The Alentejan blankets come from a heritage and a centuries’ long tradition rooted in the identity of the pastors and communities who worked the land. These were essential for the middle-class of earlier times and were used to protect them from the cold, but are now used for decorative purposes such as bedspreads and rugs.
The Mar d’Estórias team went to visit the Fábrica Alentejana de Lanifícios of Reguengos de Monsaraz, which attempts to revive and preserve an almost extinct art and symbol of the Alentejo culture. Diving into the origins of this factory we realize that everything is produced in old semi-manual looms and with Portuguese wool, with no added synthetic fibers. These artistic creations take place at the hands of weavers in an adapted old oil press to ensure that this heritage remains alive.
To produce a blanket a whole process is set in motion – the wool from the north of the country is washed and dyed in national land and arrives at the hands of the weaver who coordinates 4 pedals and passes, for hours, the shuttle (where the wool is placed) from one side to the other to create the unique and geometric patterns that go back to the culture of Islam.
These are final products that not only contain quality in the choice of materials, but an immaterial value associated with the originality of manual production and underlying tradition.