Nuno Henriques, the driving force behind Toino Abel has returned to his family’s village, Castanheira, in Portugal. Going back to his roots, Henriques ensures that these enchanting traditional baskets founded by his great grandfather, José Custódio Barreiro, are kept alive in this modern world.
Toino Abel’s manufacturing is headed up by Henriques’s great aunt. She oversees six employees who have been making the baskets for decades. ‘Every step of the process is done by hand: The women cut the reed sticks into bunches of equal size, clean and dry them and clear their colour in a process of burning sulphur. Afterwards they colour the remaining darker pieces with colour pigments and weave them on a hand loom in a variety of patterns. The finished parts are being stitched together in the form of a bag. The handles of the baskets are made of willow branches that are bound and fastened onto the baskets.’
Toino Abel baskets speak of long lazy days full of romantic picnics, good food and wine, and fantastic company. Summer is on its way…
Credits: Toino Abel