L’ENSAIT has a rich and lively history behind it. Since its creation in 1889, the School has become a leading figure in the textile heritage, accompanying its development year after year. L’ENSAIT is above all a school which has always been concerned to adapt its training to market demand. Textiles are more alive than ever, constantly changing, and appearing in innovative fields of activity.

The ENSAIT is a School open to the World, in constant evolution, it trains dynamic and versatile engineers, up to date with the most innovative techniques, familiar with cutting-edge sectors, capable of giving the best advice to the players in the textile industry. This adaptation to the evolution of the textile industry can be found through the different poles of the school. 


In 1876, the City Council of Roubaix adopted the creation of an establishment adapted to the needs of a large industrial city. At the same time, the government wanted to meet the needs of the textile industry.


ENAI (Ecole Nationale d'Arts Industriels), a national institution, was officially created by the law of 5 July 1881. A convention is signed between the State and the city of Roubaix in 1882.


ENAI changed its name to ENSAIT - Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Industries Textiles in 1921.


Creation of the textile research laboratory:  GEMTEX.


Creation of apprenticeship training.

ferdinand dutert, architect of the ensait and Grand Prix de Rome for Architecture

Charles Louis Ferdinand Dutert, was born in Douai in 1845. He died in Paris in 1906. He is the architect of the ENSAIT. He is a very considered man at the end of the 19th century.
After a brilliant schooling at the Beaux-Arts in the 1860s, he was awarded the Grand Prix de Rome for Architecture. He then spent 5 years in Italy where he worked on the restoration of the Imperial Palace of Rome on Mount Palatine. He was appointed Government Architect in 1882 after major works: renovation of the Paris City Hall, the Palais des Machines for the 1889 Universal Exhibition and the Paris Museum of Natural History. 
His major work remains the construction of the ENAI (the former name of the ENSAIT) from 1886 to 1889.

The support of the architect Dutert was decisive in the choice of Roubaix for the creation of a textile school in the North.


The twin construction of a public library and an instruction centre is unusual for the time. Its geographical location within the school itself is privileged because it is central and therefore directly accessible to the public. It is nevertheless far away from the noisy workshops. 
After the Second World War, the library of Roubaix was established on rue du château. The ENSAIT library ceased to function as such in 1975, when it was affected by a fire.
It is now entirely dedicated to the support of ENSAIT students.