The craft of ropemaking (reepschleger or reepdreger)belonged to the numerous extra-occupational trades many centuries ago.
In the municipal occupational and trade statistics of the 19th century, the ropemaking trade in Rüthen is documented for 1848 with 6 businesses, 1885 with 3 and 1900 with 2 businesses. One of these long-established workshops was the Hartmann rope spinning mill, which was already operated by Franziskus Hartmann at the beginning of the 19th century. With the death of his grandson Josef Hartmann in 1937, the rope spinning trade in Rüthen finally died out.
The massive rope spinning building, made of brick, roofed and equipped with 25 windows, was erected in 1914 over a length of 60 m and today, in its original appearance, represents an industrial monument that has become very rare even beyond the region.
This rope factory mainly manufactured products according to the needs and orders of agriculture, e.g. sheaf bands, cattle halters, horse and plow ropes, band ropes for hay and grain transports, hauling ropes of different lengths and thicknesses, etc., but also occasionally ship ropes, but also occasionally ship ropes, fishing nets, bell ropes and always a large number of twine and clothes lines for general household use. All ropemaking products were made from hemp, most of which was supplied in bales from Russia.
However, before the ropes, cords and lines were given their desired shape in terms of length and diameter, long threads first had to be spun from the raw hemp after the processing stages of heeling and combing. In the further manufacturing process, the individual threads were then twisted into cords (twining), which, depending on requirements, were then shaped into the desired end product in multiple thread paths by means of further precisely coordinated twisting processes using rope harnesses and carriages. In this way, the hemp threads were turned into a cord, the cords into a rope, and finally the cords into a correspondingly strong rope: work processes that required a great deal of physical strength and special skill in the time before electrification.
Text: Förderverein Heimatpflege und traditionelles Brauchtum Rüthen e.V.