Nuno Henriques, a young Portuguese designer and founder of Toino Abel, never thought that one day his home town traditions would become his own brand and source of his professional success. He studied painting at Lisbon’s Fine Arts University (ESBAL), and after living some years in Germany, looked to his family’s wealth of knowledge and technique working with reed as a raw material to design and create his own label. Thus Nuno founded Toino Abel, a 100% Portuguese brand for handmade crafted bags.
The name pays homage to Nuno’s grandfather, from whom he inherited the knowledge and took apprenticeship. In fact, his family’s tradition of crafting the reed goes back four generations and so Nuno was born among reed bags being manufactured in the looms at his home town, Castanheira, a small village in the central region of Portugal.
In the recent past, the working looms started to cease and it seemed the end of the reese bags was approaching. Hence Nuno decided to bring back to life the baskets and share with the world the ancient heritage of crafting the reese bags.
The bags or baskets are 100% handmade: from the reed collected on the floodplains, to the weaving on the hand looms. Besides being fully handmade work, the materials are also 100% organic and natural, including the vegetable tanned leather – an ancient and sustainable process of leather tanning.
Toino Abel uniqueness’ has left the small village where its produced and reached all of Europe and countries like New Zealand and Australia.
The choice is wide including the traditional models, with the reed’s original color and texture, to more contemporary and more colorful designs, with simple stripes or shoulder belts. The hardest part is to pick only one. It is in the balance between tradition and contemporaneity, keeping at the same time its authenticity, that lies Toino Abel exclusiveness and uniqueness.