Founded in 1878, the Textile Museum of St.Gallen houses one of Switzerland’s most important textile collections. Woven materials and embroideries from every corner of the globe. All the big fashion designers at one point or another come to St.Gallen for their lace and embroidery creations. Big names such as Akris, Chanel, Dior, Armani, Givenchy, Lacroix and Yves Saint Laurent work with our embroidered fabrics. So what would a textile town like St.Gallen be without a Textile Museum?
The «Palazzo Rosso» (this is how the house is named because of its red façade) has been the home of the Textile Museum and the Textile Library ever since 1886. Thousands of pattern books, designs, fashion photographs, magnificent textiles and the demonstration of a hand embroidery machine make visitors into a world of creativity and technological facts. The Library provides an insight into thousands of patterns created by textile designers in the last 170 years. In addition to the permanent exhibition, which is dedicated to the textile history of Eastern Switzerland, the «Circus Knie Fashion» Exhibition shows Costumes from over a hundred years from March 2019 until January 2020.
Textile Industry, Embroidery, St.Galler Spitzen
In the 15th century, St. Gallen became known for producing quality textiles. In 1714, the zenith was reached with a yearly production of 38000 pieces of cloth. At the beginning of the 19th century, the first embroidery machines were developed in St.Gallen. Around 1910, its embroidery production was the largest export branch of the Swiss economy. More than 50% of the world production came from St.Gallen. However, World War I and the Great Depression caused another severe crisis for St.Gallen embroidery. Nowadays, because of competition and the prevalence of computer-operated embroidery machines, only a reduced textile industry has survived. Nevertheless, the «St.Galler Spitzen» are still very popular as a raw material for expensive haute couture creations and count among the most famous textiles in the world.
Textile Library and Public Library
The Textile Library collects over 2000 sample books with textile patterns from Swiss companies. It includes publications on lace and embroidery as well as media on materials, fashion, design and much more. There is also a Public Library in the Textile Museum. Please find the opening hours of the library here.
Sequined lance embroidery by Jakob Schläpfer
Link to the shop
Hearts, Peacock, Butterflies by Filtex AG
Link to the shop
Prêt pour moi
If you want to buy a bag, a mobile case or a bikini with St. Galler embroideries I recommend this lovely online shop: pretpourmoi.com
From the museum of History and Ethnology, long the Davidstrasse to the Textile Museum. Roughly five kilometres long (walking time about 1–2 hours), the textile trail leads through downtown St.Gallen and introduces you to magnificent buildings from the heyday of the industry. Brief descriptions reveal fascinating facts about the history, architectural style and current use of the buildings at www.textilweg.ch.
Several companies offer you direct access to their products in fabric stores. Here you can find them:
Akris AG (1922), Felsenstrasse 36 – Akris was founded in 1922 by Alice Kriemler-Schoch in St. Gallen and is a Swiss fashion house specializing in luxury goods for women.
Bischoff Textil AG (1927), Burgstrasse 20
Filtex ( 1919), Teufenerstrasse 1
Jakob Schlaepfer (1904), Fürstenlandstrasse 99
Forster Rohner AG (1904), Flurhofstrasse 150
Christian Fischbacher Co. AG (1819), Mövenstrasse 18