Tuesday, March 30, 2010

La Schachtula's Beautiful Bags from Mühlviertel Fabrics

One of the huts at Vienna's Freyung Easter Market is sure to catch your eye for the beautiful fabrics it features. Ulrike Eckerstorfer, her mother, Anna, and others at La Schachtula sew these traditional fabrics from Upper Austria into gorgeous handbags, towels, pillows, toys and other items. The quality of their sewing is superb.

Historically, Upper Austria's soil was of rather poor quality for growing many foods but was excellent for growing flax used to make linen. Farmers would make fabrics from the flax during the winter when there was little work to do in the fields. This Mühlviertel area of Upper Austria is known for its beautiful textiles but the mills producing them are closing rapidly. "Twenty years ago, there were twenty mills producing beautiful fabrics," said Ulrike. "Today there are three." It's hard to believe these gorgeous fabrics are in danger of extinction.

Some of La Schachtula's handbags from beautiful Mühlviertel damask linen:

Other traditional Austrian fabrics:

This is an historic Austrian pattern, here shown with combined colors to make children's bags. The dark blue fabric was traditionally used for workers' towels. I love the combination of colors.

If you'd like to contact Ulrike for more information or to purchase an item, see her website at: www.laschachtula.at

If you'd like to go to the annual textile market in Upper Austria next July, see this link:


  1. I love the damask bags that you posted. I'm visiting Vienna in April. Tried the website but it's all in German which I can't understand. Is there any way in which I can contact Ulrike? Thanks. Love your blog - wonderful photos and interesting details. Thank you.

  2. There are two ways to do this. You can do a Google search on "La Schachtula" and click the [Translate this page] marker. That way, you'll have access to all the information on the website, including her office email. Ulrike also gave me permission to publish her email address: office@laschachtula.at. She does not yet have a permanent showroom in Vienna so be sure to email her first!


  3. Martha, I'm so glad I came across your website. I just love your photographic eye. I'm looking for something comparable to La Schachtula's textiles. It's unfortunate that she doesn't have a show room in Vienna. I'm wondering if you have any local recommendations for textile shopping in Vienna? I'll be in town Thursday for the Life Ball. Looking forward to it!

  4. Thank you, Lindsey Anne. Ulrike said she was looking for a shop in Vienna last Spring. You can contact her at office@laschachtula.at for an update on her location in Vienna. I haven't seen any other similar fabrics in Vienna. Good luck. Enjoy the Life Ball!

  5. Hello Martha,

    I'm wondering where I could find those pillows you photographed below: "Other traditional Austrian fabrics"
    I am in Vienna often and I love the traditional textiles.

    Thank you!

  6. Hi,
    You can contact Ulrike Eckerstorfer at either of the following websites. She now has a shop in Vienna called Mein Design and she speaks excellent English. Her shop is not far from the Naschmarkt.

  7. hello Martha,

    I need to have a pillow made to fit into a bench. I would like to use a traditional Tirolian fabric for this and have no idea where to start? Can you help?


    1. I think Ulrike would be the best person to start with. If she can't help you she probably knows someone who can. Best of luck...hope you find just what you're looking for. She is at office@laschachtula.at.