The village of Saint-Thélo
is located inland of the Côtes d’Armor in Brittany and has a population
of 460 inhabitants. Livestock and intensive farming are its main economic
activities, however the area has suffered from a strong decline in population
over the past thirty years. It is now trying to develop a different type of
economic activity relative to tourism. It is attempting to create a new identity
for itself by calling upon its own history; the area was renowned in the 17th
and 18th centuries for the produc tion of linen cloth, most of which was exported
to Latin America.
First open to the public in July 2004, the Maison des Toiles,
(House of Linen) is housed in the residence of an 18th century cloth merchant.
Displays tell of the history of the manufacture of “Toiles-Bretagne”,
its famous linen cloth, and show the role of linen today. The museum is an
example of the way in which the village and the region hope to develop and
diversify through cultural activities.