Our history

Flax has been farmed and linen fabrics woven in Flanders for centuries. By the 18th century, Meulebeke, situated near Kortrijk, had emerged as one of the villages with the largest linen production. By the 1800's, there were dozens of weaving firms operating in and around Meulebeke. Of these, only two remained: Libeco and Lagae Linens.

The first information on Libeco dates from 1864. At that time, the company was a collecting point and warehouse for pure linen fabrics produced in the homes of the cottage workforce of the region. From this first warehouse, the woven goods were transported by handcart to Kortrijk, where they were dyed and sold. By 1904, a production facility had been established and the factory had begun to install power looms; by the end of the first World War, 140 looms were in operation. Fine quality, pure linen fabrics and linen-cotton blends were produced for sheets and table coverings. Even then, exports were important to the firm, especially to South America. World War II heralded a difficult period for the company but by the early 1960's, Libeco's shareholders adopted an ambitious investment plan to ensure stability and allow the firm to grow once more.

Established in Kortrijk in 1858, Lagae Linens produced fine cambric and handkerchiefs. With their takeover of Tissages de Gryze in Meulebeke, the Lagae brothers began to actively merchandise their expanded weaving production. Despite partial destruction of their weaving workshops in 1940, production facilities at Lagae Linens have been rebuilt and continually expanded over the years resulting in a firm with very modern production equipment. At the time of their merger with Libeco, the firm was equipped with the latest Sülzer-Rüti projectile and rapier weaving machines.

These venerable and uniquely complementary weaving firms merged on June 2, 1997, into a single company known simply as Libeco·Lagae. The strength and synergy realized by this friendly merger ensures that the age-old craft of Belgian linen weaving heads into the new millennium stronger than ever.

Libeco Home
and the manufacturing of finished products has always been part of the activities. Between 1864 and 1950 mostly focussed on the production of very fine handkerchiefs, table linen ,bed linen and towels. In the sixties and the seventies the company increased the range to prints and yarn dyes. Since 1980 the division became more and more active in promoting a complete concept of linen for the home. Today it is one of the most creative lines on the contemporary market for household linens.

Libeco-Lagae Inc. was founded in 1993 in New York City. It was set up as a sales office for servicing the apparel market in the States. In 1997 the company acquired the decorative division of Hamilton Adams and merged the two activities. Today the company is our main sales office for the US-market.

Libeco Home Stores NV was founded in 1986 under the name The Linen House. A first store was opened in Bruges as an experiment in retail. Over the years new stores were opened and the "linen concept " was developed further. Today we operate 2 stores: Tokyo & Meulebeke.

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