Maria Selle, Parament Workshop


The production of paraments (liturgical textiles of Christianity) is a tradition-rich branch of crafts that is becoming increasingly rare in today's secular era. For over 150 years, the Parament Workshop of the Deaconess Institution Dresden has been designing and weaving textile furnishings for the churches of the surrounding communities. Even as a child, Maria Selle was fascinated by textile crafts, especially embroidery and weaving on a small round weaving frame. She learned the profession of the parament maker in her childhood/youth in her circle of acquaintances. Working on a parament always has a spiritual dimension for Maria Selle. The parament serves as a form of preaching or proclamation of the biblical message.

Name of Craft in the local language
Maria Selle, Paramentikerin, Handweberin
Type of Craft
Design and production of paraments (altar hangings and other liturgical textiles for worship) for the Christian Church, as well as execution of other designs, and restoration and repair work of existing paraments, preservation of historical paraments
Knowledge Holder
Today, design and execution are done by Maria Selle, occasionally based on external designs. Until the 1980s, several collaborations with external designers.
Location, Website
Holzhofgasse 29, 01099 Dresden
Ev.-Luth. Diakonissenanstalt Dresden e.V., Paramentikwerkstatt (Paramentics)
Type of Business
Non-profit institution of the Diakonissenanstalt
Year of Establishment
1866, founded together with the host bakery, 1935 separation of the two workshops due to high demand and own management of the Parament Workshop, 2000 dissolution for financial reasons, 2018 re-establishment

Workshop and sales space
Workshop room with a loom and a design archive, as well as a smaller loom in the host bakery; no sales room
Wool, linen, silk, and other textile yarns
Technology / Tools / Machines
Drawing utensils for the design; Hand loom and accessories; Tapestry weaving loom; Sewing utensils, sewing machine, iron
Techniques / Processes
Drawing (design), shearing and warping the warp, weaving, ironing, hemming/sewing
Members / Employees
Maria Selle (in the 1980s, there were 13 employees, including 8 apprentices; 2-3 new apprentices each year)
Although the apprenticeship profession of the parament maker still exists, Maria Selle is currently not conducting any apprenticeship programs.
Education of the Craftsperson
From 1983, Maria Selle underwent a three-year training as a parament maker in the workshop of the Diakonissenanstalt and subsequently worked here from 1986-1989 as a journeywoman. In 1989, upon the recommendation of the textile designer of the workshop, she completed a degree in Textile Design at the Schneeberg University of Applied Sciences. After her graduation, she returned to the workshop and started creating her own designs. During her maternity break, the Parament Workshop was temporarily closed in 2000 due to financial reasons. When a request to weave a new parament was made to the Diakonissenanstalt in 2017, Maria Selle seized the opportunity to re-establish the Parament Workshop. The looms, accessories, and designs of the Parament Workshop had been stored, also on the initiative of Maria Selle, so that production could quickly resume.

Best-selling product
Individually designed parament, but also restoration and repair work on existing paraments.
Average time of production
150 working hours per square meter, 1-2 paraments per year.