(Portuguese for haberdashery) began as an online shop in January 2008. By the end of 2009 the physical location was opened at Rua do Loreto, in the heart of Lisbon. Rosa Pomar teaches classes at Retrosaria continues her field research of Portuguese textiles. As a result of her field work Retrosaria's Portuguese yarns are hand spun and dyed by skilled artisans using traditional tools and methods.Wonderful hand woven wool textiles and felted wools are available as well as traditional calicos. The usual wools are also stocked such as Jamiesons, Debbie Bliss, etc.and more exotic yarns such as Obrador Xisqueta produced from Spanish sheep in Catalonia. ecomodista spent an hour pouring over the indigenous yarns and textiles, and after buying various skeins, was pleased to learn that orders are often shipped abroad, and furthermore when there is time, a private session may be obtained with Pomar to learn the unique one needle technique of Portuguese knitting.
Larada is a bulky knitting yarn produced exclusively from the wool of Portuguese Merino sheep, an indigenous breed found in the south of Portugal, especially in the Alentejo. south-central and southern Portugal. Literally, defined as "beyond" (além) Tagus river (Tejo). One of the largest cities is Tomar, created by the Knights Templar in the late 12th century. The Merino breed originated in the Iberian Peninsula, possibly before Roman times, and has always been highly prized by its finesse and softness.For centuries this Iberian wool was traded all over Europe while Merino sheep were subject to strict laws that kept the breed exclusive to the peninsula. The Portuguese Merino Breeders Association ANCORME verifies the origin and quality of the fleece used to produce this yarn.
Buildings clad in traditional azulejos/ceramic tiles are similar to the calico printed cottons traditionally produced in Portugal
photograph: from the mountains of Serra da Estrela, this lace weight yarn was traditionally spun for weaving.
photograph: Larada yarn and knit sample
photograph: another yarn shop, Lãs Imperial in Lisboa, closed when ecomodista visited
photograph: colours of Lisboa