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ancient tailor shop

The bespoke tailor shop - an abandoned place stacked with treasures





Guido and Elfriede ran a bespoke tailoring shop in Ohrdruf, Thuringia, for around 40 years. They both have been master tailors. In the tiny workshop in the roof gable, there was even training for apprentices. But the hustle and bustle and zeal for work are a thing of the past. About 27 years ago the tailor shop was closed for reasons of age, and the lack of successors. At first, Guido and Elfriede still worked in the workshop, out of pure pleasure and joy. But the way up the steep stairs became more and more difficult over time. The tailor's workshop is now abandoned. The tailoring scissors are still on the cutting table, the sewing machines are threaded as if they were just waiting to be used. Patterns and balls of fabric are ready. All materials are carefully sorted and labeled. They rest in cupboards, shelves, or boxes. Leather hides rolled up on the roof. It almost looks like work was still going on here yesterday. But everything is covered with a fine layer of dust and cobwebs. Time seems to have stopped here. And yet the traces of impermanence are clearly visible. Back then, high-quality made-to-measure clothing for women and men was still made here. In the “trying-on room”, in which also many fabrics were stored, the customers were received and their ideas and wishes discussed. Then they were carefully measured.

The constructions and sample models were made in the workshop. The garment was tried on and adjusted several times on the way to production. The amount of work, the time invested and the customization made the garments unique. At that time, people were prepared to pay accordingly for the quality offered, even if it was certainly not commonplace to have something made to measure. But these creations were for life and there wasn't much else at the time. That is why enough fullness in the seam allowance was included in the manufacturing process so that later changes were easier to make. The wardrobe aged and literally grew with its wearer. As a result, a special relationship developed between people and clothing that was highly valued. The christening robe, the first suit, the dance lesson prom dress, the wedding suit, the wedding costume, and many more - the result is individual pieces with meaning, that remain in the family's possession for a long time and are passed on. Even if aging and signs of wear are visible, the clothing is treated with care and awe. Broken things are repaired. In this context, there are different perceptions of time. Because it not only includes the time required for production, but also the length of time it is worn, and the associated experiences and memories


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