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Brugge -- bedsheets knotted out windows??

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hi all, just wondering if anyone knows the significance of white bedsheets knotted and hung out windows in Brugge? recently came across this at several buildings on Oude Burg in Brugge. it seemed to be isolated to this area. did an internet search, and there was some business about white bedsheets being hung out at Gent (i think) to prove that after several days, they are turning dingy grey because the air quality is so poor. but these sheets don't seem to be knotted up when they are hung out, like the ones i saw in Brugge.

a very curious sight, if anyone can shed some light.
thanks!

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