Central to this zone ‘Fabric(s) of Leiden’ is De Leidsche Katoenmaatschappij. The city of Leiden has a connection with textiles in many different ways; from the textiles produced within the city to the textiles brought to Leiden from Asia for museum collections. An important center in all of this was the Leidse Katoenmaatschappij (Leiden Cotton Printing Company), otherwise known as LKM. LKM is known by experts, but has been forgotten by many.
The LKM factory was located in the center of the city and produced printed cotton for trade within Europe and for export to Asia and Africa. A local company with a global history. The company started in Lier in Belgium in 1756 under the name ‘De Heyder en Co’. In 1835 it moved to Leiden where it was bought by Ignatz van Wensen (1810 - 1886) and Johann Heinrich Joseph Driessen (1794-1879). De Heyder en Co wasn’t named ‘De Leidsche Katoenmaatschappij’ until 1887. The LKM produced printed cotton until 1932 and stopped officially in 1936. The name has slowly been forgotten. Over time, interesting objects related to this company were spread out over different collections in the Netherlands. These objects can tell us more about the company’s history; who ran it, who worked there, its global connection and the development of cotton-printing. With Things That Talk we will tell these stories, using samplebooks or fragments, batik cloths or written labels, so people can learn more about the ‘Fabric(s) of Leiden’.