Profile of the Association > Haslach, the Weavers’ Town
The market town of Haslach has approx. 2500 inhabitants, and is situated about 50 km north of Linz, near the borders to Czech Republic and Bavaria. Embedded in the soft hills of the Upper Mühlviertel, the historic town has a pleasant atmosphere, which is ideal for recreation as well as sporting and cultural activities.
For centuries linen production had been the most important merchandise of the Upper Mühlviertel with Haslach as the economic centre. At rather a disadvantage climatically and geographically, the infertile soils of the region lent themselves to the cultivation of flax. For centuries farmers and weavers produced large quantities of linen in their homes, which were exported far and wide. In the second half of the 19th century industrialisation reached the Mühlviertel and brought an upsurge of mechanical weaving which in turn caused great economic and social changes. Many factories sprang up which processed linen in the beginning, later chiefly cotton and other materials for soft furnishings and clothing material. Cloth from the Mühlviertel had established a reputation far beyond its borders and for a long time brought relative prosperity to the region.
From 1970 onward the economic conditions for local mills became more and more difficult, and one after the other had to close down. Today there are comparatively few active weaving mills, and they all have had to find their niche. But they carry on spinning the thread in an individual, contemporary way.
The initiatives of TEXTILE KULTUR HASLACH have contributed much to a re-appreciation in the Mühlviertel of its textile heritage. The Textile Centre Haslach was founded – a location where past and present of textile creation interweave, where the local Museum of Weaving, Manufaktur Haslach, teaching and training possibilities and production in small series are brought together.