AaBe blankets – a medal in the textile industry (NEPK2599)

H.J. Etienne, 1954, 25 years AaBe woolen blankets factory, bronze, 60 mm, NEPK2599

Who in the Netherlands does not recognize the AaBe logo shown on this medal? Sown in a corner of a woolen blanket, it used to be found in almost every Dutch household. Nowadays, most families prefer down-filled duvets to woolen blankets, so blankets have largely disappeared. Changing consumer preferences and the competition of low-wage countries forced AaBe and others to adapt, slim down, and specialize in new, high quality, niche markets in order to survive.

The NEPK collection comprises some two dozen interesting medals related to the textile industry and associated retail. The corporate history behind the AaBe medal illustrate the development of economic activities in the Netherlands; both its prosperous and its difficult times. This should not surprise us. The concept of medals “to illustrate the development of Dutch economic activities” is the foundation of the NEPK medal collection, and was actively promoted by its founder.

Medal NEPK2724 (75 years of Royal Steam Weaving and Spinning Mill (KSW) in Nijverdal) has a personal meaning for me. It reminds me of the long lines of men who left the village of my childhood every morning to cycle to work at KSW or a related textile factory. Just as AaBe, KSW is a good example of the upward and downward developments of the once large textile industry in the Netherlands.

In short, go to www.NEPK.nl (UK language), select the pull-down menu “Group” and select the keyword “Textile”. The result will be some 20 interesting medals on this theme.

For the AaBe medal shown, click: https://www.nepk.nl/en/collectie/?id=2599

The KSW medal is found through: https://www.nepk.nl/en/collectie/?id=2724

For earlier news items, click: https://www.nepk.nl/en/news/