Eastern Switzerland has a long history as world leaders when it comes to textile expertise. By visiting St. Gallen it is easy to see how this industry has shaped and influenced life throughout out the years. All the local tourism partners work together to embrace the cultural heritage associated with the textile tradition, known as Textilland Ostschweiz. Experience first-hand how this industry has gone on to make this part of Switzerland internationally renowned by visiting the Textile Museum.
The Textile Museum
The textile museum offers an insight into the emergence of textiles to life in Eastern Switzerland, the story of how developed and business today. The exhibitions encapsulate the rich history and include embroidery examples from the 14th century, ethnographic textiles, old costumes and fabrics, handmade lace as well as displays of utensils and objects of more modern times. The museum showcases wonderful examples of sewing machines, stunning embroidered costumes, clothing and royal outfits. With over 30,000 display items there is plenty to look at. The museum gives an overview of how textiles have been traditionally hand sewn, and shows the development of machine technology, as well as fabric printing. Visit the library and unravel the collection of textile archives and publications.
The museum highlights the international recognition and development of the industry. St. Gallen became renowned for its textiles production as early as the 15th century. Many historical events have impacted on production. Each time the town has recovered and fought against foreign competition, to continue to hold its position as one of the world’s leading experts in this branch. Textiles were traditionally the main source of income and were also responsible for the foundation of the University of St. Gallen.
Haute Couture Designs
As credit to how the town is regarded today, textiles from St. Gallen are held in international esteem, popular with Parisian haute culture designers. An example of such craftsmanship can be found nearby at Jakob Schlaepfer, also located in St. Gallen. This company, founded in 1904, provides textiles to major fashion labels and couture houses such as Dior, Vuitton and Escada to name a few. The likes of Lady Gaga, known for her extreme on-stage tour costumes, has collected textiles together with her personal stylists to create the outfits she is so famous for. Michelle Obama was also seen to wear a beautiful example of St. Gallen textiles at the inauguration ceremony in 2009.
The textile museum is located in the heart of town and offers a cultural treat that shouldn’t be missed. Within easy walking distance from the Radisson Blu Hotel, St. Gallen, make sure you take time to unravel why the Swiss people have a great love for textiles.