The weaver was a much respected and often visited artificer until the end of the 19th century and especially the weaver-guilt of Innichen was well-known in whole Europe.
Today there is only one man in South Tyrol, who knows this ancient handicraft: Herman Kühebacher.
In his young years he travelled a lot in Ireland and Scotland and he got to know a lot about the art of weaving, which is still alive on the islands. In 1996 he opened his first factory in Innichen, more precisely in his own apartment. “The weaving isn’t profitable”, smirks Herman, but weaving is more a passion for him than a simple job, “I like to decide when I work and how much I want to do!” 2007 Herman moved to Welsberg and brought there his factory, too. Now he owns also a shop and a storeroom.
At the beginning Herman weaves only bulk stock but with time came fantasy and creativity: now he produces blankets, carpets, mufflers, towels, tablecloths and many more.
A nearly forgotten craft
One thing never changed in Hermans’ carrier: he uses solely natural fibres from South Tyrolean sheep. He prefers the sheep from Vinschgau: “The sheep there are strong and tough. You can feel it in their wool. The wool scratched indeed, but it is very, very warm.”
Herman uses also wool from Alpacha, Vikunia or Kashmir and sometimes also silk. But he minds about fair trade and buy his ware only from small corporations. “The philosophy has to be right,” he says, from the beginning of the work progress till the end: so he colours the fibre with natural colours, he tumbles the wool without sulphuric acid and every step of work is made with his own hands.
All of his products are single copies, and they live surely an entire life long.
Visit Herman in his workshop in Niederdorf. Opening hours: from Monday until Friday between 9:00 am and noon or as agreed (phone: +39 389 938 6539).