Let us take you back to Flanders in 1858. During that time, weaving was a flax farmers’ specialty, a way to earn extra money during the severe winter months when it was too cold to work the land. All linen fabric was transported by horse & cart to Kortrijk, the center of the flax industry. Our company, Libeert & Compagnie was located near the station and sold linen to traders from all over the world, who came to buy the much sought-after Flemish flax.
Around the same time, Flanders joined the Industrial Revolution. The first mechanical, steam-powered weaving mills popped up in the countryside. Around the turn of the century, we built our own weaving mill in Meulebeke, approximately 10 miles from Kortrijk. Libeco still operates at this same site today, more than 150 years later.
In the meantime, the Flemish landscape around Kortrijk was completely transformed by the prosperity brought about by linen. In 19th century Meulebeke, more than 65% of the population worked in the flax industry. Today you can still find streets named after flax, retting and even linen (Vlasstraat, Roterijstraat, and Linnenstraat). The best flax in the world is still grown in our region.
All of our linen is woven in Belgium. The fabric is inspected yard by yard and mended by hand where necessary. Our products are made with great care, for the product, but also for the environment. Over the last few years, we have again made significant steps by becoming a CO2 neutral company and by launching a 100% organic linen collection. Corporate sustainability for a viable future, that is our vision.
Flax is a locally produced fiber transformed by experienced and passionate craftsmen.
Meanwhile, the fifth generation of the Libeert family is managing the company. Together with some 200 colleagues, we continue to weave our own story. Read all about it in our blog, soon to come.