Our History

Since 1907, Sioen Industries hasn't just been making textiles; we've been building protection. Our journey from a small weaving mill to a global leader in technical textiles is driven by passion, innovation, and resilience. We're more than a company; we're a family committed to safeguarding what matters. Our mission is simple: to create textiles that are as durable in protection as they are in use.

Founders

Back in 1960, Jean-Jacques Sioen sparked a revolution with a bold idea and a small coating line. Long before the term 'technical textiles' had even entered the common lexicon, Jean-Jacques saw its potential and founded Sioen Industries.

By his side, Jacqueline Sioen brought her own innovative spirit to the table. She launched an apparel workshop, cleverly using the Sioen coated textiles to create protective rainwear for fishermen and farmers. Together they forged a strong family team, weaving their dedication to quality and innovation into the fabric of their business.

Their collaboration transformed a modest operation to a global enterprise positioning Sioen Industries as a beacon of innovation and protection in the world of technical textiles.

Milestones

More than a century of innovation and expansion have sculpted Sioen Industries into the titan of technical textiles it is today. From pioneering beginnings to becoming a global standard bearer of "protection through innovation," each milestone reflects our unwavering commitment to growth, and quality. Here's a snapshot of our journey, showcasing our legacy and forward momentum.

1907 - The First Thread

Adolf Sioen established a weaving mill in Rumbeke, launching Sioen-Sabbe during western Belgium's golden age of cloth weaving. Leadership transitioned to Daniel Sioen, ensuring the Sioen-Sabbe quality and craftsmanship continued.

1960 - The Innovation Leap

Jean-Jacques Sioen, at 25, starts his venture in technical textiles in Beveren-Roeselare with a coating line, first making artificial leathers, then moving on to truck tarpaulins, setting the stage for future success.

1968 - Expanding Horizons

Jacqueline Sioen, Jean-Jacques' wife, opens an apparel workshop in Roeselare, producing protective rainwear from Sioen coated textiles for fishermen, farmers, and more.

1970 - Growth and Expansion

Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, the company experiences significant growth. By the mid-1970s, the facilities in Beveren and Roeselare can no longer accommodate the expanding operations.

1977 - A New Chapter

The company moves to Ardooie, uniting all operations under one roof. With 100 employees in apparel, 30 in coating, and 20 in sales and administration, Sioen paves the way for streamlined production and growth.

1989 - Global Footprint

Sioen broadens its international reach, exporting further and setting up apparel production in France, Ireland, and Tunisia. This expansion earns Jean-Jacques Sioen the export prize from Prince Albert, marking a milestone in our global journey.

1991 - Resilience in Adversity

A devastating fire at the Ardooie plant brings operations to a halt, with everyone temporarily out of work and production completely lost.

1993 - Phoenix Rising

Just two years later, resilience shines through as Sioen inaugurates a new, state-of-the-art plant in Ardooie, boasting EUR 45 million in sales and a dedicated workforce of 600.

1996 (1) - Broadening Boundaries

Sioen's growth trajectory continues, notably in coated textiles. The apparel division enhances its global footprint by launching production facilities in Jakarta, Indonesia.

1996 (2) - Entering the Public Arena

Marking a significant milestone, Sioen debuts on the Brussels stock exchange with an IPO. By this time, the company showcases a robust turnover of EUR 85 million and employs 1,500 people, underscoring its rapid expansion and success.

1999 - Century's Close, New Beginnings

As the century closes, Sioen's workforce grows to 3,400, with an annual turnover nearing EUR 200 million. Strategic expansions include Poperinge for services, Bornem for chemicals, and Kerksken for weaving, among others.

2001 - Innovating for the Future

Sioen doubles down on innovation, investing in new applications, processes, and techniques aimed at bolstering profitability and growth. This year also sees the inauguration of the Mouscron site in Belgium, introducing a new coating plant, weaving mill, spinning mill, and logistics unit.

2006 - Diversifying Expertise

The acquisition of Richard SAS marks Sioen's entry into the colourants sector, broadening its product range for industry and DIY applications.

2009 - Leadership Transition

After leading Sioen as CEO for 45 years, Mr. Sioen hands over the reins to his daughter, Michèle Sioen, and assumes the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors. Sadly, in 2009, Jean-Jacques Sioen, the visionary founder and Chairman, passes away unexpectedly, leaving behind a legacy of innovation and leadership.

Growth - The Core of Our Ambition

Our commitment to cost efficiency and productivity continues to drive our profit growth annually. Constantly on the lookout for innovative products and strategic acquisitions, we focus on our core competencies to be better, faster, and stronger. Our journey from a textile company to a comprehensive textile solution provider underscores our ambition.

2015 - Technical Leadership Affirmed

Sioen acquires Dynatex, an innovative startup specialising in multi-axial aramid reinforcement fabrics. This acquisition, safeguarded by several patents, underlines our pursuit of technical leadership in the technical textiles sector.

2016 - Strategic Acquisitions

Sioen expands its portfolio with 4 strategic acquisitions, strengthening its position in geotextiles and adding sailcloths. drysuits and ballistic protection to its already wide product range.

2017- Strengthening Foundations

Sioen enhances its product range by acquiring James Dewhurst, a UK-based specialist in open-structure fabrics (laid scrims), widely used in roofing, packaging, and geotextiles. This strategic move strengthens our position in reinforcement and support textiles.

2017 - Lifetime Achievement:

A pivotal year for recognition, as Mrs. Jacqueline Sioen is honoured with the Woman of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement Award by Director-E, a leading magazine in the Apparel business. These accolades celebrate her 57 years of dedication to Sioen Industries since its inception.

2018 - Surpassing 500 Million

A milestone year, with Sioen’s turnover exceeding the 500-million-euro mark. Our relentless pursuit of growth, coupled with significant investments in new machinery and digital technologies, propels our expansion into the US and Middle East markets.

2018 - Manager of the Year

Michèle Sioen is named "Manager of the Year" by Trends magazine, recognised for steering Sioen Industries toward sustainable growth, her extensive commitment reflected in her role as the first female chairman of the FEB and her influence in the textile sector through Fedustria.

2019 - Export Lion

Sioen Industries' excellence in export is acknowledged by Flanders Investment and Trade, winning the prestigious “export lion” award in the big companies category. This accolade underscores our global impact and export prowess.

And beyond...

Sioen continues to shape the future with its technical textiles. Its "passioenate" employees and constant drive towards innovation propel it forward to new heights and into new markets.

Honouring Jean-Jacques and Jacqueline Sioen

Jean-Jacques Sioen, a visionary entrepreneur, launched Sioen Industries in 1960, pioneering the field of technical textiles from Beveren-Roeselare, Belgium. Alongside his wife, Jacqueline, who established an apparel workshop in 1967, they built a legacy of innovation, resilience, and success, a legacy their daughters proudly carry forward.

Jean-Jacques’ ethos of striving for excellence and innovation shaped our principle: "protection through innovation." His leadership through economic upheavals and the expansion of Sioen to global markets exemplified his belief that progress means constantly moving forward. The recovery from a devastating fire in 1991 to the establishment of a modern production facility highlighted the family's resilience, marking significant milestones like the successful IPO and being named "Company of the Year."

Jacqueline Sioen, embodying the quintessential West Flemish entrepreneurial spirit, played a crucial role in the company's ascent to a global leader in technical textiles, professional protective clothing, and fine chemicals. Her pioneering role as a female entrepreneur in the 1960s alongside Jean-Jacques laid the foundation for Sioen Industries' success. 

Together, Jean-Jacques and Jacqueline Sioen's extraordinary legacy of creativity, resilience, and visionary leadership continues to guide and motivate us at Sioen Industries and makes us forge ahead with the spirit of "protection through innovation."