Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



From Creating Textiles: Makers, Methods, Markets. Proceedings of the Sixth Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, Inc. New York, NY, September 23–26, 1998 (Earleville, MD: Textile Society of America, Inc., 1999).


Copyright © 1998 by the author(s)


Belgium, and most of all Flanders, has a strong textile history with many large manufacturers as well as some promising young textile designers. This lecture will focuss on three periods in time: the beginning, the middle and the end of the 20th century, three different kind of makers: a large manufacturer, a small studio and an independent textile designer, three methods: machine woven jacquard interior fabrics, simple handwoven household textiles and exclusive samples handwoven on a 24 shafts computerised loom, and three types of markets: the export market, the local Belgian market and both.

Most of the weaving mills active in Belgium today, were founded in the 19th century or in the beginning of the 20th century. Since the country is a very small one, their production is mostly made for export. This is also the case for Weverij Waesland a large manufacturer located in Sint Niklaas, Flanders. It started in 1922 but the roots it's roots go back to the turn of the century. Today they specialise in plain and jacquard flat woven fabrics and plain and jacquard double velvet.

Recently the factory moved and expanded and wanted to get rid of masses of old samples. The Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels received 40 boxes of them. An important gift, since the museum did not have a lot of 20th century textiles in its collection. The fact the samples derive from a Flemish weaving manufacturer, makes it even more important for the museum.