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Eladia Machado: entrepreneurial and visionary woman in the 1940s.

Portada blog Eladia Machado

All that is La Casa de Los Balcones we have to thank its first promoter: Eladia Machado.

Portrait Eladia Machado
Portrait of Eladia Machado.

Carlos Schönfeldt’s mother, the current owner of the Historic complex of La Casa de Los Balcones, was a visionary, ambitious woman, and ahead of her time who began in the 40s to create and commercialize Canarian drawn thread works.

It is at that time when it establishes its own supply by contacting the main thread workers on the island, but it was not enough.
In order to have a large quantity and with a quality similar to the work of the best thread workers in La Orotava, hire thread workers and set up the first school workshop of this art.
The workshop will begin to be called “Virgen de Candelaria”. A little more than a dozen young people learn to thread work and thread worked for her.
The first store is established in the current Casa Eladia Machado, a 16th century building, enabling the generous hallway of the house.

Old photo of the thread work school workshop

Ten years later, Eladia managed to have more than three hundred thread workers for the production and subsequent sale of the tableclothes.
Today, visitors can appreciate in this sanctuary assorted collections and ancient and unique pieces of extraordinary value, typical of a true museum.
The laborious world of the thread work is very interesting to be discovered as well as to know and know its techniques, styles and its multiple details in the making of the thread work.
Here you can discover the techniques and the rich variety of styles of making the pieces by asking the artisans.

"Ama" magazine clip: Eladia Machado explaining the meticulous and laborious task of making the canary drawn thread work

According to an article in the old magazine “Ama”, from 1963:

Doña Eladia tried to preserve this beautiful character in her home, because she feels proud to contribute to the good of the country. She was a nice and dynamic woman who has been teaching the girls in the workshop for many years to draw with thread.
Lolita and Mari Carmen are the older students. Since they were six they have learned together with Eladia. Up to two hundred thread workers worked in the workshop years ago, but the island’s growing development and tourism have diverted many women to other trades.

Lolita and Mari Carmen: Thread workers of La Casa de Los Balcones
Clipping from the 1963 magazine "ama": Caladoras de La Casa de Los Balcones.

With the arrival of the tourist boom, many foreigners who visited La Orotava asked if they could come in to the house, which the family lived in at that time. There, Carlos Schönfeldt realized that the house was a beautiful attraction and that tourists were amazed by the house and the art of the Canarian embroidery.

It was then that, in the 60s, Carlos Schönfeldt opened the doors of the house to visitors.

CLB old postcard image
First postcard of La Casa de Los Balcones.

We are very proud, not only for Eladia Machado, but also for each of the great women who work at La Casa de Los Balcones. Tireless fighters, who raise their homes and their children.

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