Located at the crossroads of Alsace and Vosges, in the Great East, the valley of Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines or Val d'Argent counted, In the 19th century, up to 150 textile manufactures using mass home weaving and producing high-end fabrics based on mixed fibres. Labeled Country of Art and History, the Community of Communes of Val d'Argent has undertaken to value this textile heritage.



From this rich industrial past remains 600 linear meters of textile archives, spread over 4000 registers and accumulating nearly 4 million samples, of the end XVIIIe century to 2003.

Based on flax and hemp, production shifted to cotton-silk and cotton-wool blends and was then mechanized and converted to wool products and Scottish fabrics following the annexation of Alsace by Germany in 1871.

The textile crisis hit the territory hard in 1955-1970, resulting in the closure of factories. Only the Tissage des Chaumes, created in 1908 by Albert Edler and Georges Lepavec, a supplier of high-fashion wool for haute couture houses (Chanel, Prada, Christian Lacroix, etc.), remains.

Developing the textile archives 

With the Pays d'Art et d'Histoire designation, the Communauté de Communes du Val d'Argent has undertaken to promote these textile archives – including those of the Tissage des Chaumes – by creating a tissue library, which opened in October 2021, for contemporary textile manufacturers and designers.

This fabric library is also a source of inspiration for artists in residence. Val d'Argent is currently hosting Harmonie Begon, which has undertaken to select emblematic samples of the territory, and which will reproduce them as part of a participatory project on the places where they were produced to interact with the visitor.

The VPAH Heritage Department organizes one to two temporary exhibitions each year. Exhibitions on tarpaulins in A0 format that can be lent free of charge to associations or schools that request it. 

Download the exhibition "Les fils d'art et d'histoire du Val d'Argent"

Exhibitions can also be downloaded in PDF format or as powerpoint slideshows. 

Discover the threads of art and history of the Silver Valley by downloading the exhibition Exhibition "Les fils d'art et d'histoire du Val d'Argent"

Learn more about the label "City and country of art and history"