Belgium Urbex ~ The Carpet Factory

May 13, 2016 | Flash, Fujifilm X, Location, Travel | 9 comments

This Belgium urbex shoot was a quick one I did with friends just for fun. We shot this abandoned carpet factory in Wevelgem on my day off between my street workshops in Brugge and my corporate shoot in Tienen. In keeping with the urbex code I won’t publish our means of entry. I shot the majority of frames in this set on the Fuji XF14mm lens and a few frames on the XF-23mm lens. I wanted to re familiarise myself with the 14mm field of view ahead of my epic road trip to the USA.

Belgium Urbex location

01. There is room after room of exploring to be done at this location. We had just four hours to capture some shots and that left me wanting to go back.

Urbexing in Belgium

02. The main hall once housed over twenty looms and now there are just three. It must have been deafening in there in times of full production. The chemical containers on the right are full of tallow based lubricant.

perfect locations for urbex in Belgium

03. A corner of one of the many interesting rooms in this factory complex.

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04. These rack and pinion gears with phosphor bronze bushes will never be used again. It will be a shame to see these sold for scrap when the site gets redeveloped for housing later this year.

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05. These weighted cams lay abandoned on the floor of the workshop. Each one cast and ground to an exact profile.

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06. The ladder was perfectly placed next to the doorway into the electrical control room. The canisters on the right form part of the centrally plumbed in fire extinguisher system. The Ammeter top right goes up to 1000A – gulp!

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07. I love the little hand written tags on these loom parts in the repair mans workshop. The vice and file are untouched and are now connected with the gossamer threads of a spiders web.

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08. You can feel the atmosphere in this immaculately preserved time capsule.

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09. This tool grinding bench still survives untouched together with the steel stock on the racks behind.

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10. Cams, rockers, pinion gears, worm drives and electrical insulators all have a combination of oil saturation and rust.

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11. These punched Jacquard cards sewn together determined the pattern to be weaved. (Thank you Chris for the info).

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12. Some of the workers requirements are still evident while others like a canteen are not to be seen.

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17. Next we were shooting in the boiler room. There were two big oil fired boilers that generated the steam to drive the factory. There was evidence of a previous coal fired facility that lay in ruins by the big brick chimneys.

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18. The stairs up onto boiler No1.

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20. Steam ducts, valves, lagging, pipes and flanges.

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21. My other co shooter was Ioannis Tsouloulis also a friend and Fuji X photographer. Here he is in the boiler steam control centre where the steam was regulated and distributed to the various parts of the factory. Hot work back in the day.

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22. Gate valve heaven.

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There it is! I just love urban decay and scenes that tell of a bygone way of living. This particular location has left me with strong connections especially with those that ran the workshop and the boiler room. Life is out there and there are many urbex locations to discover and document. Please feel free to comment below.

9 Comments

  1. Julia

    I live to this factory.. Gonna take a look this weekend!

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Julia,

      Is it still there?

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  2. Thierry

    Great! You used lighting for model photos. For others, is it natural light?

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Thierry, yes indeed :) I used a piece of cardboard at times in my left hand to block stray light when I was shooting the details. But the top light in the factory was nearly always perfect. Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  3. t.linn

    How interesting to see the yarn still in the machines ready to be turned into a product.

    Reply
  4. Fernando Portillo

    Wonderfully done , very nice

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thank you Fernando. See you soon ;) Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  5. Chris Rusbridge

    Those cards are Jacquard cards (or a later derivative of them)… first invented in 1801!

    Reply
    • Damien

      That is great information. Thank you Chris. I remember in 1978 having computer programmes stored on punched paper. That technology must go back a long way :)

      Reply

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