houses a wonderful museum that covers the history of embroidery in Madeira. There are some beautiful embroidered pieces - dresses, tablecloths, etc., as well as some of the machinery that was used!
***Please accept my apologies for the pictures! These were taken many years ago, before digital cameras were commonplace. All of the items were under glass, so lots of glare!***
This machine marked the fabric. There were roller bars and the fabric was run through (kind of like a pleater with no needles) and the beads that had the design on them marked the fabric as it rolled by.
This is a string of of different beads that were used in the machine above. Each bead had a specific design - just put the bead with your design in the machine, crank through the fabric and you were good to go.
One of the dresses on display - each horizontal strip is full of eyelets!
This dress has tucks and an intricate embroidered band around the bottom of the dress and yoke. Beautiful!
A tablecloth with an embroidered edge.
We had a wonderful time looking around at all of the beautiful examples of embroidery. It was marvelous! I truly hope I get a chance to visit again!
I hope you are all taking some stitching time for your self. Both of the girls leave to go back to Boston by the end of the week (where it is co-o-old) and then things will get a bit back to normal.