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exploring<br />

24<br />

Textile town Herning<br />

25 fantastic<br />

industries<br />


By the mid-1800s, traditional Central Jutland hosiery-making started to evolve<br />

industrial methods. Along Silkeborgvej and Hammerum Hovedgade, popularly<br />

known as ’factory avenue’, is a continuous built environment reflecting the growth<br />

of the textile industry. Today, most of the Central Jutland textile industry’s production<br />

has been outsourced and the textile boom on what was once heathland is long since<br />

over. Herning is now known for its arts and culture, rather than for its textile industry,<br />

which is perhaps due to the fact that in the 1950s and 1960s a number of enterprising<br />

local manufacturers succeeded in encouraging the country’s best architects, artists,<br />

town planners and designers to make their mark on the region.<br />

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24 // Textile town Herning<br />

herning<br />

01<br />

02<br />

03<br />

04<br />

silkeborgvej<br />

textilforum<br />

vestergade 20<br />

7400 herning<br />

www.herningmuseum.dk<br />

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01 <strong>HERNING</strong> CLOTH FACTORY/ Textilforum<br />

The factory was established as a woollen mill in 1876. Under<br />

changing ownership, it suffered ups and downs until the 1960s<br />

when the business went only downhill until it finally closed<br />

down in 1990. The factory sustained many fires, as a result of<br />

which the buildings that remain are almost all of more recent<br />

origin. Out of the factory’s old premises, two intermediate<br />

buildings from 1895 and 1899 remain, together with two<br />

management residences built just across from the factory in<br />

the same period. In 1996, Textilforum opened the cloth factory’s<br />

expansive 3,000 m2 premises as a museum. Textilforum<br />

is housed in the factory’s administration building, two large<br />

saw-toothed-roof halls and the chimney-topped boiler house.<br />

The factory buildings date from the period 1895 to 1954 along<br />

with a four-storey weaving building from 1948. The administration<br />

building, the front building facing Vestergade, was built in<br />

1901 and is a richly ornamented red-brick building with a slate<br />

roof. A number of the cloth factory’s machines have been preserved<br />

and form part of Textilforum’s exhibitions on themes<br />

such as the textile industry in the Herning district.<br />


The road between Herning, via Birk, to Hammerum is known<br />

as fabriksalleen, ’factory avenue’. Because here, along<br />

Silkeborgvej and Hammerum Hovedgade as in the towns of<br />

Herning, Hammerum and Ikast, the landscape and buildings<br />

testify to the textile manufacturing boom that once took hold<br />

in Central Jutland. The most dominant industry, and the one<br />

that has shaped the built environment here, was the knitwear<br />

industry. Besides the array of factory buildings of various<br />

sizes, it is characteristic that many of the villas and detached<br />

houses have small outbuildings that were formerly used for<br />

cottage-industry dress-making and knitwear production. The<br />

road between Herning and Hammerum displays a vivid legacy<br />

of the region’s modern and traditional textile industries.<br />


In 1936, Niels Krøjgaard had a factory built at no. 87 Th.<br />

Nielsensgade for his existing knitwear manufactory. The<br />

architect was the manager of the local credit institution, J.P.<br />

Møller, who styled the factory as a two-storey square block.<br />

20 years later, in 1956, Niels Krøjgaard sold the premises<br />

to Aage Damgaard who acquired it for his fourth Angli shirtmaking<br />

factory. Under his ownership, the premises became<br />

a canvas for what might be termed Denmark’s ’largest experiment<br />

in social realism’, when the artist Paul Gadegaard was<br />

given free rein to decorate the factory. The exterior was painted<br />

black, hence the name, and all the windows and doors in bright<br />

colours. A large park was laid out by the landscape gardener<br />

C.Th. Sørensen. A number of Denmark’s leading artists were<br />

involved in decoration of the factory, including Robert<br />

Jacobsen and Svend Wiig Hansen. But as early as in 1963,<br />

’The Black Factory’ had become too small for Angli, which<br />

now had 300 employees and was turning out 3,000 shirts a<br />

day. Damgaard now moved out into the new industrial estate at<br />

Birk, where he built a new factory (see also item 05). Although<br />

the cloth factory has since been converted into flats, it is still a<br />

monument to Herning’s industrial history.<br />

03 Niels Krøjsgaard’s villa<br />

In 1939, Niels Krøjgaard, who originally owned the factory on<br />

Th. Nielsensgade, built a grand 750 m2 villa for himself and<br />

his family. At the time, he was one of the wealthiest men in the<br />

town, which was all in evidence in his residence, which local<br />

residents nicknamed „Mini Marselisborg“ in reference to the<br />

royal residence in Aarhus. Today, the building on Kaj Munksvej<br />

4 is occupied by a law firm, which in 2002 built the almost<br />

2,000 m2 black extension building to the east.<br />

04 Carpet showroom building, No. 4<br />

Silkeborgvej<br />

In 1957, Mads Eg Damgaard built an unusual showroom for<br />

his factory, Egetæpper’s, art carpets. Designed by the artist<br />

Gunnar Aagaard Andersen in association with the architects<br />

Jan and Karen Eggen, it has a quadratic ground plan, is set at<br />

an angle on a cruciform plinth, and features a sloping floor and<br />

roof. The location at the entrance to Herning was to ensure its<br />

visibility, and people did look twice when they caught sight of

this unconventional building. In this way, the building fulfilled its<br />

aim: to be an eye-catching and hence effective advertisement<br />

for Egetæpper. The two Damgaard brothers’ association with<br />

modern artists has been a strongly influential factor in the rich<br />

cultural life of modern Herning.<br />

05 Egetæpper (Carpets)<br />

Mads Eg Damgaard, the founder of the Egetæpper carpet<br />

empire, took at giant leap in 1953 when he wound up his textile<br />

production, sacked all 150 employees except 15 and instead<br />

bought machinery for weaving high-quality Axminster carpets.<br />

But his strategy was successful. Initially, Damgaard’s new factory<br />

had 3 Axminster looms but soon after no fewer than 44,<br />

all in uninterrupted, three-shift operation. The early 1960s saw<br />

the advent of the next technological revolution in the carpet<br />

industry: the tufting loom. Egetæpper went from strength to<br />

strength, moving from a small factory by the original showroom<br />

on Silkeborgvej to this vast, 35,000 m2 complex on<br />

Industrivej. The new premises had space for the large tufting<br />

looms and by 1971, production at the new address was in<br />

full swing. This large factory, which surpassed everything<br />

in the Herning region, was designed by the architect Kaj<br />

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Boeck-Hansen, but underwent extensive alteration in 1982<br />

when it was given a new facade and a showroom and reception<br />

building designed by the Aarhus architect C.F. Møller .<br />

In 1984, a showroom and administration building was added,<br />

also designed by Møller. During this period the architect<br />

created a large number of screening frontages around industrial<br />

plants. The frontage at Egetæpper is around 300 metres long<br />

and is intersected by the large showroom and Søren Georg<br />

Jensen sculptures. The showroom interior is decorated with<br />

wall carpets by the artists Pierre Wermaëre and Asger Jorn<br />

and the atrium garden contains Rudolf Tegner’s sculpture<br />

„Leda and the Swan“. The business is still in operation, but is<br />

today known solely as ’Ege’.<br />


When Angli, the shirt-maker’s, outgrew ’The Black Factory’,<br />

Aage Damgaard acquired a large property at Birk. Based on<br />

a concept created by C.Th. Sørensen, ’the Round Factory’<br />

was built in 1965, and the architect was C.F. Møller. C.Th.<br />

Sørensen’s original sketch consisted of two off-centre circles<br />

giving onto a circular courtyard. The sculptures and artworks<br />

from the Black Factory were moved to Birk and C. Th.<br />

Sørensen designed the circular sculpture park. Hereford cattle<br />

were purchased to graze on the circular turf in the park, which<br />

subsequently inspired the idea for the next venture, what is<br />

now a chain of restaurants called Hereford Beefstouw, and<br />


Herning Cloth Factory / Textilforum<br />

Vestergade 20<br />

7400 Herning<br />

www.textilforum.dk<br />

Herning museum of art – heart<br />

Birk Centerpark 8<br />

7400 Herning<br />

www.heartmus.dk<br />

birk<br />

05<br />

06<br />

silkeborgvej<br />

07<br />

08<br />

hammerum<br />

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new artists were contracted to decorate the factory, including<br />

Piero Manzoni, famed for his tin can work containing „Artist’s<br />

shit“. In 1968, Carl-Henning Pedersen’s ceramic frieze was<br />

unveiled in the courtyard: „Picture cycle. The book of imagination<br />

about the wheel of life“. But by 1974, the shirt-making<br />

boom had petered out, and Aage Damgaard shut up shop . The<br />

factory was sold to an arts and education foundation, Midtjysk<br />

Skole- og Kulturfond, set up in 1973. The large art collection<br />

was donated to Herning local authority for the purpose of<br />

establishing a museum of art. Part of the Angli factory was<br />

fitted out for a garment design school, while other parts were<br />

used by Herning Museum of Art from its establishment in 1977<br />

until 2009 when the new museum of art in Herning, HEART,<br />

was completed further along Birk Centerpark at no. 8.<br />

07 Niels Larsen knitwear factory<br />

In 1872, the wool shop keeper Niels Larsen purchased a<br />

rotary power framework machine and he and his wife stepped<br />

up their production of woollen garments. Their business was<br />

soon ready for expansion. In 1883, Larsen acquired the<br />

Hammerumholm estate, where the manufactory gradually<br />

expanded. In 1917, following the death of Niels Larsen, his<br />

widow and son Otto Larsen had the factory building on<br />

Vestergade built. The factory was in operation at this location<br />

until it closed down in 1986. In the late 1990s, Niels Larsen’s<br />

1,500-m2 factory was converted into flats, while the original<br />

factory front facing the road was preserved. Herning Museum<br />

contains a collection of products from the factory including<br />

men’s and women’s underwear, blouses and gym slips.<br />

08 Jensen & Stampe<br />

In the town of Hammerum, Iver Nielsen established a knitwear<br />

factory as early as in 1870, A few years later he moved his<br />

business to what is now no. 95A Hammerum Hovedgade. Not<br />

until later was the factory given the name Jensen & Stampe.<br />

The oldest factory building, two storeys high and facing the<br />

main street, dates from circa 1890. This building is not only<br />

the oldest from this factory, but the oldest textile building in the<br />

district of Hammerum. In 1917-18, a new, larger building was<br />

established at right angles to the main street. This was built<br />

to house a modern knitwear factory, with state-of-the-art<br />

machines. Jensen & Stampe was one of the first businesses<br />

to switch from steam power to electricity in 1906 after<br />

Hammerum gained its own electricity works in 1905. Holger<br />

Jensen, one of the factory’s owners, also happened to be the<br />

electricity works’ chairman. The business did well for many<br />

years, but in 1994, the factory closed down and the premises<br />

were converted into flats. The original exterior of the oldest<br />

building was preserved, however, as a monument to the<br />

district’s oldest knitwear factory.

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