The disappearance of the Elbeuf dyers

The textile crisis of the 1960s-1970s affected every sector of the cloth-making industry. In Elbeuf, the Saint Rémy dyers closed in 1961, leaving only Hue and Pellerin who were unable to deal with all the local production; some companies were thus forced to dye outside the region.

Faced with a crisis, some companies turned to new fibres, mainly synthetics. This was the case for the Blin factories, but such innovations clashed with the inadequacies of the equipment which was more suited to wool. The last great company in Elbeuf, Blin et Blin, closed its doors in 1975. The last dyers disappeared in 1982.
In Elbeuf, the dyers were concentrated around Le Puchot (river) and along the banks of the Seine. This area underwent massive reconstruction after the war. The old factories, deemed unhealthy, started to be torn down in 1961 to make way for modern housing. The newer factories on the Seine met the same fate and were replaced by a road along the riverbank.

Traces of the dyeing industry have all but disappeared from the town. The only traces left are a large collection of photographs and a few ruins that are not easy to spot for the layman.

Bibliography: Jean Claude Daumas, L’amour du drap, Blin et Blin, Presses Universitaires franc-comtoises, Besançon, 1999.