Reconstruction of the interiors of the home and weaving workshop owned by a guild master – representative of the highest guild authorities. The arrangement shows the home as it would have looked at the turn of the 20th century, when handmade crafts were being rapidly displaced by mechanical equipment developed in the mid-19th century.
The building is divided by a vestibule into two main parts: the workshop to the left of the entrance, and living quarters to the right. The workshop occupies the largest room, displaying objects used by the weaver in his work. Especially noteworthy is the large handloom dating back to the mid-18th century, used to make wool fabrics; there are also items used in the preparation and spinning of the warp and woof. A section of the room was used for administrative work, such as organisational matters of the guild and settling disputes and quarrels among members. This part presents documents and guild memorabilia, and an iron chest used as the guild’s strongbox. The room also served as the living quarters of the apprentice; the things he used in his daily life are placed next to the hearth.
Leading from the workshop via the front part of the vestibule, we reach the kitchen – the focal point of family life. It was here that meals were prepared and served, children played, and the housewife spent the majority of her days, devoting her free time to sewing, embroidery and other crafts. The kitchen was the meeting place for family, neighbours and friends.
The objects in the room fall into two types: alongside the crockery and other kitchen equipment, there are items used in weaving, mainly for additional tasks performed by women and children, including a spinning wheel and a niddy-noddy – a tool for making skeins from yarn. For comparison, there is a smaller loom from near Bielsko, dating back to the second half of the 19th century. It was used for weaving linen, wool or mixed fabrics half the width of those made in the main workshop. The loom is used in practical weaving demonstrations for visitors.
Next to the kitchen is the bedroom, which was the representative room in the house, only used during the daytime on special occasions. It was whitewashed, and it held veneered furniture from the turn of the 20th century.
The exhibition also features woodcuts by Jan Wałach dedicated to weaving, placed in the vestibule.
The Weaver’s House is an example of period wooden town architecture, typical of our own city and Poland as a whole. It is the only representation of its kind of the work of an urban artisan, fully supported by a powerful guild structure.