TEXTURE tells the story of the flax and linen industry. It is a story about strong roots, about craftsmanship and entrepreneurship, about daring innovations and constantly re-inventing oneself.
In three rooms, in an authentic flax distribution centre (1912) on the banks of the river Lys, you can learn about the revolutionary development induced by the flax industry in this region. The past will surprise you, while the stories of the present will amaze and inspire you.
For centuries, Flanders has been famous for its textiles. Especially linen has played a leading role in this history. Luxury products such as lace and damask were immensely popular among the nobility and bourgeoisie; ordinary people wore the basic cloth that was woven here in large quantities. A new industry sprung up alongside the banks of the Lys and went on to conquer the world: flax processing. ‘Courtrai flax’ soon became renowned as the best flax available and was internationally highly in demand.
The Wonder Room is a DIY-room, a sort of laboratory where you can interactively discover often overlooked applications of flax, its significance in today's world and its potential for the future.
The Lys room brings to life the story of the flax processing in the Leie region. This story is one of trial and error, of people who without any help repeatedly found the resilience to overcome major crises. Its fascinating history is told with a selection of objects, work tools and machines from the collection, photos, film, animations, testimonials and interactive maps. The economic development of the region of Lys is displayed, with the flax industry as its driving force.
Beneath the golden crown you can find the Treasure chamber. This is where you can marvel at the beautiful damasks, laces, handwork and fine fabrics that enrich this exceptional textile collection.