By the mid-19th century, Russia had become the largest country exporting linen to Europe. It was used for in the production of fabric, oil, cords and cables. It became one of the fastest-growing industries in Russia.
Process of creating linen threads in the early 20th century
Some wealthy Jews were investing in linen processing factories, most of which were in northwest Russia, including today’s Belarus.
By the end of the 19th-century, in the territory that’s now known as Belarus, had some 70 linen-processing factories; 41 were Jewsh-owned.
Here is the 1887 list of Jewish owners of linen-processing factories in Belarus: