Martin Leuthold: a true artist of fabric.
The life of Martin Leuthold from eastern Switzerland has been shaped by his fabric heritage. Today, he is Creative Director at Jakob Schlaepfer, a top textile company. Leuthold’s small, expert design team of around 12 people creates more than 1,200 new fabric designs each year. Schlaepfer is avant-garde when it comes to innovative materials and production techniques.
The compact metropolis of eastern Switzerland between Lake Constance and Appenzellerland has a charming, traffic-free old town. Colourfully-painted oriel windows are a town feature. The Abbey precinct with the cathedral and Abbey Library has been accorded UNESCO World Heritage listing.
St. Gallen has been the capital of textile production for 800 years. Thanks to the textile industry, St. Gallen has flourished: the first banks in the country were founded here, as was the first art museum and the first football team (1879).
Fabrics for London, Milan and Paris.
Schlaepfer only delivers to high-end fashion designers, from Dior and Armani to Chanel and Lagerfeld. The amazing resultant haute-couture creations have been worn by celebrities such as Michelle Obama, Queen Elizabeth and Nicole Kidman.
Nature as the source of inspiration.
The exchange between artists is important to Leuthold. That is why he often spends time in the Sitterwerk, which was founded by Felix Lehner – a friend of Leuthold’s. The Sitterwerk is a collection of materials and an art library located in former textile dye-works.
Magnet for international artists.
Artists from around the wold come here to look at materials, select finishes and create their artworks in the nearby art foundry.
Many fashion designers visit St. Gallen to personally choose their fabrics.
During these visits, Leuthold shows the designers the city, which is often a source of inspiration.
“It is important to feel the fabric yourself, looking and touching.” Martin Leuthold
When Chinese fashion designer Guo Pei visited the Stiftskirche, she was so impressed by the opulence of this Baroque cathedral that she dedicated her whole collection to it. Leuthold of course supplied the fabrics for this collection.
St. Gallen is not just a textile capital, but home to numerous artworks.
Textile museum St. Gallen. A place where historic embroidery, lace handicrafts and contemporary textile art come together.
There are 10,000 exhibits to admire: fabrics from Egyptian grave sites, historical embroidery from the 14th century and handmade lace from important European lace centres. The exhibition includes ethnographic textiles, historical fabrics and costumes, handicraft tools and objects of contemporary textile art. The museum documents the impressive development of the St. Gallen embroidery industry. The fabric library also collects media relating to all textile areas.