SANTO TIRSO RESIDENCY: BUREL MOUNTAIN ORIGINALS
Burel Mountain Originals - Portuguese Wool - Serra da Estrela.
We were introduced to Burel and its wool through Rita who recently launched her own creative agency @xixar_us alongside teaching Fashion Branding, Creation and Management of Fashion Brands at Escola Superior de Artes e Design.
Hydrophobic, insulating and offering acoustic properties, the fabric is made from a specific wool taken from one type of sheep (Bordaleira) found in the cold mountainous regions of Portugal. Having lived in the region for centuries, the sheep benefit from the natural environment which in turn enriches the wool making it durable, resistant and comfortable to wear. One the wool is collected a meticulous process includes washing, spinning, weaving and felting using traditional machinery that remains in action after over 100 years. Rich and vibrant colourways are a notable characteristic of Burel wool alongside additional patterns and textures. We were lucky to be able to take home some samples kindly given to us from Rita, and during time in Porto we visited the Burel store located on R. de Mouzinho da Silveira 79, 4050-265. Beautifully merchandised in colour tones, the possibilities of the fabrics use were demonstrated through wall hangings, dogs beds, chairs, hats, apparel and homewares. Proud of their heritage and conscious of their process, waste fabrics are used for handmade 'what a waste’ rugs using simple frame looms. The Xia stool caught our attention in particular (see video below).