Machine embroidery in St. Gallen

St. Gallen's textile tradition has had a strong influence on the image of the city, the countryside and the people of Eastern Switzerland. Manufacturing, processing and sales expertise has been passed on for many generations. At the beginning of the 20th century, almost every household in the canton of St. Gallen had at least one person working in the embroidery industry, either from home or in factories. Today, Eastern Switzerland's nine embroidery companies use state-of-the-art machines to produce high-quality, innovative materials for the world's leading fashion designers. Only a few firms continue to embroider for these nine companies as sub-contractors. For cost reasons, most companies also outsource some of their production abroad.

The tradition of hand embroidery is now practised by only a few people. Embroiderers demonstrate hand embroidery to visitors in museums in St. Gallen, Balgach, Flawil and Stein in Appenzell Ausserrhoden.

Today's embroidery companies keep samples of their own products in their archives. They refer back to them for inspiration and to generate new ideas. The textile library constructed in 1886 holds some 35,000 items relating to the most important technical, cultural and historical developments in the textile industry, including over a thousand books featuring samples from embroiderers of the past.

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Amt für Kultur des Kantons St.Gallen, Cornel Dora (Ed.): Textiles St.Gallen. Tausend Jahre Tradition, Technologie und Trends (Ausstellungskatalog). St.Gallen, 2004

Fredi Hächler, Urs Hochuli: Findbuch zur St.Galler Stickerei. St.Gallen, 2011

Ursula Karbacher: St.Galler Stickereigeschichte. Imitation oder Innovation? In: Schriften des Vereins für Geschichte des Bodensees und seiner Umgebung 125. Friedrichshafen, 2007, p. 125-140

Kunstmuseum St.Gallen (Ed.): Stickerei-Zeit. Kultur und Kunst in St.Gallen 1870-1930. Katalog zur Ausstellung im Kunstmuseum St.Gallen, 1. April – 6. August 1989. Konzept u. Realisation von Peter Röllin. St.Gallen, 1989

Kunstmuseum St.Gallen (Ed.): Stickerei-Zeit. Kultur und Kunst in St.Gallen 1870-1930. Film zur Ausstellung im Kunstmuseum St.Gallen, 1. April – 6. August 1989. St.Gallen, 1989

Albert Tanner: Das Schiffchen fliegt, die Maschine rauscht. Weber, Sticker und Unternehmer in der Ostschweiz. Zürich, 1985

Anne Wanner, Marcel Mayer: Vom Entwurf zum Export. Produktion und Vermarktung von Sankt-Galler Stickereien 1850-1914. In: Sankt-Galler Geschichte 6. Ed. Amt für Kultur des Kantons St.Gallen. St.Gallen, 2003; p. 143-168

Hermann Wartmann: Industrie und Handel des Kantons St.Gallen auf Ende 1866, 1867-1880, 1881-1890, 1891-1900 (mehrere Bände). Ed. Kaufm. Directorium St.Gallen. St.Gallen 1870-1913

Verein «Textil 2017» (Ed.): Iigfädlet. Ostschweizer Textilgeschichten. Schwellbrunn, 2017


Textilmuseum St. Gallen

Bibliothek des Textilmuseums St. Gallen

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