Object name

Date made


Place made


Unfinished blouse made in Madeira, Portugal in the 1950s. Features embroidered cutwork panels on collar, cuffs, and chest.

Content description

Unfinished silk crepe de chine blouse made in Madeira, Portugal in the 1950s. The blouse is white with floral cutwork panels at the chest, collar, and cuffs. The cutwork is edged with buttonhole stitches and adorned with satin stitches, both worked in blue silk threads. The front panels of this blouse are tacked together, the collar is not completely attached, and the cuffs (which also include chain stitches) have not been cut out. The collar is large and triangular with scalloped edges worked in buttonhole stitches. The scalloped design also lines the edges of the cuffs.

At the centre top of the blouse is a tiny metal badge stitched onto the blouse with red, yellow, and blue threads. It has on one side five tiny cup symbols in a cross shape, flanked on all four corners by equally small sunflowers. On the back are the letters 'IBMG'. Presumably these are the logo and initials of the company that sold this blouse. It is not known why this blouse was not completed, but its precise folding and tacking stitches suggest it was a sort of kit that was to be finished later.

Madeira blouses were very popular throughout Europe and the United States in the 1950s. Like this blouse, they are white and feature decorative cutwork and fine embroidery. Madeira embroidery is a form of broderie anglaise made by hand by the women on the island. Madeira embroidery emerged in approximately the middle of the 19th century. The letters on the blouse's stamp suggest this blouse may be associated with Imperial de Bordados, which was founded in 1926 to produce Madeira embroidery and which is still in business today.


width: 29cm
length: 45.5cm





Credit line

Gift of an unidentified donor, 1996.

Catalogue number


Other numbers

RSN 1185
© Royal School of Needlework