Embroidery from Eastern Switzerland from the 16th century to the present
Today, St. Gallen is the thriving center of Eastern Switzerland. The University of St. Gallen is internationally renowned for its scientists.
Travelers also appreciate the beauty of the town, situated idyllically between the Alps and Lake Constance. The "Stiftskirche" (cathedral), the "Stiftsbezirk" (abbey district), and the "Stiftsbibliothek" (library) are cultural highlights, which together were recognized as a world heritage site in 1983.
In addition to dyeing and printing, there were other ways to embellish the fabric: This cushion cover is made of linen and is embroidered with metal and silk. The inscription reveals that it depicts Bathsheba at her bath. She is accompanied by two handmaidens and observed by David from a Zurich defense tower.
F.E. Rittmeyer and F.A. Vogler from St. Gallen improved on the hand embroidery machine developed by Joshua Heilmann and got it ready for series production. The machines were manufactured by companies including Saurer in Arbon.
The invention of the embroidery machine revolutionized the textile industry and enabled the European embroidery industry to triumph in Saxon, and in the St. Gallen region in particular. More than 20,000 machines of this type were built for St. Gallen embroidery alone.
In addition to historical textiles, sample books also serve as a source of inspiration. These heavy tomes were a compilation of selected textiles, preferably from in-house production, but also from competitors' ranges. They served as templates for new designs for subsequent generations of designers.
Bischoff Textil AG
From sketch to runway – embroideries for Oscar de la Renta
(c) Bischoff Textil, 4:20 min
Many celebrities appreciate the beauty of St. Gallen embroidery: In fact, Michelle Obama wore a dress by designer Isabel Toledo for her husband's inauguration ceremony in 2009.