Everyone that asks me about Portugal will get trapped in a long, detailed, complicated and uber-adjectivated monologue about food, weather, music, politics and people.
However, I normally fail on talking about of one of the things I love more about Portugal (and being Portuguese) which are the Portuguese textiles.
Recently, while browsing through some portuguese fiber-lover blogs, I came across with the fashion brand SENNES. SENNES means search of essence and it was the result of the collaboration between fashion designer Nele de Block and Pedro Franco, who introduced her to the traditional wool weaving of the Serra da Estrela region in Portugal.
Serra da Estrela is the highest point of Portugal, and the coldest one too. SENNES collection was inspired by a traditional super dense and water-proof blanket (or manta) produced in the region. Textile industry has been an intense activity on Serra da Estrela area since the 12th century, and its recognized by the extreme quality of the wool and woven work.
Portuguese shepherd blankets or mantas
(photos courtesy of ECOLA, one of the few remaining local textile industries)
SENNES collection is totally made in Portugal and only the wool from sheep that live in the mountains is used and it’s spun, carded and woven locally. The wool is not submitted to any after-treatment, to maintain its natural quality, and felting occurs by washing it in the cold, soft and non polluted water of the natural springs of the region. Colors are based on the natural range of color of the wool and no chemical dyes are used.
(photos courtesy of SENNES; more photos, catalog and info on their website)
If you are feeling inspired and would like to try portuguese Serra da Estrela wool on your fiber endeavors, you can get it from here. And look how soft and nice it looks!