Some centuries ago some territories, cities and villages have been entirely involved in the wool industry. Nowadays, except in Italy, a page of this history seems to be definitively over. The recent closing down of La Lainière (Roubaix, France), one of the biggest wool factories in the world shows this evidence.
The project arises from a strong demand of history and culture, in a word, of identity, a request of the population of areas deserted by the wool sector that undertake a restructuring in the framework of the globalisation. This demand, particularly noticeable in the mono-industrial cities of Germany (Crimmitschau), France (Roubaix, Fourmies), Belgium (Verviers, Eupen), United Kingdom (Winchester, Huddersfield), is taken into account through numerous initiatives in museums.
Managers and trades from textile industry form into groups to write their own history. The European scientific community has to answer these new queries from museums and population by offering its own contribution to the build-up of a memory within the wool industry branch. Both Euro-conferences (Verviers, april 2001; Schio-Valdagno, october2001) aim to collect works from seniors and young researchers in order to build a data basis (atlas, publications, website) for textile museums and ecomuseums, aim to enhance exchanges between young researchers and managers of the wool industry (M. Peltzer in Verviers; M. Marzotto and Dejaegher in Valdagno) on the topics of the industrial and business strategies of the past and present, and check that the industrial evolution in the wool sector as well as for other branches does not always lead to the big companies and does not always go through them.