Embroidery of Viana

Embroidery of Viana

Embroidering is to decorate a fabric with designs and motifs through a needle and thread giving it beauty.


The first news about embroidery in Portugal is quite old, and for its development the religious institutions contributed.


The origins of the embroidery of Viana immerse themselves in the rural world of the villages of the county, there they were embroidered with cotton wool and wool that were used in the costumes of the feminine rural populations. These motifs and embroidery techniques used in the making of costumes shaped Viana's embroidery by commercially transforming it into a so-called embroidery.


The embroidery of Viana left the anonymity by the hand of D. Geminiana Branco de Abreu Lima, who exposed them for the first time during the Feasts of the Lady of Agonia in 1917. This illustrious lady is due to the organization of this industry.

Viana's embroidery is executed in a cotton line over thick linen or homemade linen, fine linen and also in cotton fabrics in blue, white and red, where the embroiderer Minhota improvises his compositions with admirable artistic intuition, using inspirational motifs naturally arranged symmetrically. Predominant floral arrangements, the japoneiras and the hearts among other reasons.

Evolving in a more modern sense in taste, Viana's embroidery studied her drawings but never lost their defining elements; found new fabrics and textures and also new uses in objects of urban consumption.


Certification of the Viana Embroidery

The Municipality of Viana do Castelo together with the Commission for Follow-up of the project "Bordados de Viana, Viana Heritage", has been working since 2005 to certify this finest handmade product that is Viana embroidery, aware of the value embroidery of Viana are for the handicraft and ethnographic culture.



In 2005, the national register of designation of origin for "Viana do Castelo Embroidery" was created, thus creating a brand composed of a designation symbol developed by designer Rui Carvalho.

The next step was the publication of the "Viana do Castelo Embroidery Specification Notebook", the guiding document of the certification process, since it describes the characterizing and defining elements of Viana embroidery.

This document demonstrates the unique and unmistakable character of Viana embroidery distinguishing it from other national and foreign embroideries.

The Viana Embroidery certification process was concluded on August 13, 2012 with the awarding of the first Viana embroidery certificates to embroiderers and responsible for productive units. That same day the first embroidered pieces were certified in the Museum of the Costume in Viana do Castelo.

Marta Prozil was one of the artisans who was given a certificate and then got her first pieces of Viana embroidery certified.