Industrial Tourism

Industrial Tourism


Until the 1940's the collection, preservation and classification of the national leather was done in poor conditions compound by the lack of infrastructures and means that the preparation method required. In order to fill this gap Cortadoria Nacional de Pêlo was founded in 1943, preparing rabbit, hare and beaver fur to the millinery and wool industries. In 1960 under António Oliveira Figueiredo management it's inaugurated the factory building preserved until the present day. During the construction, when the first stone was thrown, it was placed on the base of the building a glass jar with coins of that time to perpetuate the event. Nowadays it's one of the world's greatest companies in this area, selling a wide range of products in differents parts of the globe. The raw material is processed in order to obtain the best quality textiles.



The name arose from the junction of two personal names, Hélder and Sara, and it intended to tribute the firstsons of the two founding partners. Founded in 1979, Helsar - Footwear Industry, SA dedicated initially to the manufacture of children's footwear. One year later it started to produce only high quality women shoes, activity that its kept until the present day. The business is family-oriented and its being growing and developing thanks to the know-how acquired along the years and in the design and material quality commitment. Sophistication, creativity and originality are in each creation and support the status that the company conquered, positioning it on top of the national women footwear manufacturers. Exporting to different countries, Helsar is known by its bride services, exclusive and customized. It is a pioneer in the production of hand plaited shoes with an unique design.




Family-oriented, Everest has seven dozens of employees in the production of high quality shoes maintaining a large component of manufacturing. João Fernandes founded the company in 1942 with an average production of ten pairs of shoes per day. In the 1950's, Everest it's administered by the second generation in a partnership with the third's family generation, being ruled by the values of the founder. All the manufacturing process it's executed by the company employees and that includes the investigation, creation, marketing, production, distribution and after-sales services. The company only uses high quality raw materials and the creations are based on fashion concepts. Everest produces brands such as Cohibas, Miguel Vieira, Fugato, Evereste and Chibs.



Born in 1969 from a strategic vision of a group of six industrials that decided to combine efforts and to unite the felt production in a single company, FEPSA is nowadays a world leader in the hat's felt production, well known but its quality products.

Over the years FEPSA has innovated its technologies and management, as well as its products and manufacture procedures. That's what allowed FEPSA to grow and develop, representing more than a quarter of the global market.

FEPSA has two hundred employes and an annual sales volume of nine million euros, matching the half million units sold in the five continents.



Viarco is the only pencil factory in Portugal and it's most likely one of the most versatile in the World. Its history it's old and starts in Vila do Conde in the year 1907 and in that time it was known as "Portugália - Portuguese Pencil Factory". In 1931 it had a turning point when Manoel Vieira Araújo, an industrial experienced milliner buys the company. In the year 1936 it's registered the brand that would become iconic and very popular between portuguese generations - Viarco. Five years later, in 1941, the company changes its headquarters to S. João da Madeira, where it remains in the present day. Always paying attention to the industry evolution Viarco produces a wide range of technical and ordinary pencils, and also manufacture some more specific on demand.  The company has a strong social responsability and frequently creates partnerships in order to contribute in causes related with education, culture and solidarity. The creation of a Pencil Museum and provide studios for young artists in the beginning of career are some of the projects being developed.



Heliotextil - Etiquetas e Passamanarias S. A. was founded in 1964 under the name "Bulhosas e Aguiar Lda." And only in 1972 did it change to the current designation. Throughout the years, it has grown significantly, increasing its productivity, as well as the quality of its products and services provided. The company creates, develops, produces and commercializes labels, transfers, ribbons and rubber bands, among other accessories. Customers specialize in a variety of industries, such as the textile, footwear and car industries, commerce, services and advertising. The investment made in the infrastructures and equipment, the certification and value given to its assets, as well as a continued training are crucial points of the company's strategy to achieve success. It employs about one hundred workers and it is a complete and modern industrial unit in the production of textile accessories.


Museu da Chapelaria

The Millinery Museum was born from an ancient hat factory. Unique in the Iberian Peninsula, the museum is a tribute to all man and woman that made this industry one of the most important activities in the history of S. João da Madeira. In this space are preserved pictures and artifacts that illustrate the hat production methods and also al the human, social and cultural dimension of the community for which this activity has assumed.

Visit the long duration exhibitions, get to know the life of this industry’s workers and go back in time to an age when nobody would leave their house without a hat.



Born in 1965, the Footwear Industry Training Center ("Centro de Formação Profissional da Indústria de Calçado") as the name indicates as its mission to qualify workers to the industrial activity. The first institution activity was based on short courses training related with footwear's stitching, cutting and forming. In 1974 its actual headquarters were inaugurated and it was possible to follow the footwear industry development that Portugal faced in that decade. Different training centers started activity around the country. Later, particularly since the 80's, it was possible to have a great response to new challenges. Nowadays it's being developed an educational policy that preserve the technique and combines it with design and brand concepts. It's very important to have a good training in order to face an increasingly demaning global market. That's the main reason why CFPIC focus its efforts to present a high quality training and provide the best equipments available. As a result its students usually are highlighted on international design and innovation contests.



Centro Tecnológico do Calçado de Portugal - Footwear Technological Center of Portugal - is a nonprofit organization founded in 1986 by the Industrial Footwear Association (APICCAPS) and two institutes of the Ministry of Economy dedicated to the innovation - IAPMEI and INETI. This center support Footwear related companies in different fields like technical training, product development and material and equipment investigation. One of the main objectives of this structure is to disclose technical information to the industrial companies/institutions. The Footwear Technological Center of Portugal provide services in the industrial organization which include quality control, company certification, environmental advisement, physical and chemical tests, technological surveillance, hygiene and safety at work, design and multimedia, and others.