Christian Adam Landenberger

Weaving Room, undatiert

About the object

Spinning and weaving was an important cottage industry and occasionally involved the whole family. A man is working on the massive loom, which takes up most of the space in the room, while a woman prepares the yarn which had previously been spun on the spinner’s weasel. The girl hands her the thread.
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The painting Weaving Room shows a typical scene of cottage industry. The room is dominated by a large weaving loom operated by a seated man. To the right of the loom, a woman sits at the reel to prepare the thread for weaving, while a small girl assists her by holding the thread. Weaving was one of the cottage industries in the Black Forest and involved the entire family. Spinning and weaving had always been a part of life on the farms, at first only for the family’s own use. But with increased population and the division of inheritances, weaving became more and more important as secondary employment, particularly in the Hotzenwald region of the southern Black Forest. Swiss suppliers delivered flax and cotton which was spun and woven by thousands of workers in their homes to produce thread and fabrics. The region around Waldshut and the Wiesental and Todtnauer Tal valleys, in particular, profited from these Swiss investments. The mechanical loom, invented in England, revolutionized the production of cotton cloth and made it possible for fabrics to be produced by cottage industry. Today it is difficult to imagine that the Black Forest once had a flourishing and highly productive textile industry. In the course of the 18th century, cotton and linen weaving mills were established in the southern Black Forest. The town of St. Blasien played a key role in the production of textiles: in 1809, the first mechanical cotton spinning mill commenced operation there in a secularized monastic building. The ever more rapid development of the industrial production of textiles, however, ended the textile cottage industry in the Black Forest, taking from many people a portion of their livelihood. The first to disappear was the spinning trade, followed rapidly by cotton production and then linen weaving. The unification of the Reich and the subsequent economic boom once again revived the textile industry in the factories, a shift that was especially encouraged by the demand for high quality fabrics for traditional costumes. KATHRIN FISCHER (Transl. MELISSA THORSON)

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