&noscript=1 /> Natural raw materials in South Tyrol
Gifts of nature
Gifts of nature

Gifts of nature

Rural handicrafts

The subtle difference

What craft raw material comes to mind when you think of a farm? Wood and wool are probably the best known, but have you ever thought of a goose egg? Rural crafts in South Tyrol are versatile and creative in their use of raw materials for their unique products.

What craft raw material comes to mind when you think of a farm? Wood and wool are probably the best known, but have you ever thought of a goose egg? Rural crafts in South Tyrol are versatile and creative in their use of raw materials for their unique products.

The earth provides us again and again with countless natural materials. It is up to us to recognise them and use them wisely. The farming families have always known how to understand the gifts of nature and to use and process them in a sustainable way, to take from it and also to give something back. Great importance is placed by the farmers on the high quality of the raw materials, so that the crafting of the product and its use is and remains as durable as possible and thus sustainable.


Join us on a journey of discovery through the craft world of raw materials in South Tyrol and their use on the various farms.


The wood

Wood is certainly one of the most beautiful and versatile renewable raw materials that our earth gives us. Over thousands of years man has already used the wood to build houses and equipment but also to make fire. Also on the farm wood was always available in sufficient quantities and was therefore an integral part of everyday farming life.


The forests in South Tyrol consist of 60% spruce. The second most common is larch with a share of 19%. Other conifers include pine, Swiss stone pine and fir. The hardwoods, which account for a volume share of only 2%, are made up of beech, hop hornbeam, downy oak and manna ash. Each type of wood has its own peculiarities, which must be known during processing.



The wood of spruce is soft and therefore easy and good to work. Construction timber is mainly used for roof trusses, furniture, windows and doors. Spruce wood, which is very valuable due to its fine and narrow annual rings, is also used in the construction of violins, guitars and pianos.



The larch is the only native conifer that loses its needles in winter. Its wood, on the other hand, is durable and weather-resistant, which is why it is used for bridges, flooring and exterior panelling. In the past, hollowed out larch logs were even used to make water pipes. Roof shingles made of larch wood, which traditionally cover the roofs of farms in the rustic Ulten Valley, impress with their quality and last for more than 100 years.



Pine is less sensitive and also colonises sites where other tree species do not occur, for example dry and rocky locations. The wood of the pine is rich in resin, very durable and also weather-resistant. It is mainly used as construction timber and for making furniture. Pine shavings are still used today for making fire. Especially farms, which could not afford candles, often used pine shavings until the 19th century as a source of light.



The Cembran pine is a valuable wood, which is used for the production of furniture, interior panelling and for carving and woodturning. Often just the bedroom is equipped with Swiss stone pine, because the beneficial effect of this wood on humans is scientifically proven. The pine scent remains for years and drives moths out of any closet.


Apple tree

The apple wood widely used in South Tyrol is hard and dense, and is difficult to split. Apple tree wood is generally easy to work and is also suitable for turning and carving. Its use is mainly limited to the creation of art objects, as it can also be polished particularly well. It is also used for exclusive individual pieces of furniture. Traditionally, apple tree wood was used in the past for its hardness in the construction of machines made of wood, for example, for wine presses.



Walnut wood is one of the most decorative types of wood. Mainly due to its darker colour and special grain, it differs from other common wood species. It is a hard and comparatively heavy wood and is often used for woodturning.



Beech is one of the most common deciduous trees in South Tyrol. Due to its hardness, the wood is often used in classic tool making. This includes wooden toys, tool handles or rolling pins. In addition, beech wood is one of the most popular firewoods and is still used today for smoking bacon.


The wool

Sheep's wool is a real all-rounder, as our grandmothers and great-grandmothers already knew. On the one hand, the wool fibres keep you warm and keep the cold out. On the other hand, they draw moisture inside while deflecting water from their surface. That's why wool is not just used for knitting and crocheting, but also for milling and felting.


The willows

There are about 450 different species of willows worldwide, including some in South Tyrol. The term willows includes deciduous shrubs and bushes, as well as trees and dwarf shrubs with a wide variety of characteristics. As a rule, willows are fast-growing and relatively short-lived. They are very pliable, light, tough and fibrous, which makes them perfect for weaving. Baskets can be shaped wonderfully this way.


The goose egg

Yes, you read correctly, goose eggs are also a raw material. Since it is much more robust than the egg from the chicken or duck, it is ideally suited to depict the most wonderful patterns and sayings on it by scoring. Never seen it before? Then it's time to discover the colourful lucky charms, and not only at Eastertime.

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Natural materials from the farm

Do you know this raw material?


Cute decorative objects for your home


for useful wickerwork

Goose egg

for cheerful messages

Sustainable and filled with nature

Your journey of discovery

Find out how the craftsmen and women of the farms in South Tyrol use the raw materials of nature for their unique works of art. They will surprise you time and again with their versatility and creativity.