180 years Bulgarian textile industry
* In 1834 in Sliven, Bulgaria, Dobri Zhelyazkov laid the foundations of the Bulgarian textile industry
Dobri Zhelyazkov was the first Bulgarian factory-owner and industrialist, the founder of the first textile factory in Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire.
He was born in 1800 in Sliven and studied at the local Greek school.
In 1830 he moved to South Russia, got married there for a girl from Sliven and became a wool and cloth merchant, touring the country and observing textile production.
In 1834, Zhelyazkov returned to Sliven with his family and settled in his wife's house, where he constructed a production building. There he fitted looms, carding and spinning machines constructed by local smiths to designs brought from Russia and began to produce homespun, frieze and broad cloth.
In 1836 Dobri Zhelyazkov went to Istanbul to meet Sultan Mahmud II. Mahmud was impressed by Zhelyazkov's production and officially ordered him to establish the Sliven textile factory.
The factory was big and modern and with every year it produced more and more fabrics with great quality. Many people hated Dobri for his success and when Mahmud ІІ died, the factory became state property and Zhelyazkov was sent to İzmit in Anatolia.
He turned to Sliven in 1856 and died ill and in poverty in 1865.
In 2014, the town of Sliven is hosting a national celebration of the 180th anniversary, including a wide range of activities throughout the year. The main focus is the National Student Competition for articles in Wikipedia, announced by the Sliven District Administration at the beginning of April 2014 in which 59 participants took part.
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