How Portuguese Embroidery Enriches The World

When a country like Portugal imbibes the traditions and cultures of various peoples who have conquered its shores, you can expect its own local culture to get enriched. This shows very well in the countrys local arts and crafts that have evolved to trap those influences in contemporary cultural artifacts that have become commercial entrepreneurial successes as well.

One of them is Portuguese embroidery that can be found in linen and cotton tray and table cloths that adorns the tables in fine homes and mansions around the world and comprise many of the heirlooms passed from one generation to the next. Thanks to commerce on the internet, these magnificent specimens of Portuguese cultural tapestry in the form of handcrafted cloth embroidery are now made available to everyone, regardless of social and economic status.

Unmatched Detailing and Quality

Anytime you mention Portuguese embroidery, the region of Viana do Castelo comes to mind. This is where the storied cultures of Portugals history meld into a local craft that has made yet another name for the country. A history of foreign domination over the centuries by the Carthaginians, Romans, Germans and Arab Moors have sculpted the Portuguese psyche and, together with its own conquest of distant lands during the Age of Discovery and Exploration in the 14th to the 16th centuries, created an unmistakable imprint on the arts and cultures of the country.

In addition to a culturally-rich content, the craftsmen of Viana do Castelo inherited many of the stitching techniques from East Asian and Mediterranean merchants and gypsies that have visited the country including Italian gypsies carrying unique artistic intricacies that now make up the distinct embroidery works of the region.

From modest design simplicity to rich complex textures, the local embroidery patterns immortalize on linen and cotton the native flora as only an inspired cultural heritage can imagine and realize.

Colors and forms transform and bring to life the local textile industry with a variety of stitching methods that include the Montenegrin, Rosette, Cretan, and Palestrina, the bullion knot, cross stitch, and herringbone stitch, to mention the finer ones. The Italian pattern influence like the Casalguidi and Sorbello are subtly apparent as well.

The rich artistic and stylized embroidery patterns as well as stitching traditions in the Viana do Castelo have inspired other parts of the country and its entrepreneurs to commercialize a craft which is no longer constrained by the geographic boundaries of Portugal to make the world richer from it.

Today, the world knows what it means to have the rich Portuguese embroidery right in their homes.

The up and coming economy of coffee .

The up and coming economy of coffee .

National Coffee Association 2011 Coffee Trends Study, 40 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds said they drink coffee every day.
The average daily consumption? About three cups.
Clearly this coffee thing is a big part of students lives that isnt going anywhere. The good news is with barely any extra effort, coffee drinkers can be assured their little addiction doesnt harm anyone, namely the environment.
Fair Trade USA is a nonprofit organization that certifies products as fair trade if they meet ethical standards. All the coffee at follow these standards, for environmental qualifications, such as preventing farmers from using harmful pesticides and ensuring protection of local ecosystems. In essence, all fair trade producers must practice sustainable agriculture.
But wheres the catch? We all know that what is generally softer on the environment is harder on our pocketbooks and, sometimes, harder to find.
In this case, that isnt necessarily true.
Continuing with coffee (one of the biggest fair trade products), students have the option of Starbucks, which in 2010 reported that 84 percent of its coffee was ethically sourced. And the ever-popular Alpine Bagel and The Daily Grind buy from fair trade-certified providers.
Meanwhile, Ben & Jerrys uses fair trade vanilla, cocoa and thats right coffee. If coffees owned by Coca-Cola, is completely certified.
Clothes are even becoming more sustainable, and celebrities like Emma Watson (aka Hermione Granger) are riding the fair trade wave, designing labels that use certified cotton and fabrics.
So its not hard to find. But what about that equally, if not more, important consideration for students price? Alpine coffee is the same price as most brands, and choosing a fair trade not your thing but you still need to keep your eyes open during midterm week, Honest Tea, coffee blend at Starbucks isnt significantly more expensive than a non-certified one. A bottle of Honest Iced Tea is comparable to one of Snapple. The same can be said of Ben & Jerrys and its rivals.
How is this possible? Fair traders deal directly with producers, not exploitative middlemen who can take a substantial percentage of prices.
So to chip away at your environmental footprint, feel free to eat ice cream, drink coffee and shop for designer threads. Just be sure to keep an eye out for that fair trade certified label the next time youre running or just trying not to fall asleep or on your way to