New Hand Lab: the coolest spot at Covilhã
Covilhã. The history of Covilhã is written through the threads and skeins of those who, one day, was the pulsating heart of the city. Wool factories that raised Covilhã to the quality of “Manchester” Portuguese but ended up closed, dictated to a cruel abandonment.
Of those more than 200 factories there were only 2 left in full operation. But because closing doors were not words Luís would like to have in his vocabulary, he took the factory inherited from his father – who once exported fabrics to great dressmakers in Paris – and reinvented it. The New Hand Lab was born.
More than an old factory - where the machines still work and serve the creative project - the New Hand Lab is a place where everyone is welcome, as long as they share a passion for creating something.
More than an old factory – where the machines still work and serve the creative project – the New Hand Lab is a place where everyone is welcome, as long as they share a passion for creating something. There are those who make pieces of clothing, there are those who paint and there are even those who take photographs. And it is not uncommon to have concerts and fashion shows going on there.
Being carried away by those hordes of history was a unique experience. Luis still keeps the repository of all the fabrics made at the factory while it was opened and I can only tell you that it is incredible. And, because creativity draws creativity, the New Hand Lab houses the custom dolls project of each village near Covilhã. In fact, the children told the legends and Luis’s wife made handmade dolls that would give life to the legends. Leya (a book editor) has been associated with the project and therefore it is possible to buy the book with the legends and the doll of each village.
Visiting the New Hand Lab was not just one of the most interesting places I have ever seen. It was a proof that age is in the spirit and not in the body. A big thanks to Luis and his wife who welcomed us so well and made us feel part of such a beautiful project.
New Hand Lab
Rua Mateus Fernandes – Travessa do Ranito,