This is a series of photographs made in a textile factory in the town of Ivanovo, some 275 kilometers north-east of Moscow. For a long time, the town had been known as the ‘town of brides’ because the population was mostly women, who all worked in the textile industry.

During the regime of the czars, this town was the center of the textile industry in Russia. There were a lot of different plants where all kinds of fabrics were manufactured, mostly based on cotton and linen.

Over the course of time, mostly due to competition of low labor cost countries, such as China, they almost all had to close down. Today, only a handful of them are still active, and even those will probably not last much longer.

The factory where I made my series, the ‘Kombinat named after F. N. Samoilova’ was a very big plant, where the complete range of working up fabrics was performed, but now it has restricted its activities to only bleaching and printing of fabrics.

My intention was to make a portrait of the factory, by combining its interior, the fabrics they manufacture, and the women doing the work. The fabrics portrayed come from different collections, from over many years, old and new. The same is true of the interior images, where old and newer equipment is shown. And the workers, of course, are women of different ages, as well.

— Lucia Ganieva