The history of the Francisco Soares da Silva shop, which opened in 1840, is closely linked to the history of Amoreiras and the reason why the area was given that name. Almost a century before the shop opened, the Marquess of Pombal drew up a plan for the new Lisbon to be built after the earthquake of 1755, according to which this hill would be occupied by the Real Colégio das Manufacturas, also known as the Amoreiras Factory Complex. To be included in the complex were a silk factory, and factories for the manufacture of combs, clocks, cardboard boxes, varnishes, knives, buttons, seal wax and tapestries, in addition as a stucco and drawing school as a complement to the ceramics factory somewhat further down the slope, at Rato.
For the proposed complex the Marquess laid out the Jardim das Amoreiras garden, for which the tree planting was finished in 1771. A total of 331 mulberry trees (amoreiras in Portuguese) were planted next to the silk factory in order to promote the national silk industry. Today many believe that the area is called Amoreiras after the shopping centre of the same name. In reality, the name is more than 250 years old. Next to the garden one finds the Árpád Szenes-Vieira da Silva Foundation, which occupies the space of the former Royal Silk Factory. Next door to that is Francisco Soares da Silva, S.A., the last surviving manufacturer of fabric trimmings and ornamentations in Lisbon. It is also the last producer of Moiré ribbon, an artisanal silk ribbon with unique and exclusive patterns. Each of these ribbons has a “unique digital imprint” and today they are mainly used by universities for graduation diplomas and for honours and awards.
The firm makes artisanal silk, cotton and satin ribbons, ribbons for honours and decorations (ambassadors, diplomats, athletes and all other types of official honours), velcro, bias tape, grosgrain ribbon, sewing and embroidery threads – in short, all kinds of ribbons, tapes and trimmings. The ribbons and trimmings can be made to order, given that the store has all kinds of materials in a wide range of colours available. This is one of Lisbon’s oldest factories still in operation.
Manufacture and sale of fabric trimmings, and other textile industry-related products