How much time does it take to make guild trousers?

A whole twenty-seven point four minutes. What has to be done? Snipping with the cutter, trimming the cutting edges, inserting 2 zip fasteners, encasing side pockets with 50 mm of leather, closing the front pocket and side seams, inserting 2 folding rule pockets, sewing in waistband lining, turning trouser seam, trousers, sewing pocket mirror on pocket bag, welting second folding rule pocket, edge with leather, sewing and cutting 6 loops, sewing piping on back pocket bag, inserting back pocket, closing back pocket, closing 2 folding rule pockets, overlocking side seams, sewing on 12 leather corners, overlocking 2 waistband corners, overlocking bib, locking loops and pockets, marking and making 3 button holes, sewing on 3 buttons, giving trousers a label and checking whether logo is sewed onto the folding rule pocket.

Who handles this? A total of 28 people. How much material is consumed? 1.4 metres of fabric, 365 metres of yarn, 12 leather corners, 2 zip fasteners, 3 buttons, 1 FHB label, 0.5 metres of lining, 55 cm of leather encasing, sewed in the vicinity of Bielefeld.



What exactly should we understand guild clothing clothing to be?

In the past and today, classical guild clothing has been especially strong work clothing for the main vocations of artisans, particularly carpenters, roofers and bricklayers. The main features of this clothing were and are its especially heavy material. On the one hand, we have so-called Trenker corduroy which also used to be called Manchester. On the other, there is the so-called twisting double pilot, which is often called English leather. Both fabrics weigh substantially more than 500 g/m².

Today, guild trousers are defined by their characteristic two front zip fasteners. In the past, guild trousers had the required wide bottom, but a normal fly. We don't know who came up with the idea of giving guild trousers two zip fasteners or when it happened.



Why do guild trousers have two zip fasteners?

We are honest. Unfortunately, we don't have an answer to this question that we can really prove. Our old photos from the 20s and 30s show that back then guild trousers did not have 2 front zip fasteners, but rather a very normal fly. Usually, however, trousers had one flap. 

In our catalogues from the mid-50s, two zip fasteners appear. We suspect that fashion was the reason for the change since two zip fasteners gave the trousers a more robust look, but there wasn't really any practical reason for it. Today, however, this is the defining feature of guild trousers.



What is the three-wire chain?

In the 18th century, corduroy was the material for the beautiful and wealthy. Only kings and well-to-do nobles could afford the fine ribbed velvet ("cord du roi", "corduroy"), which was usually woven from pure silk back then. French farmhands and English miners didn't need the nice appearance – they needed something strong, something cruder. So they developed robust cord on their looms. With triply twined warp thread, i.e. the three-wire chain, which was almost as strong as a chain.  And had up to 100 weft threads per centimetre, making it incredibly strong.

With this, the first "protective clothing" was invented. A person wearing trousers made of robust cord feels safe and – so it seems – a bit braver. The labourers who stormed the Bastille in Paris, the seamen who fought in the Battle of Trafalgar, and the "King of the Mountains", Luis Trenker, when he attacked the peak – they all wore trousers made of cord. And all reached their destination. It's no wonder that the success story of three-wire cord is still told today. Travelling journeymen only dare to make their trip in this material. Since what other fabric could survive three years and one day of pure adventure.



What is German leather?

German leather is probably the most well-known bluff of all textiles: strong and solid like leather, but really "only" cotton. And one hundred per cent at that.

German leather was born out of necessity. During the age of industrialisation, the English developed its predecessor, "English leather", in order to protect the workers at the blast furnaces from flying sparks (and just incidentally to save the significantly more expensive ox-hide smocks). The workers put the finishing touches on their smocks by rubbing them with moist clay.

The Germans took it one step further and developed artificial leather. This resulted in an especially solid fabric with unusually strong warped yarn and a very high density for the weft yarns. German leather was born!

A characteristic feature is the smooth, slightly shiny outside surface and the rough inside. German leather is almost indestructible and really weighty with a solid 600 grammes per square metre.  A giant. Only in the washing machine does it become small: Its type of binding means that German leather shrinks about 4 centimetres in width.



What is a journeymen's society?

Starting in the 12th century, artisans began to join together to better defend their interests. Soon they governed all the needs of artisans and regulated the training and the relationship between masters, journeymen and apprentices in guild rules. The guilds fought to achieve a powerful position in medieval society. Craft flourished.

When times became more difficult, tension arose between the masters and journeymen. The travelling journeymen created the first alliances between journeymen to help each other from afar. These fraternities separated from the guilds and developed into various societies. The journeymen signified the society he belonged to by a certain standard called the Respectability, which was a special knit tie. This could be fairly important because the societies fought heftily with one another. Since their emergence, the societies have worked to maintain traditions and today are also attempting to make the travels of journeymen popular among young artisans again.



What is a Stenz?

The Stenz is the walking stick that a travelling journeyman takes with him. However, it is for more than just helping him walk – it is an important part of the societal ritual for journeymen. Journeymen, for example, bang their stick on the floor three times when greeting. Each stick is a unique piece of wood that the traveller must find in nature. The stick achieves its eye-catching form thanks to a parasitic climbing plant, usually a honeysuckle, and the traveller's carving.



What is a Charlottenburger?

The Charlottenburger is a cloth for everything. The journeymen stow their belongings in it during their travels. Tools, toiletries, clothing and whatever else they may need. And how do you fold the 80 by 80 centimetre cloth? The guild journeymen teach it to each other.  In some places, one calls the Charlottenburger the "Berliner" or "Charly".