Textile handicrafts

Weaving and knitting and spinning

A “red thread” led Theseus out of the labyrinth of the Minotaur in Greek mythology. In the Waldviertel, thread of sheep’s wool, felt or linen also runs through centuries of local history and now goes into an incredible variety of premium quality products there.

Ribbon peddlers once embodied the textile culture of the Waldviertel. They have since given way to a wide range of producers making everything from cuddly terry cloth and furniture upholstery to knitwear for traditional costumes or rugs with woolen tattoos. In a practice typical of the Waldviertel, producers not only let you purchase the handicrafts directly on premises, you can also watch the items being made step by step.

Immerse yourself in a soft and cuddly world


The Waldviertel has a long tradition as a place of origin for outstanding textiles. Wirtex, a family company in business for more than 150 years, is part of this tradition as Austria’s oldest terry cloth mill.

The experts at Wirtex know the entire process, from yarn to finished hand towel, and are well-versed in the elaborate manufacturing methods involved. In the small town of Frühwärts, traditional and new materials are processed into fine fabrics, many of which are enhanced with individual interweaving and embroidery. Wirtex is just the place to go for anyone with a fascination not just with the finished product but with the steps that got it there. “Our doors are always wide open for visitors,” says company boss Rudolf Strobl, alluding to the informative tours at his mill. The connection between hand towel and handicraft becomes clear on an interactive walking tour of the mill and in the Wirtex movie theater. The visitors immerse themselves in the soft and cuddly world of a terry cloth mill and a major Waldviertel tradition.

Today as in the beginning, the secrets to the success of this venerable mill on the Waldviertel Textile Road are precision, instinct and inventiveness coupled with respect for age-old knowledge of the trade.

Glaudia Strobl
“Terry cloth is a tactile and visual experience. That is true today more than ever. The range has never been so brilliant and colorful and so luxurious in design.”