A safe and enjoyable museum visit for everyone - online tickets only


As from 2014, Museum De Lakenhal will reinvigorate the history of seven centuries of ‘Leiden Cloth’. A new work by Atelier Van Lieshout was added to the collection, Vooruit (Ahead) (2014), inspired by this typical feature of Leiden’s history. Christie van der Haak designed the first contemporary fabric in the series 'New Leiden Cloth'. Also, a family app was launched to teach children and their (grand)parents more about the buildings in the historic city centre of Leiden that still tell stories about the cloth trade.


Crafts and sustainability have recently reached top rank in civil society. Old techniques and fabric have achieved new esteem. To link up to this trend, Museum De Lakenhal will revive the history of Leiden Cloth. A new line of fabric will be manufactured, and it will bear the old quality hallmark ‘Leids Laken’ (Leiden Cloth).

In the period of 2013-2017, a series of five assignments will be commissioned to contemporary designers. Based on craft techniques, motifs and patterns, archive sources, documents and objects from the museum, all of which were passed down the ages, they will develop new, contemporary fabric and products that will be on sale in the museum shop as from 2018.


The first designer on this commission is Christie van der Haak, an artist from The Hague. She was originally a painter who worked in a pattern-painting style. For some years now, she has focussed on designing fabric in a style that is related to her paintings and in which patterns and motifs from nature are combined in colourful scenes.

Atelier Van Lieshout, Vooruit (Ahead) (2014)
Atelier Van Lieshout, Vooruit (Ahead) (2014) Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden
Christie van der Haak, design for New Leiden Cloth (2014)
Christie van der Haak, design for New Leiden Cloth (2014) Commissioned by Museum De Lakenhal
Christie van der Haak, design for New Leiden Cloth (2014)
Christie van der Haak, design for New Leiden Cloth (2014) commissioned by Museum De Lakenhal

Walk with the app

For centuries, Leiden was the city of hard working people, squeeking looms, rich merchands and the strict inspectors at the Lakenhal. Everybody worked along in the international trade of the famous Leiden Cloth. Nowadays, nothing remains to be seen from wool cloth that dominated the life and work of the people of Leiden for 700 years. Or is there?

Download the family app, go on an expedition in the historical city centre of Leiden together and collect traces and stories of the Leiden Cloth. Answer questions posed by a merchard, an inspector and a workman along the way and discover hoe the Cloth disappeared from Leiden! (Available in Dutch only)

meer over de app
Family app 'How the cloth disappeared from Leiden'
Family app 'How the cloth disappeared from Leiden'

Read more in the story about:

Leiden Cloth