The wool factory that brings fabrics to life in Provence

At Brun de Vian-Tiran, we've been fascinated by woollen fibres for more than 200 years. And, we love to share this savoir-faire in the new Musée Sensoriel des Fibres Nobles – Filaventure (Sensory Museum of Noble Fabrics) in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Provence. Take a tour to discover the art of wool – from fleece to fabric.

Filaventure tells the tale of a family who have shared a passion for wool for more than eight generations. The story begins in 1808 when Charles Tiran and his son-in-law Laurent Vian established a wool mill on the banks of the river Sorgue, making wool throws and blankets. Two centuries later, the little mill has become a prestigious factory and the only one still working in France.

With the creation of its 300m² Musée Sensoriel des Fibres Nobles, this living heritage company lifts the veil on the secrets of its manufacturing techniques. Filaventure uses innovative displays to explain the process of the transformation of wool, from fleece to fabric and beyond, an extraordinary metamorphosis of a craft born from passion.

On the one and a half hour tour, quirky creatures called ‘filambules’ lead the way. Floating 4.5 metres from the ground, adorning themselves with materials which transform to fabrics along the route. These holographic dreamlike symbols represent the visionary aspects of the creation of the magnificent materials.

Visitors will hear sounds from the workshops, operate the textile machines and feel the varied materials. Listen to the stories of craftsmen and of the links forged over several generations with the Brun de Vian-Tiran factory.

There is an imaginative "wool market" where you can feel samples, explore a fascinating exhibition and discover the famous designer capsule collection of ‘Merino Plaids’. It’s a sensory tour into the wonderfully soft world of wool.

In search of the legendary Merino wool loved by Louis XVI

The threads of history are woven through the exhibition plus tales of tradition and innovation. Each generation has made it their goal to enhance production and design. Louis Brun made the first mohair covers in 1961. Pierre Brun, the current CEO, spent several years delving into history and researching the merino wool imagined by Louis XVI in the late 18th century. The result is Merino d'Arles Antique® (trademark). His son Jean-Louis has travelled the vast steppes of Mongolia to find the finest fleeces from Bactrian camels, an ancient species…

This research has gradually created a collection of noble fleeces, achieving a sublime level of excellence: alpaca from Peru, cashmere from Iran, Mongolia and China, llamas of Bolivia and rare Siberian ibex.

Know-how and dedication

Like winemakers whose expert knowledge of different grape varieties transforms the raw materials into fine wines, these masters of wool gather products and take them through the 15 stages of hand-crafted production. To make a blanket for instance, the materials are drawn from several continents: South America for thickness, Australia for softness and France for delicacy and warmth.

L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue in Provence