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Design drawing of the hand embroidery machine developed by Josua Heilmann

Josua Heilmann1828/29

Textilmuseum St. Gallen

Textilmuseum St. Gallen

In 1828/29, the Alsace-born Joshua Heilmann (1796–1848) succeeded in developing the first hand embroidery machine. The machine was able to embroider using more than 300 needles simultaneously, and was thus able to repeatedly transfer the desired pattern onto the fabric.
However, the hand embroidery machine only achieved success 20 years later after St. Gallen textile dealer, Jacob Barholome Rittmeyer (1786–1848) made significant improvements to it, making the hand embroidery machine marketable.

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