Public property runned by groups of volunteers, the old « Solvent » factory in Verviers hosts, since 2003, an important collection of textiles machines, a complete wool degreasing set including several steam engines, two old tramways and a collection of printing machines.
At the 19th and 20th centuries, Verviers was one of the most powerful european cities known for the cloth production, wool washing and the trade of this one. Famous for its products at the 18th century, it took benefit in 1800 of the technical innovations located in town on request of local industrials by the British William Cockerill and his sons (sons who founded in 1817 a steel factory in Seraing which became the biggest in Europe). The texile in Verviers started to decline strongly from 1955 to disappear nearly completely at the end of the century.
The « Solvent » degreasing factory, founded par wool industrials from Verviers by importing an american technology, started to work in 1900. It showed a really industrial innovation (thanks to the american Emile Maertens, 1868-1925) because the degreasing was made by a chemical process and not anymore by immersion and water stirring. This technology was more expensive and didn’t established properly. However, the company managed to survive the decline of the local textile industry and continued to operate not far from its original headquarters under the name « Traitex ».