Special exhibition

Good Stuff

Textile Worlds from the Hanse Era to the Present

October 7, 2022 to October 29, 2023

In our special exhibition »Good Stuff« we showed how textiles connect past and present societies and that sustainability was and is vital then and now.

Textiles are everywhere in our daily lives. We wear them on our bodies, they are a symbol of belonging, but also of luxury and extravagance. Human society is and was globally interconnected through fabrics. Debates about sustainability, extravagance and waste, fair working conditions and product quality are timeless.

In our special exhibition »Good Stuff« we took a look back to the Hanse era, when the Hanse merchants traded fabrics throughout northern Europe. The textiles they bought and sold were high-quality products that brought prosperity to entire regions. We showed the profound and wide-ranging ways in which textiles affected society at the time of the Hanse.

Our exhibition also took a look at the present and future of the textile industry. How is it possible to reconcile a fair and healthy world with our needs and desires for fabrics? Is globalisation a danger for human beings and the natural world or can it also be part of the solution to our current problems?

We examined these questions in the exhibition and showed that the Hanse has more in common with the world of today and tomorrow that you might have thought.

The exhibition stood under the auspices of Dr. Robert Habeck, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.


  • Duration: ca. 90 min.
  • Languages: German / English
  • The Castle Friary is accessible without steps
  • Also visit the special website

Future Lab

A space for workshops and school events

The highlight of the exhibition is the Future Lab. Fabrics and fashion have not become any less important as consumer items and statements of identity. But at the same time they have now become a symbol of waste and a throwaway society too. How can we reconcile our need for clothes and our enjoyment of fashion with a fair and healthy world? Is globalisation a threat, or does it also offer opportunities and solutions? The tour through the Future Lab features several multimedia presentations and workshops that provide information, tips and interactions on the subject of “sustainable textile consumption”.

Illustration: A space for workshops and school events
Design: LIQUID | Agentur für Gestaltung

The Living Book

A book tells stories, we all know that. But when the characters move through the pages, images emerge from the book to take over the room, we hear voices and music, and can even intervene in the plot, then we can only be talking about the completely new reading experience on offer in the European Hansemuseum.

Our Living Book takes visitors on an exciting journey through the medieval world of textile trading. It’s about buying and selling fabrics; the privileges, regulations, fraud, conflicts and boycotts that this entails, and the influence of the Hanse on all this. It is a complex and fascinating topic, because there are many parallels with developments today.

But to bring a book to life in a light-hearted and playful way requires sophisticated technology. So we would like to ask you to help us with a donation for this fascinating exhibit.


In order for our exhibition to become a diverse, sustainable project, we need further support. Would you like to get involved with “Fine materials” as a donor, sponsor or cooperation partner? Please contact us

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