Machine embroidery in St. Gallen


Category:
Traditional craftsmanship
Canton:

Description

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.

Image gallery

  • Hand machine embroiderers, Bernhard Hollenstein, Dreien © Bruno Hollenstein, 2010
  • Bernhard Hollenstein's embroidery house, Dreien © Bruno Hollenstein, 2010
  • Chemical embroidery, Thomas Hollenstein, Batzenheid © Bruno Hollenstein, 2010
  • Saurer, Laser-SCAN © Saurer, Arbon, 2011
  • Schiffli machine embroiderers, around 1958 © Textilmuseum St.Gallen
  • Hand embroidery machine from the Paris Exposition Universelle, 1900 © Textilmuseum St.Gallen
  • Hand embroidery machine, 1830 © Textilmuseum St.Gallen
  • Sample book, 1890-1900 © Textilmuseum St.Gallen
  • Hand machine embroidery firm in St Gallen, around 1890 © Textilmuseum St.Gallen
  • Kragen St. Gallen chemical embroidery company, after 1900 © Textilmuseum St.Gallen
  • St. Gallen guipure embroidery company, 1947 © Textilmuseum St.Gallen
  • St. Gallen guipure embroidery companies, 1950, 1970 © Jürg Zürcher
  • St. Gallen guipure and superposé embroidery company, around 1960 © Textilmuseum St.Gallen
  • St. Gallen filled and soutache embroidery company, around 1965 © Textilmuseum St.Gallen
  • St. Gallen guipure embroidery company, 2001 © Textilmuseum St.Gallen
  • Hand machine embroiderers, Bernhard Hollenstein, Dreien © Bruno Hollenstein, 2010
  • Bernhard Hollenstein's embroidery house, Dreien © Bruno Hollenstein, 2010
  • Chemical embroidery, Thomas Hollenstein, Batzenheid © Bruno Hollenstein, 2010
  • Saurer, Laser-SCAN © Saurer, Arbon, 2011
  • Schiffli machine embroiderers, around 1958 © Textilmuseum St.Gallen
  • Hand embroidery machine from the Paris Exposition Universelle, 1900 © Textilmuseum St.Gallen
  • Hand embroidery machine, 1830 © Textilmuseum St.Gallen
  • Sample book, 1890-1900 © Textilmuseum St.Gallen
  • Hand machine embroidery firm in St Gallen, around 1890 © Textilmuseum St.Gallen
  • Kragen St. Gallen chemical embroidery company, after 1900 © Textilmuseum St.Gallen
  • St. Gallen guipure embroidery company, 1947 © Textilmuseum St.Gallen
  • St. Gallen guipure embroidery companies, 1950, 1970 © Jürg Zürcher
  • St. Gallen guipure and superposé embroidery company, around 1960 © Textilmuseum St.Gallen
  • St. Gallen filled and soutache embroidery company, around 1965 © Textilmuseum St.Gallen
  • St. Gallen guipure embroidery company, 2001 © Textilmuseum St.Gallen

References and documentation

Publications
  • 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

Documentation