The beauty of the everyday is ourcraft

Elke & Johannes Licht

Simssee Hand Weaving Workshop

Where all threads converge

For some, a carpet is just an everyday object. For the Licht family, it connects traditional craftsmanship with modern lifestyle.

Clever solutions for complex problems

They stand there imposingly: the looms in the Licht family's Simssee hand weaving workshop. Hundreds of threads are clamped in it, which form the basis of the fabric as warp threads. The shafts rise and fall, the shuttle flies swiftly between the threads. The weaving blade beats down, pressing the weft thread onto the already finished fabric. Weft by weft is woven one by one. The crashing rhythm of the loom fills the workshop. Depending on the pattern, the wool in the shuttle is changed many times. Countless manual actions are required to create the finished product. We are in a place where time moves at its own pace.

The art of weaving can be traced back in the form of textile remains for at least 32,000 years. This makes it one of humanity's oldest crafts. Over this long period of time, weaving has developed in diverse ways – whether filigree clothing fabrics, complex jacquards, tear-resistant dish towels, or fine table linens. The Licht family has specialized in weaving carpets from wool: These are the company's founder Erwin, daughter Sabine, son Alfred with wife Elke, and grandson Johannes. The team is further complemented by two highly valued employees.

Designed with love, woven by hand: each piece is unique.

The art of composition

Vibrant green, rich dark red, bright yellow, or delicate natural tones like wool white, light beige, or dark anthracite: If you take a look around the bale warehouse of the hand weaving workshop, you will be lost in a frenzy of colour. This is where compositional talent is needed! When customers come to the Simssee hand weaving workshop in Stephanskirchen with a colour scheme in mind, it's Elke who conjures a balanced arrangement from it. Patterns, colours, shapes, and textures – that's her world. As a trained textile pattern designer, she gladly provides advice with various design drafts. What can everyone always rely on? Every carpet created here is unique. It's as individual and special as the person who buys it.

In contrast to cheap mass-produced goods from the Far East, the Licht family values the responsible use of natural resources. Wool is not only a sustainable and renewable raw material, but it also creates a pleasant living environment where people feel comfortable. The new wool in natural shades comes from local sheep breeds such as Coburger Fuchs, Steinschaf, Juraschaf, or Tiroler Bergschaf. As nature's colour palette is limited, dyed wool is also used, which complies with international standards for textiles tested for harmful substances.

A glimpse behind the scenes

What happens in a hand-weaving workshop? The Licht family gave us an insight into their workshop, where very special carpets are created every day. Discover in the picture gallery how unique results are created from old craftsmanship, great skill and creative ideas.

5 questions, 5 answers

What makes a family? Who is the secret snooze champion? What inspires creativity? We asked the Licht family some personal questions – watch the video for the answers.

Everyone pulls together: the concept of a family business

Senior chef Erwin founded the business in 1981. Before that, he had bought a few looms cheaply at scrap value. Step by step, the Simssee hand weaving workshop made a name for itself. Son Alfred, like his father, completed an apprenticeship as a weaver. Managing prudently, making pragmatic decisions, thinking with foresight: there was no business plan, but the business idea still worked out. Today, Johannes, the 25-year-old grandson of the founder, is also dedicated to the family business with enthusiasm. As a trained industrial mechanic, he brings ideal qualifications for the old hand looms: There are no spare parts, much of it is custom-built. With a laugh, he says, "My grandpa is the living manual for the machines!".

As a family-run business, we are repeatedly faced with the challenge of preserving tradition, remaining open to innovations, and at the same time responding to changes with unconventional ideas. How can one survive over such a long time? With a strong sense of community, courage and of course the power of creativity.

Working in a family-run business means: everyone does everything.

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