ANNE WANNER'S Textiles in History   /  exhibitions

The Textile-Museum St.Gallen
Vadianstrasse 2
CH-9000 St.Gallen
tel: ++41 71 222 17 44
fax: ++41 71 223 42 39

opening hours:

new opening hours
daily 10 am until 5 pm

entrance fees:
CHF 7.- per person
CHF 5.- reduced for groups of 10 persons
CHF 3.- students with identity card

Swiss Embroideries, Broderies Suisses, St. Galler Stickereien

Textilmuseum St.Gallen

from 13 April 2007, permanent exhibition

  1. St. Gallen's couture designer collection
Latest fashion show by Akris at the Paris Prêt-à-Porter Week.
2007/08 Winter Collection.
St.Gallen is delighted by the success of Akris, the only Swiss fashion label to present its collection at the official Prêt-à-Porter shows in Paris twice a year. Ever since October 2004, Akris has shown its new creations to the fashion press, large-scale customers and VIPs from the fashion world in the Carrousel du Louvre. The looks that are paraded on the catwalk there provide a glimpse of the future: they are next year's fashion.
In May 1999, Akris was elected a member of the Fédération Française de la Couture du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode. This honour has only been awarded to a few non-French fashion designers, such as Dries van Noten, Vivienne Westwood, Issey Miyake, Valentino - and Akris.
  2. St. Gallen high-tech textiles and furnishing fabrics:
Development of innovative functional textiles and striking furnishing fabrics.
The worlds of sports and work profit from Eastern Swiss high-tech textiles. These include highly developed functional textiles for leisurewear and workwear, seat-cover fabrics, balloon envelopes and spinnakers. Precision fabrics for silk-screen printing and filtration are also among these world-leading textile products.
In the field of furnishing fabrics, the high-quality textiles bear each workshop's individual signature. This modern textile culture emerges from a combination of noble design, sophisticated materials and high-quality finish.
  3. St. Gallen embroidery – textiles for the capitals of fashion:
Paris – Milan – New York – Tokyo.
St.Gallen embroidery makes a considerable contribution towards the glamour of haute couture and ready-to-wear fashion. Its customers include the most famous fashion designers. In the media, reports on embroideries for women's outerwear outweigh those on underwear collections. In economic terms, however, lingerie is more important for St.Gallen's embroidery firms. Most embroideries are supplied to the leading manufacturers in this industry.
To fulfil customers' enormous demands, it is not enough to have a love of the product and to sense the right time for the most topical design: the satisfaction of the highest quality standards and a healthy corporate structure are also of the greatest significance.
  4. St. Gallen embroidery – new creations for couturiers:
Today's exclusive fashion – tomorrow's souvenir in the wardrobe.
St.Gallen embroidery has been conquering the fashion world with its new creations for more than a century. The most innovative embroideries come from St.Gallen. Fashion designers, tailors and dressmakers all over the world admire St.Gallen's latest creations.
It is for ceremonial occasions, in particular, that the most beautiful embroideries are processed into striking clothing. The gowns are kept along with many good memories. In this manner, exclusive clothes point towards the past and bear witness to a diversity of St.Gallen embroidery that seems almost inexhaustible.

  5. St.Gallen embroidery – embroidery manufacturers' collections:
Textiles as sources of inspiration and as witnesses of their times.
The embroidery manufacturers' corporate archives conceal precious textile treasures. Possibly the most industrious collector among the manufacturers was Leopold Iklé. Originally, he collected laces, embroideries and fabrics as model patterns for designers; in 1904, he donated his collection to the Textile Museum. In the course of time, further important collections by embroidery manufacturers were added to this: in 1931, Otto Alder's collection; in 1955, the collection of Leopold Iklé's son-in-law, John Jacoby; and in 1983, the collection of the Degersheim manufacturer Isidor Grauer.
  6. St.Gallen embroidery – persistent inventiveness:
Innovative solutions as a recipe for success.
It was a continuous quest for innovative solutions that has led to the great diversity of St.Gallen embroideries. Designers, embroiderers and technicians still work hand in hand to achieve satisfactory results. Creative ideas must be translated into the language of machines. Yet new ideas cannot always be realised with the technology that is available. Technicians and designers often puzzle out and develop new methods for a long time before an idea enriches the collection in terms of time, price and fashion value, delights the world of fashion, and makes competitors despair.
  7. St.Gallen embroidery – from draughtsman to textile designer:
Inexhaustible creativity.
The continuous development of machine embroidery in the 1860s led to an increase in the demand for draughtsmen. The first school for pattern draughtsmen was opened in St.Gallen in 1867. Today, the draughts(wo)men who are still trained in this building style themselves "textile designers". From the autumn of 2007, their official professional designation will be "Textile Technologists/Design". Now as ever, though, the success of design resides in the feeling for textile trends, in the knowledge of the market, and in the familiarity with technical possibilities. A firm now employs a whole team of designers. In the past, the status of textile designers did not amount to very much. Today, their names are increasingly known, and they are evolving into internationally recognised design personalities.
  8. St.Gallen embroidery – early globalisation:
Textile trade and textile industry.
St.Gallen embroideries were distributed on an international scale. Labels and envelopes with foreign signage provide evidence of worldwide trade. In its heyday – from 1870 to 1920 – St.Gallen exported its embroideries predominantly to the USA. The end of the First World War triggered a great crisis in the embroidery industry, from which it only recovered after 1945. After 1950, it was Arab, African and Far Eastern countries that became important business partners.
  9. St.Gallen embroidery – embroiderers and embroideresses:
Untiring zeal, skill and experience.
The white-work embroidery crafted by Appenzeller women in flat stitch, broderie anglaise and lace stitch was sold to leading Parisian fashion houses from as early as the 1820s. The industrious embroideresses never quite let themselves be driven out by the manual-machine embroiderers and retained their independence.
As with hand embroideries, the production of the wonderful, technically sophisticated hand-machine embroideries requires considerable skill and experience. From today's perspective, hand-machine embroidery is categorised as work done by hand rather than machine work.

  10. St.Gallen embroidery – history with tradition:
The new emerges from the old.
St.Gallen's textile tradition has deep roots. The know-how regarding production, finish and sale was handed down through generations. Thanks to the production of and trade in linen, the city became prosperous in the 15th century; in the 18th century, cotton processing was added. After 1750, finest cotton fabrics were adorned with chain-stitch embroidery. At the same time, Appenzeller hand-embroidery came into its own. Owing to constant improvements in the embroidery machine, which was invented in 1828, St.Gallen embroidery experienced its heyday. Even now, St.Gallen's textile industry enjoys international recognition.
  11. Treasures of the Textile Museum – historical documents of textile culture:
An extensive collection of worldwide significance.
The "treasure chest" is meant to provide an insight into the precious items of the collection, which is acknowledged by experts internationally. It runs to some 35,000 objects and consists of Eastern Swiss hand and machine embroideries, fabrics from Ancient Egyptian tombs, historical embroideries from the 14th century onwards, handmade lace from Europe's major lace centres, ethnic textiles, historical fabrics and costumes, as well as works of contemporary textile art.


home content Last revised January 1st 2008