Knowledge atlas Science

Technical Museum of the Ribbon Weaving Craft, Großröhrsdorf

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Ribbon weaving in Saxony is a traditional craft that can look back on more than 340 years of history. It characterised the economic profile of Großröhrsdorf and the surrounding region. The products were not only sold throughout Germany, but also internationally. The technical museum has set itself the task of keeping this trade alive in the consciousness of the region and beyond. This includes the preservation and demonstration of fully functional historical machines from the beginning to the turn of the millennium. In addition, work is being done on cataloguing and preserving the extensive sample archive, which reflects the diversity of the products and makes them accessible to interested visitors. The Museum of Ribbon Weaving is not only a technical but also a socio-cultural institution, as production was mainly carried out by wage labour at home until the beginning of the 19th century. Finishing and dyeing were also used. This branch of production thus had an influence on almost all families in the village.

Name of Field in the local language
Band- und Gurtweberei
Area of Expertise
Preservation and communication of local craft knowledge with international impact.
Scientists / Scientific team
Bernd Hartmann, ribbon weaver, master craftsman and textile engineer. Approx. 20 active volunteers. From 2024, two additional weavers, also on a voluntary basis.
Location, Institution, Website
Technical Museum of the Ribbon Weaving Craft, Schulstraße 2, 01900 Großröhrsdorf Link to website
Contact
Bernd Hartmann, phone: 035952 48247, e-mail: info@bandwebmuseum.de
Type of Institution
Association Organisation of the town of Großröhrsdorf

Laboratory and research space
Showrooms on two floors of an old factory building. Rooms for special exhibitions in an extra building. Entrance room with cash desk and shop. Archive and office space Conference and meeting room outdoor area
Materials and equipment
Historical machines. Showcases for presentation. Information boards. Sample Archive. Film presentations.
Technology / Tools / Machines
15 fully functional tape looms and automatic weaving machines. One-cylinder steam engine.
Research Methods / Processes
Permanent exhibition and demonstration of historical machines. Recording and cataloguing of the sample stock. Annual special exhibitions. Constant exchange with the six ribbon weaving mills still producing in the region. Training of trainees from these weaving mills.

The Technical Museum of Ribbon Weaving Großröhrsdorf has been located in the former factory building of the J.G. Schurig ribbon weaving mill since 1998. The history of ribbon production in Großröhrsdorf and the surrounding area is told to visitors on two floors and in the outdoor area, supplemented by demonstrations on fully functional looms and ribbon weaving machines. A new feature is a training, demonstration and general events room, where children in particular can learn about the history and try out weaving for themselves, but which also brings the local inhabitants together in other forms of events and has thus become the cultural centre of Großröhrsdorf. The museum is increasingly developing into a place of lively knowledge transfer not only for school classes in the neighbourhood.

In addition, this place is increasingly being included in the programmes of organised tours – especially coach tours – and is thus expanding its radius of influence.

Thanks to a circle of friends that has existed since the museum was founded, most of whom are still active ribbon weavers from companies that have since been dissolved, the history is kept alive and can be authentically conveyed. However, a particular challenge lies in recruiting new talent for the association in order to keep the tradition of ribbon weaving visible for future generations. There is close contact with the six ribbon weaving mills in the area that are still in production. The museum receives unbureaucratic and short-term support of all kinds from them at any time. Trainees from these companies are given an insight into the history of their trade and practical instructions in the museum.

An important goal of the association is to secure and preserve all documents that were in danger of being destroyed when the individual companies were dissolved. The extensive historical archive of samples and documents, with all the information on ribbon production and manufacturing, is systematically analysed and recorded in a database. This makes it possible to exchange information with other institutions, e.g. museums. This archive also provides information about the influence of ribbon weaving on the structure of the local craft businesses, whose products and services were orientated towards the needs of ribbon weaving. The spectrum ranged from the manufacture of looms and bobbins to clasps for braces and shipping materials.

In addition to the permanent exhibition, the museum presents a special exhibition every year on various topics related to this special craft.

The museum sees an important task in promoting and supporting research into the history of ribbon weaving and the production of publications. One example of this is the publication “Johann Gottfried Schöne – Geschichte einer Bandweberei”. Also published in 2023 an 86-page brochure was published to mark the museum’s anniversary. It provides an insight into the development of the museum from its foundation to the current state of the entire complex, as well as an overview of special exhibitions and selected events.