A Fine Arts graduate, Nuno Henriques founded TOINO ABEL in 2010, a workshop that specializes in the unique heritage of Portuguese soft-rush basketry, making it the first Portuguese basketry brand. The workshop sets an example with the high quality of its craftsmanship and the exceptional working conditions it provides to its dedicated team.
Carta de Unidade Produtiva Artesanal em Cestaria. (Certified Artisanal Production Unit on Basketry)
Inspired by his great-grandfather’s business – whom he never met -, Nuno Henriques learned the technique with the remaining local artisans and founded TOINO ABEL to preserve this tradition, introducing innovations that helped local artisans thrive, thus inspiring new producers. TOINO ABEL started producing in-house, offering dignified working conditions, breaking the piece-rate payment system, and today, thanks to the dedication to excellence, soft-rush basketry flourishes again. The brand’s emphasis on quality craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail is apparent in every piece, and TOINO ABEL is committed to responsible waste management and ensuring dignified working conditions for its team of dedicated artisans.
The workshop spans an area of 200 m2, with 2 manual looms, a warping mill, office, photo studio, shipping station, and ample storage space for dyed and natural soft-rush, jute and other yarn bobbins.
It also features exhibition shelves, an outdoor patio for fumigation, dyeing, soft-rush preparation, a small kitchen, and a bathroom.
Located on a farm comprising 3 buildings, it has been continuously improved to enhance processes, safety and working conditions. The workshop is inspected annually by a certified team to ensure compliance with safety measures and standards. The farm also includes a 1000 m2 garden that serves as a composting area for production waste.
TOINO ABEL, in particular, meticulously crafts each piece using a manual countermarch loom, which is an upgrade from the rudimentary legacy looms. The soft-rush is dyed with natural and legacy dyes, and the catalog offers 10 color options. The soft-rush is weaved on the loom, the resulting pieces are stitched together to form shape and a sturdy willow handle is added to finish off each basket. Due to this innovative process, TOINO ABEL also creates mats for various purposes.
TOINO ABEL has mastered Portuguese soft-rush basketry, elevating the craft to a symbol of sophistication and style.
The Lurdes style basket, in size S and natural finish, showcases their innovation and appeals to the fashion-conscious customer.