Cotton wool

Cotton wool ornament, hund retrieving mallard duckChristmas tree decorations were made out of cotton wool in cottage industries in Saxony and Thuringia from the last third of the 19th century. Sometimes wound, sometimes pressed and fixed with glue, the objects were decorated with chromolithographs, cardboard stars, mica, lametta, chenille and crepe paper or colourfully painted. Winter motifs, such as sledging and snowbabies, skiers and ice skaters and girls with muffs dominate the designs from the Saxon or Thuringia cottage industry. They were often introduced into homes with porcelain or paper maché heads and clothes made from crepe paper. A huge variety of animals, fruits, toadstools and vegetables made from cotton wool also found their way onto the tree as unbreakable Christmas decorations. Fruit and toadstools made from cotton wool in particular were so popular that they were still being produced until well into the 1970s.