Photographs of Bessarabian German Textiles, Clothing and Objects

Photographs taken by Edith Grosshans Gruebele. The items are owned by the photographer. Edith was born in the village of Friedenstal, Bessarabia.

She is the author of the following books available at these website pages:

1. Favorite Recipes of a Lifetime -

2. In His Hands: Journey from Bessarabia to America -

Shawl (Schahl) hand woven out of homespun wool with fringes (Zotteln) worn by Ella Grosshans Humann to school in the winters of 1932 – 1940.

Placht, woven on a loom out of wool. Used to carry a baby, in front, by the mother. Dates to around 1928.

White headscarf (Kopftuch) out of wool. Bone lace (gekloeppelt) or tatted. Dates to around 1937.

Green hand knitted woolen slip. This slip was worn in the winter by Ella Grosshans Humann around 1932.
Hand knitted woolen socks for men. They were made out of sheep wool that had been spun and then knitted by my mother in winter. Dates to around 1930.

Zackel. A headscarf, worn by women to church as a head covering. The ladies wore these their entire life and when they died they were buried wearing the Zackel. It was made out of heavy silk yarn. It was gekloeppelt (bone lace). Probably made by my mother Marie Wieland Grosshans around 1932.

Grosshans Tuch (big shawl), made out of black cotton fiber with long fringes (Zotteln). Worn by women. The Tuch was folded in half and draped around the shoulders and arms. It was held together in the front by one hand. This Tuch dates back to around 1920. The same kind of Tuch was also made out of wool. This was worn in winter. Ladies did not have coats in those days and wrapped themselves up in these to keep warm.

Placht or hand woven material out of wool that was used for making aprons. About 1915. I remember my Grandmother always wearing a heavy apron made out of this material.

Cross-stitched wall picture “An Gottes Segen ist alles gelegen” reproduced from the original by my mother Marie Wieland Grosshans in 1960. The original dates back to about 1900. It was a cross-stitch on Ganewar material.

Cross-stitched wall picture “Herr bleibe bei uns denn es will Abend werden”, reproduced from the original in 1960. The original dates back to about 1900. It was a cross-stitched on Ganewar material. #9 and 10 had to be copied, because the original ones were tearing and could not be displayed any longer.
11. Wall clock given to Marie Wieland Grosshans by her husband Jakob Grosshans on Easter of 1932 in Friedenstal, Bessarabia, Ukraine. This clock strikes the numbers double. I remember this clock from early childhood on. It always hung on our wall, and now hangs on my wall. My Grandfather, Karl Wieland, was the only one that would wind it every 10 to 14 days. As I got older I too was allowed to wind the clock. After my Father died my Mother gave the clock to me in 1965. It still keeps perfect time and only one spring had to be replaced in all these years. My Grandfather used to clean it with a feather duster dipped into some turpentine.

Oil painting done on black, lightweight cotton. This painting was done by an artist in the Ukraine around 1930. It was given to Edith R. Grosshans Gruebele in 1965 by my mother. It is still displayed on one of my walls.
Russian fox fur shawl worn by Marie Grosshans. She received this fur from Jakob Grosshans around 1933. I remember playing with it as a child. Next my children played with it and now my Grandchildren enjoy playing with it.

Hand crochet cotton doily that used to be stretched across a round pale pink pillow. Dates to around 1932.

Chair pillow. Hand hooked (gestupft) with a hooking needle. From around 1920.

Chair pillow, made out of gunnysack material. Embroidered with double cross stitch. Hand made around 1930.
White hand knitted cotton stockings. Notice the heel and extra width at the calf. These stockings date back to 1930. When a person died they would wear white stockings to the grave.

Table runner out of cotton. Dates to 1910.

Zackel (Shawl), made out of heavy silk thread using the bone lace (kloeppel) method. My mother Marie Grosshans made this Zackel for her mother Maria Wieland about 1926.

Black long Schahl (Scarf) worn by my mother over her head with one end tossed over her shoulder and the other end hanging down in the front. This is made out of fine silk. It is lace, but I do not know the method used to make it. This Schahl dates back to around 1925.
Wall hanging on wall by a kitchen table. Cross-stitched on Ganewar material using fine cross-stitch. “Erst probe dann lobe”, made by my mother Marie Grosshans around 1935.
Another version and size of “Erst probe dann lobe”, made around 1925.

Oil painting on black, lightweight cotton. This painting was done by an artist in the Ukraine. It belonged to my Grandparents Karl and Maria Wieland in Friedenstal, Bessarabia, Ukraine. It was made around 1915 and always hung on our walls. It was given to Edith Grosshans Gruebele by my Mother Marie Grosshans in 1965. It now hangs on the wall of our son, Glen Stanley Gruebele, home in Lodi, CA.
Wall hanging (Wand Teppich) usually hung behind a bed or over the headboard of the bed. Cross-stitch on Ganewar material. “Streut Blumen der Liebe bei Lenenszeit und bewahret einander vor Herzeleid kurz ist die Zeit die ihr beisamen seid.” Hand stitched by Marie Grosshans from the original that dates to 1910.

Another wall hanging (Wand Teppich) usually hung behind a bed or
over the headboard of the bed. Cross-stitch on Ganewar material. “Begruesse froh
den Morgen, schlaf froehlich ohne Sorgen.” Hand stitched by Marie Grosshans from
the original that dates back to 1910.

The same cross-stitching and saying, but this one is framed.
Rag rug (Budel). Old worn out dress and remnants of material were cut into strips. These strips were crossed into bunches of about 4 or 5 and then hand stitched unto a heavy piece of material. Then the rug was backed by stitching, by hand, another heavy material unto the backside. Made by my Grandmother Maria Wieland
about 1930.
Journal holder. Hand cross-stitched by Marie Grosshans. This Journal holder was used to hold magazines or newspapers. I remember this hanging on our wall as far back as I can remember. This hanging was made around 1932.
Child’s umbrella. This umbrella belonged to me, Edith R. Grosshans
Gruebele. I received it when I was about 2 years old in Friedenstal, Bessarabia, Ukraine. It dates to 1939 – 1940. The umbrella part is cotton.
Porcelain lamb. This little lamb belonged to my Grandfather Karl Wieland and was one of his toys when he was a small child. It dates back to around 1894. It is over 100 years old.
Dessert plate (Plettle). This dish was used back in Friedenstal. It dates back to around 1919. It is made out of china.

China soup plate with painted berries. Dates to about 1915.

Child’s china cup and saucer. This dates back to about 1939 – 1940. I played
with this as far back as I can remember.
Floor runner (Boden Placht), hand woven out of heavy linen fibers. Was laying on our front room in Friedenstal. Dates to around 1928.
The original “Herr bleibe bei uns denn es will Abend werden”. This has yellowed quite a bit over the years. Dates to around 1900.

White and blue checked (karo or karierte) This Placht was used on a day
bed (Kanabed). It was like a bead spread. Notice that after the spread was hand woven out of wool fiber, they crochet a boarder on one side. After this they cross-stitched over the crochet part. Dates back to 1920.

Placht, woven on a loom out of wool. Used to carry a baby, but once this use ended the Placht was hung on the wall behind a bed. In Bessarabia we did not have paint like today. They whitewashed the walls. This of course rubbed off. A blanket or Placht was therefore hung on the wall so the bedding or the person sleeping would not rub off the whitewash. This Placht dates to about 1935. It has been used very little and is in excellent condition.

A large pillowcase (Heipfelkissenueberzug). This pillowcase is very old. It is made out of cotton or fine linen. It has ties and no buttons to close the pillowcase. Notice on the end the beautiful lace insert. Pillows like this usually sat on the daybed after the spread was placed over the blankets. These pillows were called Paradekissen. Dates back to about 1915.
Salt and Pepper glass containers. Dates from about 1920 or 1930 era. In those days people did not have salt or pepper shakers. They pinched the salt or pepper with their thumb and pointer finger and rubbed the salt or pepper over their food.
Moerschel (pestle) was used to grind up spices. It is made out of bronze
material. Dates to about 1930.

Boden Placht (floor runner) woven on a loom by hand, with Zotteln on each end. Dates from 1938.
Daybed cover. Made out of woven cotton material. The front of the cover
has a crochet boarder. The cover has a design woven into it, something like you see in damask tablecloth. Dates from around 1920.
Metal wind up bird. This was given to Edith R. Grosshans Gruebele when she was born in 1938. It is in good condition and still works.
Salz Plaetle (salt plate), salt was put in these plates and put on the table where people could pinch some salt with their finger and then drizzle the salt unto their food. Dates from around 1910.
Tee Hafen (teapot), made out of china and painted with dainty flowers. Dates to around 1930.
Soup Plate (Suppenteller), made out of porcelain. This is the oldest plate we still own. It dates back to my Grandmother Wieland era. This dates back to about 1910. It has painted violets on the boarder.
Another variation of a Wand Teppich (Wall hanging) made by Marie Wieland Grosshans, my Mother. It was copied from the original which dates back to about
A cross-stitched wall hanging that was hanging over my bed when I was
born in 1938. It has hung over my children’s crib, and also was hung over two of my grandsons crib. It says, Lasst sorgenlos die Kinder spielen, Eh sie den Ernst des Lebens fuehlen. (Let without worry the children play, before they feel the severity of life.) It was made by my mother, Marie Wieland Grosshans in 1932.
Another cross-stitched Journal or magazine holder that hung on the wall. Dates from about 1932.

Ueberhandtuch (An embroidered hanging) that was hung over towels. The towels sometimes were somewhat dirty already. In order to cover this up the people hung a Ueberhandtuch cover over the filthy towels. Hand embroidered by Marie Wieland Grosshans around 1930. It is embroidered on cotton material. On the edge that faces the front it also has lace.

Grosses Tuch (big shawl) out of wool. It has Zotteln (fringes) all the way
around. It was folded in half and draped around the shoulders. This Tuch was used for warmth. It was before the time of winter coats. Dates from around 1925.

Wool quilt cover. (Woll Teppich Ueberzug). Made out of cotton material. Dates to around 1925.

Boden Placht (Hall runner) hand woven out of wool. I remember this Placht on our floors all the time. In 1960, I even had it for a time in my hall, as a runner, to cover up the hardwood floor. It dates back to around 1925.
Gray heavy wool blanket (Wollen Teppich). It was used by the hired help for a cover. It was also used by some people as a cover for a horse that was sweaty. Dates
to around 1930.
Another wall hanging or picture. Cross-stitched and hand made by Marie
Wieland Grosshans. This was copied from the original in 1955. The original dates back to 1920. It has yellowed over the years, so Mother copied it. It says, Der Herr lasse sein Angesicht leuchten ueber dir.
The original, made in 1920.
The original of “An Gottes Segen ist alles gelegen” embroidered by Marie Wieland Grosshans in 1920.

Single bed sheet from around 1935. Made out of cotton. Notice the woven pattern.

Betteppich Ueberzug (Bet blanket cover) made out of cotton. Notice the old buttons. They were metal buttons covered with white material. This cover was used to cover a thick sheep wool quilt. These quilts were also home made. We had two of those quilts, but my Mother had them redone into a new quilt in 1967.

For inquiries about the Textile and Clothing donations, contact: Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, Recipe Index Search, NDSU Libraries, PO Box 5599, Fargo, ND 58105-5599: Tel.: 701-231-8416 or 701-231-6596. E-mail:

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller