Station: [36] T – Textile Glass: Angel’s Hair Machine

  • Glasmuseum Wertheim


From the mid 19th century onwards, gossamer glass threads were drawn from glass rods in Lauscha in the Thuringian Forest. The spinning machine used to produce them was called an „Angel’s Hair Machine.“ Smooth glass threads were used for bird’s tails, rosettes and angel’s wings, while curly glass threads were used as angel’s hair for traditional gold-coloured Christmas tree fairies and other Christmas tree decorations.


In contrast to straight angel’s hair, curly angel’s hair requires two different sorts of glass: hard Pyrex glass and soft AR glass. These two have different softening points and stretch differently when heated, so when they’re melted together the tension required to generate the curls is created.


The Werner Schuller company in Thuringia patented the technique and in 1936 Werner Schuller went on to develop the first glass-fibre drawing machine process for the first threads that could be „spun“... And even though the Johns Manville company has optimized the process for industrial production, the basic principle of drawing the threads is still used today.