Maison de la Broderie


Entirely modernised in 2014, the Maison de la Broderie is home to an association of 30 or so local women dedicated to keeping Cilaos' embroidery tradition alive. They embroider and sell children's clothes, serviettes, place settings and tablecloths. It's laborious work: a single placemat takes between 12 and 15 days to complete. You can watch the women at work in the workshop upstairs.

The originator of Cilaos' embroidery tradition was Angèle Mac-Auliffe, the daughter of the town's first doctor of thermal medicine. Looking for a pastime to fill the long, damp days in the Cirque, Angèle established the first embroidery workshop with 20 women producing what later evolved into a distinctive Cilaos style of embroidery.