DAS FORUM | 15.10.2023 – 28.04.2024

Historical needlework and sewing tools

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Since 2018, the Draiflessen Collection has owned the Stichting Ariadne’s Naaikussen (Ariadne’s Sewing Cushion Foundation). This collection encompasses nearly 2,000 historical needlework and sewing utensils, a textile pattern collection, and a specialized library, all assembled over several decades by Clementine Kuttschrütter, née Brenninkmeijer. These treasures date mainly to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and were artistically crafted from precious materials. Many of them are items still in use today, such as needles, scissors, thimbles, or elaborate sewing boxes, as well as yarn balls, sewing clamps, or shuttles for frivolity work, whose practical significance and aesthetics we can now experience anew.
The first presentation of Ariadne’s Naaikussen in the rooms of the Draiflessen Collection, in DAS Forum, introduces highlights and marks the start of the scholarly treatment of this outstanding collection. At the same time, it is a tribute to the passionate collector, who would have turned ninety in 2023.

Photo credits: Miniature sewing cushion, undated, © Draiflessen Collection, Sammlung Ariadne’s Naaikussen, photo: Henning Rogge 

University meets Museum

For the second time, students from the Department of Textile Design at Osnabrück University have collaborated with the Draiflessen Collection in the context of an exhibition to explore the diversity of fashion and its origins in needlework.

Based on the collection of historical sewing and needlework utensils “Stichting Ariadne's Naaikussen”, students revived an almost forgotten technique of lace making: Occhi.

Occhi (also known as shuttle or frivolity work) is a needlework technique in which lace is formed using a thread wound on a shuttle. But how was occhi originally made? What historical sources can we draw on if we want to relearn Occhi? And how can Occhi lace be interpreted in a contemporary way? The students asked themselves these and other questions while researching this topic and, not least, while making their handicrafts.

The intricate results of these theoretical and practical explorations were on display at the Draiflessen Collection from January 4 to April 28, 2024 in the context of the first presentation of “Ariadne's Naaikussen”.

Daria Ivanov, Anja Leshoff, Christine Löbbers, Jessica Kirschmann, Celine Krumland, Kathrin Meese, Tamara Olmer, Elisa Prigge. 

Occhi | © Anja Leshoff