Willem Vandenameele

Willem Vandenameele

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Watermill Epen


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Source: Willem Vandenameele

A watermill is a mill that converts the flow or drop of water, for example into a stream or river, by means of a waterwheel, into rotation energy that can be put to good use. The Epener Volmolen is a mid-swing mill. In centrifugal mills, the water is supplied halfway down the wheel; the wheel is moved by both the weight and the flow rate of the passing water.
In 1761, the cloth manufacturer Johann Arnold von Clermont (1728-1795) moved to Vaals. He adheres to the Lutheran faith and is therefore thwarted in his business by the Catholics in his hometown of Aachen. At the time, the Epener Volmolen was part of the Vaalser cloth industry, which was in full bloom at the time. The distance to transport the sheet by horse and cart from Vaals to Epen and back was not an obstacle for the manufacturers. Because of the location of the mill on the Geul, there was an abundance of water available to fill up.
The watermill has been used for a long time for the 'full' of woven fabrics to felt and strong sheeting. Vollen improves the quality of woven fabric. The substance is placed in large oak tubs, which are filled with a mixture of full earth (a kind of clay), linseed oil, rancid butter, urine and water. Padlers, driven by the hydropower of the Geul, flatten the fabric. Fourteen hours later, the cloth stutter became felt, rougher and stronger.
After use, the urine and rancid butter needed for filling were discharged into the trench. So it's not strange that the Volmolen was built outside the village centre of Epen.
In 1872 the Volmolen was converted into a grain mill. The grain that is currently being ground by voluntary millers comes from naturalists and goes to organic livestock farming.

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