Cemar Lavoir de Laines
THE ABANDONED FACTORY IN BELGIUM
‘Cemar Lavoir de Laines’ is an abandoned wool washing factory in Zulte, Belgium. The factory was owned by Cecil Martens, hence the company name Cemar.
During the 1880s, trade and industry flourished in Zulte, mainly under the impulse of the Martens family. The family not only had this wool washing factory, but also a spinning mill, knitwear workshop, tanneries and even a brewery.
This industrial wool washing factory, or in French ‘Lavoir de Laines’ was closed and abandoned in 2004. In the first place because they could not compete against the cheap labour countries like China. As a result the 40 employees lost their job. The wool washing machines are still in its place during my visit, all covered in dust and slowly rusting away. Here the fresh shaven wool was washed to a clean wool product that was transported to the clothing companies.
The house of the managing director next door was also abandoned, see my report here. I took these photos of ‘Cemar Lavoir de Laines’ in 2008.