Burel Factory – The story of a Mountain

Burel Factory arose from the need of saving an ancestral heritage. To keep it alive and extend its history that comes from far away. To promote the Serra da Estrela region, its people, its culture. To spread Portuguese art responsibly. And to present an authentic product in a conscious way, respecting nature and the mountain with its origin and knowledge.

In 2006 Isabel Costa and João Tomás' exploratory mountain hikes revealed to them an old sanatorium in the Penhas Douradas. They acquired it and a new project was born: Casa das Penhas Douradas – Burel Expedition Hotel. Little did they know that this was the start of a still on going recovery process.

In the building of the Casa das Penhas Douradas the family tried to find elements that evidenced the mastery of the mountain range, the burel fabric, the wool and its secular connection to the culture of the region. They discovered the factory of Lanífícios Império and created the first decoration pieces for the hotel. The hotel guests loved the Burel interior details and started to buy Burel products. It was then that they realized that the factory was in the process of being insolvent and unable to meet the needs of time. The family decided to acquire the factory and an industrial heritage was saved, a tradition rooted in the life of those cliffs and jobs were secured and the knowledge of wool crafts passed on to new generations. They recycled some patterns from the old books that they still use today in some blankets, and began to colour the burel fabric that until then only existed in the original colours of wool. Today, Burel offers a wide range of beautiful, carefully selected and created colours.

" We showed the product to designers and creatives. We sought to elevate it, value it, and make it synonymous with creation. With evidence of innovation and all commitment to the project."

In 2016 Isabel Costa and João Tomás acquired the old Pousada de São Lourenço to transform it into the new Casa de São Lourenço – Burel Panorama Hotel where they integrated the versatile Burel fabric into interior architecture elements (for example wall panels).

Today, the Burel factory still works with sustainable local wool from Serra da Estrela and their fabric solutions and products are unique. Every piece is produced to high quality. We were fascinated by the machines of the nineteenth century and how delicate the work at the factory is. A visit is a must for all design and handcraft lovers.

The oldest machine from the 19th century still working

Careful handwork

Only sustainable local wool from Serra da Estrela is used in Burel fabrics

Old patterns can still be found in Burel blankets and new beautiful colours were elaborated

Dark green Burel wall panel at Casa de São Lourenço

Loving all the greens and blues (Picture © Burel Factory)

Book your visit here: www.burelfactory.com

Shop online or in one of the Burel stores in Lisboa and Porto: