Lavoir et Carbonisage de Dolhain


This old building is part of the ‘Lavoir et Carbonisage de Dolhain’, a factory that washed and carbonized wool. The factory belonged to the brothers Despa. The factory was built in 1934 and abandoned 60 years later.

The wool carbonizing plant is built along the river Vesdre, which connects Dolhain and Verviers. Carbonizing of wool is done to remove the impurities from wool. In this case, this is done by treatment with acid producing salts. Carbonized wool is more porous than scoured wool. As a result, the dye uptake is higher. Uneven dyeing may result due to faulty carbonizing.

In 1983 the company merges with its biggest rival, the Verviers based plant ‘Belgium Solvent’. Later, the new company is renamed ‘Traitex‘, a company still active today. It is the only European firm still active in the sector of washing and carbonizing wool. The Dolhain factory closed in 1994, production is taken over in the Verviers factory. Eventually, a plan to rebuild the site for housing started in 2005. Luckily, the original facade will be saved. These photos of ‘Lavoir et Carbonisage de Dolhain’ were taken in 2013. Also check my report of this children’s hospital in the same town.

Built 1934
Abandoned 1994
Reconverted 2019