Flax and Linen Museums around the World

Linen Museums - Flax Seed - LinenMe

A wide range of museums across Europe offer extensive displays of flax production tools, as well as historical items from various periods showing evolution and changes in flax technology and weaving. We have selected leading museums covering major aspects of flax cultivation and linen production.

BELGIUM

National Flax Museum in Courtrai | Nationaal Vlasmuseum

Address: Etienne Sabbelaan 4, Courtrai (Kortrijk), Belgium
Phone: +32 56 210138

This region between Courtrai and Deinze is well-known for the flax production, as it is located alongside the river Leie. The water of this river has the ideal level of acidity to water-ret the flax and over centuries the area was closely connected to the flax growing and textile industry. It is not surprising that Courtrai has an entire museum dedicated to this subject, also featuring an impressive lace collection. The museum covers all stages of flax growing and linen production, and features examples of various uses of linen and lace. Set in an old flax farm from 19th century.

NORTHERN IRELAND (UK)

Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum

Address: Market Square, Lisburn, BT28 1AG, Northern Ireland
Phone: +44 28 9266 3377

Focusing on history of Irish flax growing and linen production, this museum takes you back to the 17th century. A fantastic display is accompanied by skilled demonstrations of spinning and weaving techniques, as well as exhibits some of the finest samples of Irish linens.

For further information click here.

Newtownstewart Gateway Centre & Museum

Address: Grange Court Complex, 21-27 Moyle Road, Newtownstewart, Tyrone, Northern Ireland
Phone: +44 28 81662414

Among the artefacts from 19th Century, the museum has a fascinating display of flax growing tools and linen processing items.

For further information click here.

Benburb Valley Heritage Centre

Address: Milltown Road, Benburb, Armagh, Northern Ireland BT71 7LZ
Phone: +44 28 37549885

Flax cultivation and linen production was the most important industry in the north-eastern part of Ireland in the 19th and 20th centuries. Set in an old linen weaving mill close to the Ulster Canal, this centre displays 2 steam engines and other machinery used for warping, weaving and beetling.

ITALY

Linen Museum | Museo del Lino

Address: Via Mazzini 73, 26033 Pescarolo (Cremona), Italy
Phone: +39 372 836193

This ethnographic museum is managed by the Linen Museum Association, set up in early 1970s by a group of volunteers that were passionate about collecting and conserving original items from linen industry. The museum has an excellent display of linen production tools and follows the circle of flax from a little seed to the final product – a pure linen cloth.

For further information click here.

FRANCE

The House of Linen in Routot

Address: La Maison du Lin à Routot, Place de la Mairie 27350 Routot, France
Phone: 02 32 56 21 76

The museum takes you to a journey through the entire process of flax growing and preparation, spinning and linen weaving. The museum explores the qualities of this ancient fibre as well as shows the importance of linen to local economy and lifestyle.

For further information click here.

LITHUANIA

Rumsiskes National Open Air Museum

Address: Lietuvos liaudies buities muziejus, 2 J.Aiscio Street, LT-56335 Rumsiskes, Lithuania
Phone: +370 346 47233

This open air museum features nearly 80 residential buildings and craftsmen workshops. The museum shows the process of linen weaving process, and displays a range of unique Lithuanian linen articles.

For more information please click here.

Upyte Linen Museum

Address: Stultiskiu village, Upytės ward, Panevezys district, Lithuania
Phone: +370 45 555530

Located in an old windmill built in 1880, this small yet unique linen museum explains old traditional techniques of flax cultivation and linen production. The display includes tools, looms and a wide array of Lithuanian linen samples, from towels to clothing and tablecloths. The museum allows visitors to try out many of the instruments and even have a go at weaving using old Lithuanian looms!
Please contact the museum prior to your visit.

AUSTRIA

Bruckbach Hoarstub’n Flax Museum

Address: Freilichtmuseum Bruckbacher Hoarstub”n, Reichholz 3, A-4852 Weyregg am Attersee, Austria
Phone: +43 7664 3125

Set in a building which was built in 1850 and used for flax processing, this small flax museum displays original flax farming machinery, special tools and devices widely used in Austria for linen production up until early 20th century.
Please contact the museum prior to your visit.

NORWAY

Norwegian Folk Museum

Address: Norsk Folkemuseum, Museumsveien 10, 0287 Oslo, Norway
Phone: +47 2212 3700

Among many other aspects of Norwegian folk history, this museum also demonstrates the process of domestic manufacture of linen fabrics and shows tools and devices used by peasants to grow flax and produce linen garments.

For more information please click here.

CANADA

Textile Museum of Canada

Address: 55 Centre Avenue (Dundas St. W & University Ave., St. Patrick subway), Toronto, Ontario M5G 2H5
Phone: +1 416 599 5321

Focusing on the history of cloth, culture and art, this museum has a fantastic collection of linen clothing, bedding, and other home textiles, also available to view online. Articles from Eastern and Central Europe, as well as linen garments from as early as 5th century Egypt.

For more information please click here.

Photo: flax seeds © LinenMe

4 comments

francesca pinna 2013-06-12
Reply

Good morning,
I would like to tell you about an important museum about linen, the Museum of Traditional Costume and Linen Production placed in Busachi, in the province of Oristano.
You can find a description in English language on this site: http://www.comune.busachi.or.it

Thank you and compliments for your web site.
Best regards,
Francesca Pinna

John Linossier 2012-03-28
Reply

My suname name “Linossier” comes from southern france and is associated the selling and weaving of linen. I am doing a family history. What can you tell me about how this name became associated with the industry?

Pingback: From Flax to Fiber to Fashion | Sinting Link

Linda Heinrich 2009-07-08
Reply

Dear Inge, I have enjoyed your website immensely and was so pleased to see the inclusion of flax/linen museums around the world having visited a number of them. I, too, have been interested in flax and linen for a number of years. My book, The Magic of Linen, published in 1992, will be reprinted by Schiffer Publishing, Pennsylvania, USA and should be available in the spring of 2010. Schiffers asks their authors to provide them with a list of individuals, organizations and companies to contact once the book is published. Would you like to be listed? But, perhaps I should tell you about myself and the book first.

For almost twenty years I lectured and taught linen weaving workshops in Canada and the United States. I was invited to teach at the North American conference, Convergence, on four occasions.

The book sold out relatively quickly. A few months ago Schiffer Publishing contacted me. A reprint is in progress. I have been editing and upgrading the book since then. This book is about the saga of a remarkable fiber from seed to woven cloth. The first chapter is titled: In the Beginning: The Flax Plant – a discussion of the flax plant, it’s botanical structure , the fibers within the stem and the differences betwen linen flax and oilseed flax. Subsequent chapters follow detailing the specifics of flax cultivation, processing and spinning; natural and synthetic dyeing and weaving and finishing linen cloth. This book, however, will be of interest to a much broader audience. Sprinkled throughout with folklore and historical data it devotes one chapter to the use of linen by the ancient Egyptians, and another, to a history of Irish linen. Here, the reader will learn how the ancient Egyptians cultivated flax and made linen cloth destined for clothing, bedding and bandages to wrap the dead after mummification and just why Irish linen had the reputation that it did. A final chapter will be revised to examine linen’s status in today’s world of fiber. The bibliography and endnote references are extensive. Suppliers and Museums and places of interest are included. There are many photographs – colored and black and white.

Would you like to be notified once it becomes available?

A response when you have a moment would be most appreciated. Within the next week all the corrections and revisions will be posted to the publisher.

Kindest regards, Linda Heinrich (Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada)

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