Canvas Company

Eduard von Lang (1831-1920) was the most influential personality in Blaubeuren in the second half of the 19th century. For his services, von Lang was appointed “Royal Secret Commerce Council” in 1898 and ennobled by the King of Württemberg. In 1854 he had the first weaving school in Württemberg set up in Blaubeuren, and later also a laboratory in which linen fabrics from all over the world were examined. Von Lang maintained contacts with important figures in business, such as Ferdinand von Steinbeis. He recognized the need to connect Blaubeuren to the railway network and used his connections to Stuttgart as a local council member and member of the newly founded trade association. As a Pietist, he cared about the well-being of his workers, so he founded a factory health insurance fund and set up a kindergarten in the 1870s.

The bleaching meadows

The bleaching meadows once lay between the eastern monastery wall and the factory building of the Canvas Company. Here the linen was bleached in a complex process by keeping it moist with dew and sprinkling on the meadow for several weeks and exposing it to sunlight. The resulting peroxide and oxygen bleached the gray materials white. The goods could be monitored from the monastery tower. The background for the development of linen weaving in Blaubeuren and Laichingen was the profitable cultivation of flax and hemp on the barren soils of the Swabian Alb. Spinning and weaving brought work and income into families. High-quality linen was produced in the so-called “dunk”, the damp cellar under the living room.

The Württemberg linen industry

In 1729, Duke Eberhard Ludwig issued a privilege that allowed bleaching in Württemberg only in Blaubeuren and Urach. A great opportunity for the newly founded Blaubeurer Canvas Company, in which the Lang family initially only had shares, but soon took over the entire company. 100 years later, the Lang company was the largest canvas dealer in Württemberg. From 1863 onwards, the Lang brothers set up a mechanical weaving mill on the site on the Ach, not far from the train station, where bed linen, tableware and towels were produced. In 1882, Lang combined the Blaubeurer bleaching and weaving mill with the Laichinger damask weaving mill Hoffmann and Co. to form the “Württemberg linen industry” or WLI for short. At the turn of the century, the Württemberg linen industry was, alongside the cement works, Blaubeuren's largest company. After the Second World War, the textile industry became increasingly less important and the company was closed in 1974.

logo Blaubeuren