ANNE WANNER'S Textiles in History   /  publications

The Sample Collections of Machine Embroidery of Eastern Switzerland in the St Gallen Textile Museum
in: Textile History, 22 (2), p. 165 - 176, 1992, by Anne Wanner-JeanRichard

page 7 of 10
back - next
see also The Firm of Arnold Fraefel (21)

Next to the numerous enterprises producing articles for the home and for dresses, there were some specialised firms.
Arnold Fraefel, aged 40 in 1883, started a St Gallen house for ecclesiastical embroidery. Coloured embroidery which was applied to vestments was produced here by hand and with the machine.

Several samples of this firm can be seen in the collection of a surviving textile firm in St Gallen.
Of special significance are the books of designs and photographs, compiled by the owner of the firm. Actual sample collections are, however, not in existence.

In his house, Fraefel employed hand embroiderers and needlewomen. He gave orders for machine embroidery to home workers who were associated by contracts

  with his firm. The embroidery machines produced the various motifs in large numbers, so that afterwards they could be cut out and applied to the chosen vestments - either by hand or with the chain stitch machine.

Fraefel received in 1888 a gold medal at the "Esposizione Mondiale Vaticana" for his ecclesiastical embroideries.
In 1912, Fraefel & Co. published a richly illustrated Special Catalogue for USA. The firm reached its highest peak under the direction of Arnold Fraefel.

In Germany, there were branches in Karlsruhe and Friedrichshafen, in the United States in Toledo (Ohio), Chicago and New York. Fraefel sold the vestments also to England, Poland and Australia.

From 1919 his son Gallus ran the firm, and from 1958 his grandson Arnold. The third generation produced mainly badges and flags, and in 1983 the firm ceased to exist.

Fraefel had bought the basic materials for the vestments from the best-known firms. He purchased goldend thread from Duviard in Lyon and silk fabrics from Wolters & Dutzenberg in Krefeld.
The coloured "z"-spun yarns, especially made for Fraefel were provided by the firm of Zwicky in Wallisellen, Switzerland, while cotton yarns were produced by Heer & Co. Uzwil, Switzerland.

21- Numerous papers and certificates are still in the ownership of the grandson of the founder of the firm. The following descriptions were compiled according to his verbal statements.



catalogue for USA, 1912


chasuble as a pattern, for showing to customers,
66 x 28 cm, german stile


Introduction Rittmeyer Grauer Alder Ikle Tschumper Fraefel Types Saxony Reports

content   Last revised 25 July, 2004