Viscotex


France

Built in 1902

Abandoned in 2000

Visited on 09 2016


Viscotex was a factory specialised in the production of artificial silk or rayon. This is a semi-synthetic fiber which resembles silk, but typically costs less to produce and was made out of viscose. The factory was built in 1902. Until 1913, the amount of artificial silk produced in Europe increased heavily, the factory is increasing from 8,000 to 21,000 m2 in ten years. The plant employed 790 workers in 1913.

In 1914, the start of World war I the city is occupied and the factory is transformed partly into a hospital, and partly into a fat, margarine and canned food factory. The industrial equipment linked to the textile business was shipped to Germany. In 1920, the artificial silk production exceeded that of the production of natural silk.

Beginning in 1950, the appearance of synthetic fibers, nylon and terylene, and their success on the market, led to the decline of artificial silk. In the 1990s the first artificial silk factories closed down. In 2000 Viscotex had gone into liquidation. The workers threatened use carbon disulphide to blow up the plant, and to empty acid into the nearby river, which would cause widespread pollution and decimate wildlife. The authorities gave in and the workers got their severance pay.