A Brand woven into a greater Heritage.
Burel Factory is a Portuguese brand, born in Serra da Estrela, dedicated to the preservation and regeneration of the industrial heritage, the deep knowledge of the wool industry that crosses generations, and the unique culture and traditions, its people and its history, that punctuate that same place. From the heart of the mountain, promotes the mastery of knowledge, the art made by several hands that weave, card and spin in ancestral machines that have been heard since the 19th century. It ensures the legacy of wool and burel through design, art and textile and scientific innovation, weaving with the threads of the past a sustainable, circular and more authentic vision of the future. And it does so out of a deep sense of commitment.
Casa das Penhas Douradas
Burel Expedition Hotel
Casa de São Lourenço
Burel Panorama Hotel
While building the Casa das Penhas Douradas, we sought to find elements that would show the mastery in the mountains, burel, wool and its secular connection to the indigenous culture; and that’s when we found the Lanifícios Império factory. The factory discovered us, and we discovered the burel that we then tried to develop, and which would later be used in the hotel’s decor. That's when we realised that the factory was in the process of insolvency and unable to adapt to the times and current needs. Carrying a textile heritage that transcends us, we could not let it disappear. Neither their people, nor to their knowledge.
We decided to buy the factory and initiate its recovery, to continue the narrative and showcase its art to the world. Today it is the Burel Factory in Manteigas. We kept the machines from the 19th century, recycled some patterns from the old weaving books that we still use today in some of the blankets, and we introduced colour to the burel that up until now only existed in the original colours of the wool.
We kept the old loom masters to teach the younger ones, to boost the passing of the torch and prevent this craft from disappearing. We developed plans, weave ideas, and pioneered designs on old looms. And we delivered pieces whose unique design, finish and details become the body and testimony of the priceless heritage that only a 'slow production' can guarantee.
From the Mountain to the City.
In 2009 we went down to Lisbon to show what we had created. We opened a small pop-up store that quickly attracted attention due to its difference and the boldness of presenting a traditional ancestral raw material applied to innovative design pieces.
And it quickly pushed us to open Burel Chiado on Rua Serpa Pinto, in 2012. That store is still in operation and is now fully dedicated to the fashion and accessories segment. In 2015 we debuted in Porto, in Rua de Mouzinho da Silveira, with a large store in the historic city centre, by Ribeira.
In 2017, we returned to Lisbon to open a new store exclusively dedicated to architectural solutions and coatings, to direct our continued commitment to this segment. This store is Burel Architecture on Rua do Ferragial.
The following year, in 2018, we were in Serra da Estrela with a new recovery project: in 2016 we had already bought the iconic Pousada de São Lourenço, which was decrepit and abandoned.
It was time to start a new project to recover the building and all the history within.
We opened the hotel over the mountain scenery, in a clear tribute to the Serra's greatest heritage, its landscape. We mixed its historical elements, with contemporary pieces by Portuguese artists and designers, and we used burel in the interiors as a main design and artistic element, to elevate, broadcast and boost it, while taking advantage of its thermal and acoustic properties, promoting sustainability from things as simple as giving a new life to a centuries-old product. It is now the Casa de São Lourenço, a 5-star hotel, 1250 meters above sea level.
“Basically, we are recoverers of material and immaterial heritage. That's our mission. Without a past we have no future. We want to value it with innovation, which is what really matters.”
In 2021 we were surprised by the news that one of the most emblematic wool processing factories in Covilhã was also in the process of insolvency. We decided to intervene and acquired the factory, providing one of the main industries in the city with continuity,
while owning the entire process of transforming wool, from dyeing to finishing, processes that are decisive for the burel to be burel. The Transformadora was born.
This year we opened our third store in Lisbon, Burel Chiado Home. A space focused on interior design, on the timeless comfort of blankets, cushions, rugs, curtains, paintings, designer furniture, which elevate art and beauty, combining functionality with aesthetics, sustainability with design, and history to innovation, from the apparent simplicity of the nature of wool and all the science that it covers.
A path marked by resilience and innovation, which led us to our most recent bet: the first Burel Factory clothing collection, made of conscious, colorful and timeless pieces. Pieces that mirror the entire history of burel, our factory, the historical lexicon of wool, under the Woolclopedia concept. Meaningful clothing, made to last, embodying the Portuguese mountain heritage and centuries-old textile knowledge — now available in the renovated Burel Chiado and Burel Porto stores.
Preservation. Regeneration. Innovation.
Today we are a brand that represents a lifestyle connected to the mountains, but with a global view to innovate through design, the science behind wool, sustainability, the history of a people and the simplicity that nature teaches.
We promote and elevate the culture of an inland region, generating jobs and attracting skilled labour to the region, encouraging its economic and social development. We promote Portugal. We innovate in the use of a historic fabric to make it a scientifically certified acoustics solution, without depriving it of its merit and beauty for its application in fashion and interior decor.
We elevate wool to art, burel to culture, and Serra da Estrela to a destination. We have followed a strict zero-waste policy before this concept was a concept, combined with good environmental practices, while respecting the mountain that gave us our origin and knowledge. “Ultimately, we are recoverers of material and immaterial heritage. That's our mission. Without a past we have no future. We want to improve it with innovation, which is what really matters.”