Spain and Portugal

Exceptional embroideries, frequently employing different colours and types of gold thread, were produced during the medieval and renaissance periods.  The church, crown and nobility were wealthy and important patrons of the professional embroidery shops.

 Portugal is also known for the needleworks of Arraiolos, which probably originated in the 16th century and continue to this day - mostly producing floor carpets.  Equally well known are the colourful embroidered hangings and covers of Castelbranco.