PIRES, Ana (2009). Fios: Formas e Memórias dos tecidos, rendas e bordados. Lisbon: Instituto do Empreggo e Formação Profissional. ISBN 9896380333 and 9789896380335. Softback, fully illustrated in colour and b/w, 367 pp., bibliography at the end of each chapter.
A beautifully illustrated book about Portuguese woven forms, bobbin lace, as well as embroidered textiles. The book was produced as part of the International Handicraft Fair that took place in the summer of 2009. The book looks at handmade Portuguese textiles. Full of interesting textiles, close-ups, etc., in high resolution colour illustrations. There are chapters on the main types of embroidery, such as guimarães, Souse and Viana do Castelo, as well as items such as the embroidered carpets known as arraiolos. All of the textiles are illustrated, often with close-up photographs. There are also brief accounts of some of the modern artisans making contemporary woven textiles, laces and embroideries.
Recommendation: It should be noted that the book contains little information about woven and lace examples, in contrast to the embroidered forms. The book, however, is a must for anyone interested in Portuguese, Iberian Peninsular and European embroidery in general. It is a book to dip into, as well as to acquire inspiration for design ideas and colour combinations. It’s worth having just to look at.
Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, March 2020.