Apolda: Skilled hands new fields of activity
by CS Hesse, published at Oct..18, 2020 in IMPULS

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Where if not in Apolda can skilled hands find new fields of activity? It is precisely in this city, affectionately known as the knitting city, that creative work and tailoring have a long tradition. Probably the most famous ancestor; David the knitter brought the art of knitting stockings to Apolda and thus probably became the actual founder of local manufacturing. And this work, which provided wages and salaries for centuries, continued in the GDR and has now arrived in the here and now with interesting modern knitting studios.

Thanks to the countable factories and fashion studios, the city enjoys an excellent reputation for fashion and knitting design. And for a few months now, a new project has been established, funded by the Thuringian Ministry for Migration, Justice and Consumer Protection, which new women from Apolda initiated. Because they combine the knowledge from their actual professions in their home regions with current cuts and trends. This diversity of different countries of origin and their professions is the basis of the project, which is also called the "diversity of silence". One background of the project is to learn a language and to integrate. “Making it useful, working and using the tailor-made parts to conjure a smile on the face of other interested people” is what the first three women are all about.

Old and new fabrics as well as old clothes were given a new authorization to wear with the help of new cuts and skillful hands, which can be found in short in "ethno fashion". The appeal of this fashion is that it uses combinations made up of traditional costumes from different parts of the world. The project started in January 2020 with the support of the Integration Promotion Group. The first thread in the needle was in the room of the Apoldaer Bildungswerk e. V. threaded. However, due to the global problem caused by COVID 19 and the mandatory social distancing, the project started with three people. In the course of the months the number of participants increased to twelve people who now work in two shifts. The original idea of ​​tailoring new fashion faded more and more into the background with COVID 19 and so the highly ambitious participants first began to design and tailor various models of reusable mouth and nose covers. This beginning was also difficult because there weren't enough tailor's models available.

In the course of time, however, the participants became more skilful and were able to deliver over 500 pieces of various sizes of mask models for various institutions, such as the Förderkreis Integration, the museum or the district adult education center. After easing the working and living conditions of the people set in, the women began with the regular tailoring. However, only a few models were finished, because hard-working hands are already making new masks ... in the expectation of not having to use the masks for a second wave of the crisis. Making masks creates a certain skill and routine in handling the machines. The women hope that they will soon be able to present ethnic fashion to a young audience and thus pass on a little bit of local history, perhaps find work with the new skills or dare to take the step into self-employment.