The world of thread at the Calquières spinning factory

Langogne is a small town in the department of Lozère (the province of Gevaudan before the French Revolution), in the present-day region of Languedoc-Roussillon. It lies on the River Langouyrou, which in the past provided power for several watermills and process water for several tanneries. Water-power was used to operate fulling mills for woollen cloth and in the nineteenth century was applied first to spinning woollen yarn and then to weaving cloth. One of the mills was purchased by the town authority in 1992 and opened as a museum two years later. In the early nineteenth century the water-power was used for spinning by day and for grinding grain by night, but in 1828 Pierre-Emmanuel Hippolyte Boyer (d 1876) began to use the waterwheels to drive looms for weaving. Like most mills in the region this was a small enterprise employing only about ten people in the late nineteenth century. Weaving ceased about 1920 but spinning continued until 1990. The closure was part of a longer process of economic decline – between the 1930s and the early 1970s the population of Langogne was in the region of 4,000, but it is now less than 3,000, and the museum brings some tourist income to the town, as well as enhancing pride in the past. The mill consists of three storeys with a basement below, and its wheel, which generates 4 h.p., is 3.85 m. in diameter, and 0.85 m. wide. Exhibits include a 120-spindle spinning mule of the 1850s.

The world of thread at the Calquières spinning factory
Le Monde de Filaine á la Filature des Calquières
23 Rue des Calquières
48300 Langogne
+33 (0) 466 - 692556