Burel Montain Originals Burel Montain Originals

The History

Burel Factory. The story of a Mountain. 


Serra da Estrela came to us as a mirage in a panorama weakened by the crisis that had debilitated the interior region of the country. We intervened. Today we are more than 100 people, we revived a village, a factory and keep promoting a culture that was in danger to be forgotten by time.

It was 2006 when Isabel Costa and João Tomás were liberated by Serra da Estrela mountain range. The exploratory mountain hikes had revealed to them an old sanatorium in the Penhas Douradas, at the top of the mountain, which they eventually acquired, and is now the Casa das Penhas Douradas – Burel Expedition Hotel. It was the beginning of a long recovery process that continues today.

In the building of the Casa das Penhas Douradas we 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, when we found the factory of Lanífícios Império. The factory discovered us and we discovered the burel inside, that later we tried to develop, which would be used in the decoration of the hotel. It was then that we realized that the factory was in the process of being insolvent and unable to meet the needs of time, of a world that was beginning to spin too fast.


We decided to go through a process of restoration of the factory and its acquisition to continue the narrative brought from the last century and bring back to life the local population that depended on it. To show that art to the world. Today is Burel Factory.

We kept the machines of the nineteenth century, recycled some patterns from the old books that we still use today in some blankets, and began to colour the burel fabric that until then only existed in the original colours of wool. 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.

We put the old loom masters teaching the younger ones, so as to increase the passage of testimony and not let the art die in their hands, let the ancient sound of the looming no longer echo through the valleys of those mountains. This keeps until this day.

Thus, 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. We increased the social, ecological sustainability and the conservation of the mountain that is our home, of the people who inhabit it. From the nature that continues to inspire us. From the greatness of the landscape that welcomes us. From the sheep that run through it and lend us the wool twice a year, from the shepherds who lead them. We seek to attract skilled labor to the region, spread the talent and affection that is woven in each piece. We promote a story that belongs to many and today we are the biggest employers in Vila de Manteigas.

In 2016 we acquired the old Pousada de São Lourenço to transform it into the new Casa de São Lourenço – Burel Panorama Hotel, which continued to energize the central region, and highlight a lifestyle rooted in the mountain, in its culture, its people, and the knowledge inherited for generations.

“At bottom we are recoverers of a heritage, material and immaterial. That is our mission. Without past we have no future. We want to value it with innovation, which is what really matters.”