In April I was fortunate to have had a touring holiday in Portugal. Arraiolas one of the small towns near Lisbon was particularly interesting. It is famous for its rug production which dates back to the seventeenth century or even earlier.
What fascinated me was that these large rugs were, and still are produced by hand. They use naturally dyed wool and hand stitch onto canvas creating wonderful patterns.
I visited a museum where they have on display a wonderful array of large rugs. In one of the rooms a woman was busy making a small rug. I was amazed to see that she used an embroidery stitch with a needle to create the intricate patterns. After watching her carefully I discovered she was using a long arm cross stitch. I took a close up photo and hope you can see the stitches.
It is incredible that these large rugs, more like carpets, are made in this way. The method is so labour intensive but the final result is fantastic.