Tilburg in the Province of North Brabant has traditionally been an important centre of the Dutch textile industry. Its mills were one of the major employers in the region until the 1960s. After that thousands of workers began to lose their jobs, mainly because of foreign competition from outside Europe.
The Dutch Textile Museum takes up this story in a very palpable fashion. What was it like to be a Tilburg weaver one hundred years ago? How did independent spinners gradually become wage-earners in textile mills? What were the reasons for the decline of the textile industry at the end of the 1950s? The museum will give you the answers to these and other questions because it all happened here in an old elaborately designed 19th century textile mill. Inside things are anything but elaborate. Historical machines work alongside ultra-modern equivalents and steam-driven looms clatter away beside computerised textile machines. For this museum still produces articles. Visitors can experience a working mill which at the same time recounts its own history, thanks to a range of machinery which comprises working old-timers, a range of films and multi-media installations. An inexhaustible collection of exhibits from a mediaeval dye book to the most modern examples of contemporary design ensure that visitors can enjoy a fascinating tour through the colourful world of textile-making.