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Belgium Usine S - May 2019

Urban Relics

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'Usine S' is an oldie in Belgian urban exploring circles. It had been on my 'most wanted' list for a long time. A part of the factory can be visited with permission. A few former employees spend their free time repairing and maintaining the old steam engines for the local museum. I got clear instructions on which part of the factory we could visit and which parts were off limits because they were too dangerous. Unfortunately, French is not my main language, so I may not have completely understood the instructions and inadvertently wandered into the off limits part of the factory while nobody was paying attention... :unsure:

A bit of background:
Sheep wool contains many impurities, such as lanolin (wool fat) and suint (sweat wool). Traditionally, wool washing was done directly in the river or by means of alkaline and hot baths in tubs and special machines. However, the lanolin, which is insoluble in water, could not be separated with this procedure. This factory, which was established at the beginning of the 20th century, used a new and revolutionary process, imported from the United Stated, which consisted of treating the fatty wool with naphtha or petroleum gasoline. This absolutely neutral product does not affect the fiber of the wool and only leaves it the percentage of fat that is needed to maintain its natural flexibility and elasticity. The naphtha is subsequently removed from the remaining wool by evaporation. Another interesting result of the “solventage” was the recovery of the fat extracted from the wool: completely pure lanolin. One of the various uses of wool-extracted lanolin was the manufacture of pharmaceutical soap and lanolin for the maintenance of hides and skins, but it can also be used in the preparation of oils, fat, wax, ointments, consistent fats, and so on.

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obscureserenity

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Very nice selection of images there, did the place a lot of justice. Think I'm gonna need to pop back now!
 
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