José Machado, as he likes to tell with a smile, was virtually born between the looms of his ancestors. Today, at the age of 88, he looks back on the more than 100-year history of the family business. His memories of the sheets and towels that came out of the large, then still manual looms begin as a young boy. Today, the variety of items and the techniques of production have changed a lot. But modern progress never meant layoffs: "We needed fewer people per loom, but we didn't lay anyone off," says José Machado. Instead, more was produced and invested in innovation and customer service.
The Machado weaving mill is the only textile company in Portugal that has never stopped, and has been since 1921. Three men were responsible for opening it - José's father, his uncle and a brother-in-law from Porto - inexperienced in weaving but full of passion and idealism. In the beginning, there were no more than 15 workers. Today, the company employs around 150 people, many of whom are already in the second and third generations of the family.
From the beginning, the founders set out to make only the very best home textiles and committed to using only the highest quality materials and production techniques. One touch of the mill's super-soft linen is enough to realize that even after 100 years, in its fourth generation, this has not changed.
Family togetherness is highly valued at the manufactory: everyone knows each other, they eat lunch together, and the founder's great-granddaughter is involved in the business as an on-site doctor.
When we speak with Diogo, the founder's great-great-grandson and the 5th generation of the family, he proudly tells of the company's commitment to the environment and community: a cogeneration plant and a large photovoltaic system reflect the company's commitment to the environment, and new programs for energy recycling in the city's power grid are being developed.
The oldest and most prestigious textile manufacturer in Portugal has completely convinced us with its passion and centuries of know-how.