A Blend of Handicraft, Function and Fashion


Opening: 29.05.2022
Curated by: Michaela Steinböck-Köhler

About the exhibition

Clothes worn by peasants in former times were predominately working clothes, which had to be practical and above all durable in their function. For this reason, preserved working clothes from earlier times is a rarity, as it was worn for as long as possible and then darned many times until it was re-used as rags, or handed over to the rag collector.

More frequently preserved were the festive and Sunday-best clothes. They were worn only on particular occasions in the year and often passed on from one generation to the next. Beside their functionality, each type of clothing had symbolic character, too, however.

Initially regulated by medieval dress codes, it was always determined by the social status and region concerned as well. More prosperous peasants in particular imitated the dress habits of the nobility and middle-classes. In contrast, a dress style developed in the mid-19th century, mainly in summer retreat destinations, which became popular in aristocratic and bourgeois circles, one that borrowed from the peasant working clothes, and which has fascinated the world of fashion up to the present day, or has inspired new creations. Nor must one forget the influence of the product catalogues and mail order business on the dress code of the rural population, from the period around 1900 onwards. It is the production of clothes that lies at the heart of this thematic focus, from the peasant’s handiwork up to commercially run businesses.

Different occupations, from the peasant producing raw materials to the maker of ready-for-use textiles, from the hook-and-eye maker to the tailor, are shown in terms of the interplay between the most diverse participants in the creation of various products. Head coverings, shoes, aprons, and much more besides, complement the diversity of exhibits all centred around the theme of clothing.



Austrian Open-Air Museum Stübing

Enzenbach 32
8114 Stübing, Österreich
T +43-3124/53700
F +43-3124/53700-18


Opening Hours

31 March to 31 October Mon-Sun, public holidays 9am - 6pm
Admission until 5pm