The linen threads that bind the family together
Maria José da Rocha was born in 1937 in the parish of Fonte Arcada, where she still lives and works. In her house, which is also a workshop and shop, we can find also Margarida and Maria Amélia Rocha Lopes Ferreira, two daughters born in 1964 and 1968, in that exact place. As the family is linked to flax production and weaving, mother and daughters know by heart «the thirty-seven turns that flax gives from planting to leaving the loom».
The mother Maria José has always worked in flax production and, at thirteen she learned from her mother how to handle the loom, by making plain cloth, tablecloths and bedspreads. The daughters, Margarida and Maria, inherited the art and, since the age of fifteen, help with the orders and the creation of new pieces: pillows, curtains and bedroom sets.
Currently, only the daughters work at the loom and are often required to make «bedspreads with different patterns, especially coats of arms», they say.
Maria José feels «rich in the midst of linen and loom» and wishes that her art does not disappear.