• Madeira Island Industry - Wickerwork

Along the many creeks in the island’s humid regions, willows grow... and grow. Throughout the first months of the year, farmers harvest the willow rods, which are then peeled and bundled. To provide the rods with extra flexibility, they are boiled in huge troughs of water. Then begins the time-consuming and skilled labour of transforming the willow rods into wonderful objects of furniture, baskets and animal figurines of astounding beauty.

This industry had its origin in 1850, in Camacha, a parish where the largest production of wicker-based products is still concentrated today. Since its earliest days on the island, this industry has been producing goods for agricultural and household purposes, with children often learning from their parents.

There are many factories today producing quality wickerwork that is on display for the tourist shoppers and that can also be seen in the making. This really is an amazing sight to watch, as objects are often intricately crafted, not only with hands and feet but also sometimes with the teeth.

If you are interested in purchasing wickerwork craft, large items can be sent directly to your home by most businesses, since nowadays most of the production is destined for export, mainly to the United States and Central Europe.

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