ANNE WANNER'S Textiles in History   /  book reviews

Needle' Video Library of Hand-Embroidery Stitches - Index
Links on Embroidery Stitches:
sharon b's in a minute ago
gold Embroidery: textiles in Anagni

Digitalized Books:
Th. de Dillmont's encyclopedia in english:

digitalized source literature on Swiss Embroidery, see:

See also
digitalized publication of 1968, in german language - :
Thesis of Anne Wanner-JeanRichard:
Kattundrucke der Schweiz im 18. Jahrhundert
ihre Vorläufer, orientalische und europäische Techniken,
Zeugdruck-Manufakturen, die Weiterentwicklung, Basel, 1968

  Book reviews - 2022  

books and articles:


  • Heino Strobel, Patrick Schnetzer: Die Handstickmaschine, Erfindungsgeschichte und erste Besitzer, Studien und Dokumente zur historischen Entwicklung der Stickmaschinen und der Maschinenstickerei, nebst einem textilen Stickmuster, Hersusgegeben von Heino Strobel in Plauen, i.V. als nicht kommerzieller Privatdruck, 2021.
    100 pages, german, colored and black and white pictures.

    Abstract “The hand embroidery machine - history of invention and first owners”
    From 2017 to 2020, Heino Strobel (Plauen, Germany/Saxony) and Patrick Schnetzer (Fribourg, Switzerland) jointly conducted private empirical research on the development and patent history of the first hand embroidery machines with their customers in Switzerland, Germany, France and Great Britain as a hobby. The topic seemed so exciting because previous publications on it were incomplete and partly contradictory.
    This machine was invented in 1828 by Josué Heilmann (1796-1848) in Mulhouse. His life and work are comprehensively described in the book. Patent specifications have been preserved for France, Austria and Great Britain, which are presented. The account books of the first manufacturer, the company André Koechlin & Cie in Mulhouse, were made accessible for the first time for this history of the hand embroidery machine, also known as "Heilmann's embroidery machine", and the drawings were obtained from the patent files and included in the publication.
    The two machine versions of 1828 and 1834 are discussed in detail. The first three customers of the hand embroidery machine were Franz Mange in St.Gallen (Switzerland) in 1829, and a few months later in 1830 Ludwig Boehler in Plauen (Saxony) and Augustin Perier in Vizille (France) incidentally in Le château de Vizille, in the commune of Vizille in the department of Isère, where the Museum of the French Revolution is now housed.
    The publication also looks at the wider distribution of hand embroidery machines up to 1850. These machines were also produced in the UK in the 1830s, probably in Manchester. One customer there is known by name (Louis Schwabe from Germany). In 1842 the inventor J. Heilmann visited this factory. In 1844 the King of Saxony also visited on his study trip through England. Only research by British historians could attempt to identify the machine manufacturer in the UK.
    After locating an original machine drawing from 1829 with a scale drawn on it (the original version of the hand embroidery machine with a rope hoist instead of the later crank drive), a virtual 3D reconstruction of the first hand embroidery machine was created by an engineering firm in Saxony. The actual drawing from 1829 is also included in the book.
    The history of the company André Koechlin & Cie from its foundation in 1826 to the death of André Koechlin in 1875 is described in detail. Embroidery machines were manufactured from 1829-1836 according to the entries in the account books, which were indexed for the first time. The description of the 12 textile embroidery patterns presented by Josué Heilmann in Mulhouse in 1829 from his newly invented machine is included in full as a quotation for the first time in the book.
    Whether the patterns are still preserved in the files of the Société Industrielle de Mulhouse (which would be a sensation for textile history) could only be clarified by additional research of French Historians. All embroidery designs on such machines by Josué Heilmann from the 1830s to 1850s, of which either pictures or real designs have survived, have been included as pictures in the book.
    As in a British journal from 1849, a real hand embroidery machine pattern is included in each copy of the publication. It was made exclusively in Switzerland on a historic hand embroidery machine.
    With the embroidery machines sold to St.Gallen, the only embroidery machine mechanic of the company André Koechlin and Cie went from Mulhouse to St.Gallen in 1830. Until then, only his family name Michel was known. During research, his first name was found in the company's workers' book. This made it possible to find and present further traces of this man's life. From 1835, this Auguste Michel apparently worked as a teacher in Altkirch in Sundgau.
    The publication is rounded off with the first list of all 18 museums that show such embroidery machines after the ingenious invention of Josué Heilmann. They are located in Switzerland, France, Austria and Germany. Anne Wanner, a very renowned Swiss textile historian, and Nicolas Stoskopf, professor emeritus of contemporary history at the UHA Mulhouse, gave this publication forewords.
    Bibliographical data: Title: Die Handstickmaschine – Erfindungsgeschichte und erste Besitzer. Authors: Heino Strobel and Patrick Schnetzer Publisher: Heino Strobel, Plauen (Germany) Non-commercial private printing. No sale. Copies: 111 100 pages, size 100, richly illustrated, with an enclosure of a textile embroidery pattern. Language: German, with quotations from historical sources in French and English. Copies are available in selected libraries, archives and museums in Switzerland, France, Germany and Great Britain.

home   Last revised 12 January 2021 For further information contact Anne Wanner