Handwerkskammer honored hand weaver for his life's workrong>

"I was allowed to turn my hobby into a profession," says hand weaver Günter Oehms, who - as museum director Hansgeorg Hauser put it - "is one of the "figureheads of the House of Silk Culture (HdS)". Now the 87-year-old has been awarded the diamond for his life's work Master's certificate from the Chamber of Crafts "for 60 years of active, successful professional life as a master of the weaving trade, which has become rare". The presentation of the rare document took place with Dr. Axel Fuhrmann, the general manager of the Düsseldorf Chamber, visited the former Hubert Gotzes parament weaving mill at Luisenstraße 15 in Krefeld.

"Günter Oehms is a textile specialist who is second to none," said Fuhrmann in his laudatory speech. And: "He is a technical expert on everything to do with the mechanical engineering of the handloom of European standing." Against this background, our Günter was able to significantly increase the level of awareness of our museum far beyond the borders of the velvet and silk city," Hauser took up the words of the previous speaker.

Günter Oehms – born on May 22, 1935 in Trier – as the eldest of three children, began an apprenticeship as a businessman in Manderscheid (Eifel) in 1949, which he passed with flying colors three years later.

At "his" loom in the House of Silk Culture, Günter Oehms (right) received the diamond master craftsman's certificate from the general manager of the Düsseldorf Chamber of Crafts, Dr. Axel Fuhrmann, awarded.    HdS photo: Dieter Brenner


Oehms: "The office chair wasn't for me!"

But young Oehms soon realized that he didn't want to grow old on an office chair. Rather, he was fascinated by the craft and especially the guild of weavers. Even as a child he had come into contact with a loom on a nearby farm. In 1953 he then put his dream job into practice and began an apprenticeship as a hand weaver at Arras Castle in Alf on the Moselle.

With his journeyman’s certificate in hand, he came to the velvet and silk city in 1956, where he found a job as a young journeyman in the tie and hand weaving workshop “Sugora”.

With talent and diligence, he was already working his way up the company to become a master craftsman, even before he was officially awarded this title in 1962. He had previously attended the master school in Krefeld and passed the master craftsman's examination at the Düsseldorf Chamber of Crafts.

Other stations in his professional career included the companies "Kleinod" and "Meister-Krawatten", where he worked as a cutter and team leader.

As a master craftsman, he was also in great demand at the Werkkunstschule in Krefeld, where he taught parallel to his professional activity as a lecturer in hand weaving from 1965 to 1971.

"I then retired in 1994," says Günter Oehms, explaining that he too was not spared from the slump in the textile industry. But the loom - one of them was and still is at home - was to continue to be a significant part of his life in the future.

Dipl. text engineer Walter Tillmann, whom Oehms met at the 100th anniversary of the Girmes in the Oedter Albert Mooren Halle, was not entirely innocent in this development. The motto after a first meeting was published quite quickly: "We absolutely have to do something together!"

This intention resulted in the founding of the small textile museum “Die Scheune” in Hinsbeck in 1983. There he finally came into (first) contact with members of the Krefeld "House of Silk Culture", where Günter Oehms has been letting the old Jacquard looms "clatter" again since the turn of the millennium.

Oh yes: In between there was also a little time for (purely) private things: Günter Oehms married Susanne Leßmann in 1960; this marriage produced three children. The family showed great understanding that the head of the family was always “married” to the loom.

Looking at the eventful (professional) life of the awardee, Dr. Fuhrmann summarized at the impressive ceremony: "Krefeld and the entire trade on the Lower Rhine and beyond owe a lot to Günter Oehms and his work!"


Biography of a man who doesn't want to "brag".

In many places, the hand weaver's advice and action was and is very much in demand. Only reluctantly - because he "doesn't want to brag" (show off) - Günter Oehms lists some stations of his voluntary work here and names institutions and places where he staged the old weaving trade.

  • Wegberg Flax Museum in Beeck
  • Weberhaus St. Hubert (here he set up looms)
  • Museum Horst (NL)
  • Hansenhof local history museum in Velden (NL)
  • Schlesierhaus Heisterbacher Rott in Bad Godesberg
  • Flax market in Krefeld-Linn
  • Heimendahl estate in Kempen (including participation in the "Day of the Court")
  • Himmerrod Monastery (participation in the "Klostermarkt", one of the oldest craft markets in the Eifel)
  • Home club Viersen
  • Manderscheid fair
  • Alexius Hospital Neuss (where he led a therapy group for almost 1 year).
  • Participation in various village festivals in the Eifel, such as the Obergöttlinger 1,200 year celebration or the festival in Pantenburg.
Hand weaving master Günter Oehms literally has the threads firmly in his hands.    HdS photo: Brenner