The “Textilland Explorer Tour” surveys this rich heritage. The route leads in and around St. Gallen and through the rolling landscapes between Lake Constance and the Appenzellerland. Glorious scenery, historic towns and villages and a wealth of fascinating customs and traditions promise an enchanting experience.
Here you find detailed information on the route: PDF Textilland Explorer Tour
Hereafter, we present 9 suggestions for excursions along the tour.
Tipp 1: St. Gallen Textile Museum
With a colourful explosion of patterns, frills and fabrics, St. Gallen’s Textile Museum is a treat for all fashion fans and design enthusiasts. It shows how cloth manufacture has shaped Eastern Switzerland since the 16th century, and covers everything from linen (“white gold”), hand-made lace and the growth of Swiss machine embroidery from 1860 to today’s high-tech textiles for the aeronautical industry.
Tipp 2: Saurer Museum, Arbon
Idyllically located on the shores of Lake Constance, the town of Arbon boasts a beautiful historic core complete with medieval castle. Industry has also played an important role here – notably in the form of Adolph Saurer AG, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of textile machinery. The award-winning Saurer Museum features fine examples along with many historic vehicles produced by the company.
Tipp 3: Rorschach’s museum
Located in a historic lakefront building, the “Museum im Kornhaus” is a museum with a difference promising a thrilling adventure of discovery. Interactive exhibits invite visitors to touch, explore and experiment as they delve into the secrets of the world around us, from optical illusions and mathematical magic to the mysteries of communication and the natural environment. A hit with visitors of all ages!
Tipp 4: Biedermeier village, Heiden
After a fire destroyed Heiden in 1838, residents quickly rebuilt their whole town in the elegant Biedermeier style. This period also saw a boom in domestic production of silk bolting cloth, and soon every home had a loom in the cellar; today, the town continues to manufacture precision weaving looms. Discover Heiden’s rich history and the role played by its textile industry at the museum on the main square.
Tipp 5: Trogen
Seven palatial homes and a church adorn the Landsgemeindeplatz – the main square – in Trogen, and all were built by members of the Zellweger family. The town owes this impressive architectural ensemble to the textile industry, too, because it was trade in linen, and later raw cotton and cotton fabric, that made the Zellwegers so wealthy. Discover the full story (in German) at www.jahrhundertderzellweger.ch
Tipp 6: Embroidery in Appenzell
The people of Appenzell are fiercely proud of their culture and traditions – including hand embroidery, which long played an important role in local life and the economy. The largest room of the Appenzell Museum is devoted to its international collection of embroidery, alongside traditional costumes from the region. On Fridays from June to mid-October, an embroiderer in costume shares secrets of her craft.
Tipp 7: Museum of local customs
Three historical buildings on the main village square of Urnäsch document the region’s rural culture, arts, crafts and living customs. Highlights include the rich musical heritage: guided tours offer a fun introduction to the skills of bell-ringing, coin-rolling and yodelling. The region’s diverse textile traditions are also explored in detail at the folklore museum in the nearby village of Stein.
Tipp 8: Textile town of Herisau
200 years ago, anyone arriving in Herisau would be greeted by thousands of pieces of fabric laid out on the meadows to bleach. Around 1900 there were dozens of textile factories here in the Glatt valley. The “black house” is a monument to this rich industrial heritage. Today, Herisau firms still dye, impregnate and mercerise fabrics or treat them via other chemical, physical and nanotechnological processes.
Tipp 9: Hauptwil theme trail
The carp pools belonging to the church of St. Pelagius in Bischofszell proved to have a key role in the industrialisation of the Hauptwil region. Together with the local stream, they provided the water and power that were essential for various aspects of textile production. A themed trail starting at Hauptwil station leads past the ponds and dyeworks, explains the processes and explores their history.