Flax weaving mill De Stoop was founded by Camille De Stoop (1845−1923), who, like his father, was active in the trade and processing of flax. In 1886 – 1888 he switched to large-scale production with the construction and commissioning of the first mechanical weaving mill in Kortrijk located on the Minister Liebaertlaan.
In 1888, a dyeing plant and a bleaching plant also came into operation. Shortly thereafter, he had the director’s residence built in the former Gentsestraat 11 which, like the flax weaving mill, is protected as a monument (see rear of mansion on the left when entering the site). The office building of 1927, designed by the brothers J. and A. Moumal (Kortrijk), was erected in neo-Flemish Renaissance style with some typical art deco elements. Also worth a detour is the De Stoop cotton mill that was built in Manchester style at Spinnerijkaai 43 – 45 a short kilometer from here. The flax weaving mill consists of a three-story administrative section with an adjacent warehouse with shed roof. The administrative part has a square ground plan with a reception area, sanitary facilities and offices in front. The basement has a ceiling of brick trough vaults and a floor of Tournai limestone tiles. The weaving workshop of 20 bays has a trapezoidal ground plan and is 1,950m². Each bay is equipped with a saw roof with north-facing skylight. The long side of the saw roof has a covering of red Pottelberg tiles of Kortrijk manufacture. The supporting structure consists of cast-iron columns on which rest bolted girders anchored to the exterior parapet. The floor of the weaving workshop is partially executed in Tournai limestone tiles and baked tiles. The remains of the electrical installation were preserved and are visible to the public.
After World War II, due in part to the crisis in the flax industry, business activity declined steadily. The company changed hands a few times hands and was finally closed down. The building stood vacant for more than 25 years starting in the late 1960s. Liebaert Projects, under the direction of its founder the late Gery Van Tendeloo, Liebaert Projects bought part of the building in 1999 with the goal of turning it into an art hall where regular exhibitions and projects are organized. Liebaert Projects is further committed to the preservation and restoration of this industrial heritage.