Portuguese textile manufacturers are taking on their Chinese couterparts and winning some serious business. Next time you buy a shirt, take a look at the label: there’e a good chance it will have a “Made in Portugal” marque inside. The country is movin away from low-cost mass production and focusing on quality and design. It’s a move that is paying off: everyone from Burberry to Paul Smith and Fred Perry to Maison Kitsuné has shifted production to the country.
The Shirtgate showroom in Porto serves as an inspiring space for fashion buyers.
Tiago Guimarães, Somelos managing director.
Somelos headquarters in Guimarães
Arnaldo Machado, factory administrator.
Workers ensure yarn is correctly set on the loom.
Egyptian cotton spools onto the looms.
Somelos looms weave 7 million metres of fabric a year.
Quality checking a piece of recently woven fabric.
Somelos weaving room.
Somelos creates exclusive fabric for its customers.
The Somelos factory employs 1100 people.