Madeira Crafts

Discovering the history of Madeira Crafts is also exploring the history of the Madeiran people themselves. From utensils developed to meet every day needs to the most creative pieces, this historical legacy has reached the present day and constitutes one of the region's most valuable cultural heritages.

It is presumed that the first handicraft expressions in the archipelago appeared in the early days of the colonisation process, because the population needed to resort to these methods to produce basic necessity goods and domestic utensils.

Some of the most iconic pieces of Madeira Crafts, which are still much sought after by the local population and visitors alike, originated precisely from this duty to respond to basic needs. As such, the manufacturing of the famous 'botas de vilão', for example, began as a way of ensuring that a fringe of the population, especially in the interior of the island of Madeira, didn't have to go barefoot.

On the other hand, the 'barrete de orelhas' (a traditional cap made of wool) proved to be extremely useful for shepherds who guarded their cattle in the mountains. However, as time went by, Madeira Crafts became more and more creative, and new pieces with more innovative design concepts appeared, thus responding to the growing number of clients who became loyal to this type of unique items.

The vast majority of the production of these handicraft pieces is family-based, a centuries-old know-how that has been passed down from generation to generation. Traditionally, this work is carried out in rudimentary workshops in the artisans' own homes, where all the stages of production take place, from the preparation of the raw material to the most meticulous finishing touches to the works.
Nowadays, given the increasingly solid reputation of Madeira Crafts, there are many items produced in the archipelago, namely made of sugarcane or wood, wicker stuffed objects, ceramics or pottery, 'botas de vilão', sausages, dolls made of dough, straw and corn wearing regional costumes. There are also miniature Monte basket sledges and Santana houses, carpets and clothing pieces, musical instruments or earrings, for example.
Madeiran craftsmen are known for the precision, care and feeling they apply to their work. This is the only way to ensure the creativity, authenticity and excellence that characterise Madeira Crafts.
Where to buy
Bordal
Rua Dr. Fernão de Ornelas, 77. 9050-021 Funchal
Loja do Artesanato IVBAM, IP-RAM
Rua Dos Ferreiros, 152
Keep in Touch
@visitmadeira
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