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Dyed in the wool

Number of interviews: unknown

Transcripts: made

Accessibility: unknown

Oral history project led by Jan Laurier was the third component of workshop-like event on the history of Leiden textiles (abbreviated WOLT).

The other two components were an exhibition on the textile industry and a scientific congress with lectures on Leiden textile history.


Voices from Leiden’s factory past

Ex-employees traced through the Municipal Archives, based on Jaap Moes’ Krantz research. Dirk Jaap Noordam of the Department of History worked with students on the interviews and joined the oral history working group of the Dirk van Eck Foundation.

The project concluded in 1998 with the book Door de wol geverfd

Door de wol geverfd

Author: J. Laurier
Co-author: J.K.S. Moes Jan Laurier
ISBN: 9789057300189 

For seven centuries, Leiden was known far beyond its borders for its textile industry. Many Dutch people have slept under a Leiden woollen blanket or worn a jumper made from yarn from the city of Leiden.


In the 1970s, the last Leiden textile factories closed their gates. For many people, that also meant the end of work they had often done for decades.


This book focuses on these people. Spinners, weavers and others who stood at the machines tell their life stories. But not only them: factory directors and managers also speak at length, shedding light on the former working conditions and the ups and downs of the various textile factories.


In this way, Door de wol geverfd offers a varied picture of Leiden textiles in the twentieth century and of an industrial business culture that has now disappeared almost everywhere in the Netherlands.