The Burel wool factory in the Serra da Estrela mountainous nature reserve is a testament of how design preserves invaluable traditions.
Established initially as Lanificios Imperio, the current owners acquired the factory in the early 2000s while designing a nearby hotel. In the building, they discovered the wool burel elements and how the Burel’s tradition so strongly connects to this area. When they wanted to redevelop the original wool elements, they realized the factory could not meet modern demands.
At that moment, the owners decided to take over the factory and go through a long restoration process. They kept the 19th century machinery and rediscovered the huge pattern archive. Old loom masters and technicians train the new generation so that Burel’s tradition can remain strong in the future. Several outside designers have designed products that are going beyond the original blankets. The current assortment ranges from wall and ceiling elements to furniture, clothing, and fashion accessories, to name a few.