Linen: Until the 18th and early 19th centuries, linen fabrics for bed and table linens and simple clothing were produced in homes as a secondary occupation. In addition to Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia, the Mühlviertel region of Austria was a major area of linen production, with centres in Freistadt and six other market guilds. After the abolition of the Continental system, flax spinning and linen weaving, which were still done by hand in the early 19th century, came under massive pressure of competition from cotton fabrics, in reaction to which Italian wholesalers built the first canvas factories in Austria: Vonwiller in Haslach in 1833 and Simonetta in Helfenberg in 1843. A mechanical flax-spinning mill was established in Lambach in 1852.
The production of bed and table linens and fine linen garments as a second occupation for farmers and as home weaving has been maintained to some extent in the Mühlviertel and Waldviertel regions until the present.
Literature: C. Halmdienst, Die Entwicklung der Leinenindustrie in Oberösterreich, 1993.
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