About the MIAT

front view MIAT

MIAT, Museum about Industry, Labour and Textile.

The MIAT is a museum in Ghent (Belgium) about Industry, Labour and Textile.

The MIAT is housed in a beautiful industrial building. The location offers an impressive panorama of the city: on the one side, the old city with its three towers; on the other side, the old harbour with its industry. And precisely in the middle, between the two, stands the MIAT.

Earlier, it was a cotton spinning mill. Today it is a museum in which the themes of industry, labour and textile are seamlessly interwoven with one another. Most of the textile machines still work. A group of passionate volunteers and former textile workers operate the machines daily. The museum also has an historical pressing plant. An active group of volunteers with a passion for print, gives weekly demonstrations.

Although the former textile workers have gone, their memories and stories live on in the 3 main exhibitions.

- The ‘Our Industrial Past’ exhibition turns the clock back to the first industrial revolution and the advent of the machine. (This exhibition is currently not on view due to renovation works. A new exhibition will open on the 29th September 2018)
- The ‘WorldWideWorking’ exhibition follows on with the impact of the industrial revolutions on our private and working lives.
- The ‘Cotton Cacophony’ exhibition traces the production process from cotton plant to finished cotton product.

After your visit, you can sit down and relax with a cup of coffee or a drink in the museumcafé. Hungry? The museumcafé also serves lunch and variety of sweets. The museum has a shop with homemade products and gadgets.
The museum hosts a knowledge centre and a library.


The MIAT is the reference museum on industry, labour and textiles and the contact point for tangible and intangible industrial heritage in Flanders. 

The past, present and future all have a place here. The MIAT FACTory knowledge centre acts as a bridge between the scientific collection and the wider (inter)national heritage community.

The MIAT shares its passion for industrial heritage, both within and beyond the walls of the museum and increases the general public’s admiration and concern for this extraordinary heritage and its love and appreciation of it.  


The MIAT’s historical collection has international appeal and kudos. Industrial relics relating to production, reproduction and distribution from the late-eighteenth century onwards tell the story of the industrial society. In building its collection the MIAT implements what in Dutch is dubbed a ‘SLIM’ (CLEVER) collecting policy. The acronym stands for:

  • S: Sector consultation and cooperation  
  • L: Lively and accessible
  • I: Innovative, intangible and international 
  • M: Mobile (collection mobility) and multicultural

By pursuing an innovative and dynamic collecting policy, the MIAT brings together the past, present and future. The museum is constantly building on its knowledge through national and international cooperation projects and sharing its expertise with other players in the cultural heritage community at large. Naturally, digitization has done much to make the collection more accessible. The MIAT FACTory knowledge centre is the pivot between the collection and the general public. Its remit is to safeguard and share information and expertise.

The MIAT is a museum that is close to the people. It is creative in its approach to making history accessible to a diverse public, thereby ensuring that a visit to the museum is an engaging experience. It challenges its visitors to participate in the museum story.  Special attention is paid to schools, and to technical and vocational training institutes in particular, and to families and multicultural groups. The MIAT operates a very active volunteers programme and cooperates with a whole range of other parties too.

Policy period 2014-18

On April 1st 2013 the MIAT submitted an application to the government for an operational subsidy. The application was approved by the assessment committee for the policy period 2014 -18 and the museum was awarded an annual operational subsidy of €349,000. This PDF details the advice of the assessment committee.