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Göteborgs Remfabrik 2015
Göteborgs Remfabrik 2015 | Photo: I99pema (CC BY-SA 4.0)
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Mini-Map of Sweden with marker at Göteborgs Kommun

Göteborgs Remfabrik

Industrial museum in Göteborg

The industrial museum Göteborgs Remfabrik is located in the district of Gårda in the south of the centre of Göteborg. It consists of the completely preserved Gothenburg belt factory, where transmission belts were woven until 1977.

Göteborgs Remfabrik is unique, because it is like a large time capsule, in which a completely preserved and functioning machine weaving mill at the technical level of the early 20th century is housed.

The original machinery is completely preserved and consists of machines imported from England around 1900. The only major technical innovation was implemented in 1914, when the steam engine was replaced by large electric motors as a power source. However, the original transmission system with shafts and drive belts for power transmission to the individual machines was retained unchanged and is today considered the best preserved in all of Scandinavia.

Shortly after the closure in November 1977, the city of Gothenburg bought the site in order to have the old factory demolished as part of the planned traffic routing of the E6 motorway. Fortunately, the plans changed and in 1984 the building and everything inside was declared an architectural monument.

Göteborgs Remfabrik today

The building continues to belong to the City of Gothenburg, which is responsible for its maintenance and energy supply. The actual museum activities, such as the preservation of the belt factory as a living museum and the preservation and passing on of old professional techniques, are the responsibility of the voluntary association Föreningen Göteborgs Remfabrik.

On the upper floor of the old belt factory is the so-called warp room, where the warp threads for the weaving room were produced. This is where the twisting machines are located, on which individual yarn threads were first twisted together to form a firmer yarn. Then the warping machines, on which the warp thread was produced from the twisted threads and wound up on a roller, the warp beam.

The warp beams were then transported one floor below, where the fully preserved weaving room is located. Most of the 35 historical weaving machines, which were purchased around 1900, stand here in rows. All machines and the transmission drives are fully functional and are regularly put into operation for demonstration purposes. Occasionally, transmission belts are also made on demand, for example when other museums need to replace worn belts in their demonstration facilities.

On the ground floor there are further historical textile machines, which the museum association has received from company closures or from other museums. These include two Jacquard looms, four lace-making machines, braiding machines and a towel loom, which is the oldest working loom in Sweden.

In the museum shop of Göteborgs Remfabrik, the museum association sells a wide range of products made on the old machines. These include braided cords, woven ribbons in various widths, patterns and colours, towels made of half-linen and machine lace made of cotton or linen in various widths and numerous different motifs.

The museum has unfortunately only limited accessibility. The ground floor with the exhibition section as well as the museum shop is largely barrier-free, all other floors can only be reached via stairs. There is a limited number of parking spaces on the grounds of the museum.

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