beFLÜGELt - Exhibition and experimental studio
Textile Centre Haslach, AT
16.07.2023 - 28.02.2024

beFLÜGELt - Exhibition and experimental studio<br>Textile Centre Haslach, AT<br>16.07.2023 - 28.02.2024

exhibits of the exhibition beFLÜGELt, photo by Christina Leitner

As part of the TEXTILE KULTUR HASLACH 2023 summer symposium, a new special exhibition was opened that pays tribute to the life's work of textile collector Marianne Flügel, who comes from Cologne and has spent her life collecting objects from the field of primary textile techniques. It takes visitors into different textile worlds around the globe and encourages them to do something of their own.


Primary textile techniques are processes that technically come before weaving. They can be produced entirely by hand or with the simplest of tools. The human being with his hands as tools is the centre of attention. Over the millennia, a wealth of processes have developed worldwide, which can be roughly divided into four groups: Twisting, intertwining, knotting and criss-crossing. The boundaries are fluid.

The study of primary textile techniques leads to the most diverse cultures and to the origins of human civilisation. The stories hidden in them are about the creative power of man, about locally available materials, about cultural and individual needs. What appears at first glance to be simple everyday objects turns out, on closer inspection, to be a universe in itself.

If you decipher the structures of the objects, you can discover refined methods of making, craftsmanship and enormous feats of thought. The "textile gaze" thus tries to get to the bottom of things and not just look at the surface.


Marianne Flügel, a textile designer living in Cologne, has dedicated her life to primary textile techniques.

She worked as a specialist teacher for textile design at a grammar school and taught textile practice as a lecturer at the University of Cologne. Fascinated early on by the diversity of textile techniques, she soon began to systematically collect textiles and use them for teaching purposes, documenting ethnological backgrounds and highlighting similarities and differences between various techniques. In her work, research and practice have always combined.

Marianne Flügel undertook numerous study trips to fascinating countries, some of which can no longer be travelled to today. Not only did she bring back countless exciting objects from these trips abroad, she also captured with her camera craftswomen and working processes, some of which no longer exist today or are threatened with disappearance.

The didactic aspect of the Flügel collection is also of particular value. There are extensive analyses and technical sketches for many of the collected objects. Marianne Flügel has also recreated most of the techniques herself with coarse carpet wool or felt strips in oversized form and made samples from the original objects. These sharpen the view of the hidden structures, take you on a journey through time and encourage you to become active yourself and let the collection inspire you. 

With the Flügel collection, the Textile Centre Haslach has been given a treasure, which will be available for teaching and research in the future and will contribute to keeping this piece of human of human culture alive and to continue to etch it.


Between 23 and 28 February 2024, an experimental studio on the theme "beFLÜGELt - exploring primary textile techniques" will be held at the Textile Centre Haslach. Inspired by the Flügel Collection, the aim is to bring together people who are practically engaged with the techniques presented in the collection.

In the course of industrialisation, the diversity of textile techniques was largely lost, and some of the so-called "historical textile techniques", such as sprang, netting, occhi, board weaving or various braiding techniques are today often only known to textile experts, basket weavers, ethnologists or archaeologists. However, they hold great potential and provide information about craft skills as well as ways of thinking and living in different times and regions of the world.
The aim of the experimental studio is to bring together people who want to study these techniques in depth and use the Flügel collection as a resource for their own research or artistic work in exchange with others. The experimental studio does not have a classical course character, but creates an open space for autonomous work. After an introduction to the collection and the presentation of the participants' main areas of work, the focus is on the individual and collaborative penetration of textile structures. The focus is not primarily on the production of finished consumer products, but on basic research into the nature of textile systems. As a result of the week, publication contributions, new course formats, collaborations or other forms of use of the collection can be envisaged, which are to be developed together.

Participants: all who are interested in professional exchange and would like to conduct craft-artistic research on the basis of a collection .
 sound previous knowledge in sub-areas of primary textile techniques, curiosity, spirit of research and the willingness to share one's own knowledge with others
Number of participants:
 max. 10 persons
 If you are interested, please send a short informal application to with CV and some information and photos about your work in the field of primary textile techniques by 31 December 2023 (The application deadline has been extended). We will contact you and let you know by early 2024 if you can participate in the experimental studio.
Course times:
Course fee:
 Participation is free of charge. Only the cost of materials will be charged. Participants must pay for their own accommodation and travel costs.

Course leader: CHRISTINA LEITNER, Austria
Born in Linz in 1976, studied textile design and psychology/philosophy in Salzburg and Linz, practical and theoretical work with paper textiles, training course in museology in Graz, working for the Textile Centre Haslach since 2007, teaching weaving at the Mozarteum Salzburg and at the Art University Linz, on the board of the European Textile Network ETN since 2020.
More info:,,

More information and registration:


Textile Centre Haslach
Stahlmühle 4
4170 Haslach, Austriaa

Exhibition view beFLÜGELt, photo: Selina Gasser

Exhibition view beFLÜGELt, photo: Selina Gasser

Exhibition view beFLÜGELt, photo: Selina Gasser

Exhibition view beFLÜGELt, photo: Selina Gasser

Exhibition view beFLÜGELt, photo: Selina Gasser

Exhibition view beFLÜGELt, photo: Selina Gasser

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