The sounds of the machines in motion before your very eyes put you right into the living history of textiles.


Though the story of textiles is about more than just machines and factories; it is a story about the men and women

whose work set the foundation for the rise of an entire industry.
La Manufacture invites you to discover these human-scale histories in order to better understand the history of textiles in Roubaix as well as the greater Lille metropolitan area.


Israël Jean-Baptiste Craye launched a weaving company (on what is now the site of La Manufacture) that produced upholstery fabric with great success.
The Craye Company was known for its velvet, carpets, and Jacquard-woven fabrics, and specialised in mechanical reproductions of medieval Flemish tapestries.
When the Belgian firm Flemish Tapestries acquired the Craye Company in 1992, Mr. Persyn, the CEO of the former, set aside part of the production site to become the Jacquard Museum.
When the company outsourced production to Belgium, Mr. Persyn gifted the museum’s collections to the City of Roubaix, which then purchased the buildings in order to continue bringing a vital piece of the region’s textile history to life.
After construction work was completed, the museum became La Manufacture, a museum dedicated to the stories and memories of textile manufacturing history. La Manufacture continues to celebrate contemporary textile creation while keeping the past vividly linked to the present.


Hall of machines

From the hand-operated looms that workers in the Middle Ages operated inside their homes to the computer-assisted machines used today, discover how textile technology has evolved alongside changes in the labor and living conditions of workers in the textile industry.

Personal testimonies of textile workers

At either the beginning or the end of your tour, you’ll have the chance to explore videos, which present the oral histories of various textile workers.

In addition, you’ll hear from numerous other factory foremen, weavers, spinners, and textile designers about their first days on the job, the factory atmosphere, and the high points of their careers. (Longer versions of the exhibit’s 10-minute videos are available through the Bibliothèque Numérique de Roubaix).

logo ina Explore the INA app online

“Understanding the Textile History and Heritage of Roubaix, Tourcoing, and Lille”

The INA video archive provides audio-visual illustrations of the guide and highlights the fascinating story of textiles in the region from its origins through the present and into the future. La Manufacture takes an incisive look at the future of the industry by presenting innovative fabrics and materials produced by local businesses.


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