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The Working Textile Museum

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A stage involved in cloth making

From the 18th century onwards, life in the town of Bolbec revolved around the mills and looms of the cloth trade. Bolbec became the hub of cotton-cloth making in the region. The popular pink and white Vichy cloth made famous by Brigitte Bardot was produced here. Today, a trust run by volunteers keeps alive the heritage of the town’s textile industry at The Working Textile Museum.

The Working textile museum – the only one in france


Since 1977, a trust named “Bolbec au fil de la mémoire”  has recreated the illustrious past of the town and region in its working museum. This group of enthusiasts who worked in the industry have recreated the manufacturing process in the old Desgenétais factory. They’ll tell you about transforming cotton into cloth and show you how it’s taken from the bale and turned into thread, ribbons and fabric. Some thread is put on to a bobbin for the weft, and some more for the warp, which then go on the loom to produce the cloth. All the machines are in working order and demonstrations are given to visitors. It’s a living museum and explanations are given by these veterans of the trade. A real interaction takes place between guides and visitors! In 2013, the trust decided to recreate the old cloths produced in the valley, with the mouchoir and Vichy in 2014 and cotton-linen mix and damask in 2015. In 2016, the trust’s volunteers want to concentrate on the small-chequered Norman and bayadère cloths. In the gift shop, you can treat yourself and others to original creations made from these cloths.



An Indienne cloth

the bolbec indiennes

Since 2012, part of the museum has been dedicated to indiennes – the printed cloth which was the origin of Bolbec’s wealth and development. Here you can learn about the fabric’s history and printing techniques as well as the remarquable examples from the town’s archives.

The Working Textile Museum

5 rue Auguste Desgenétais

76210 Bolbec

+33 (0)26 38 39 10 17

Tourist Office of Caux Vallée de Seine

Tourist Office of Caux Vallée de Seine - Maison de l'intercommunalité allée du Catillon - 76170 Lillebonne - Normandie - France

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