Following his apprenticeship as an embroidery designer, Martin joined the textile company Jakob Schlaepfer in 1973. From 1989 to 2018, he was Creative Director and a member of the management board at Schlaepfer, where he and his team designed over 1,000 fabrics for the fashion world every year. With his exclusive fabric creations, he plays a decisive role in determining what will be considered a new fashion trend tomorrow. In 2004 he designed the exhibition “Bling Bling” in the Landesmuseum Zurich for the 100th anniversary of the company. He has been awarded countless prizes for his work, including the Swiss Grand Prix of Design from the Federal Office of Culture and the renowned American Cotton Design Award. Today, he works in his private studio.
Director Textile Museum St.Gallen
Barbara Karl studied art history at the Universities of Innsbruck and Vienna and received her PHD from the University of Vienna. She has headed the St.Gallen Textile Museum since 2017. Before joining the museum, she worked as Curator of Textiles and Carpets at the MAK-Museum for Applied Arts in Vienna. She authored publications on the exchange of early modern art objects between east and west, wrote on Indian textile production for export, on Ottoman flags as booty items in Vienna, and on the diplomatic exchange of gifts between the Sultan and the Emperor. Since 2010, Barbara Karl has curated exhibitions at the MAK and the St.Gallen Textile Museum on fashion accessories, Chinese courtly textiles, the British Arts&Crafts movement and lace.
Head of cultural office Thurgau
Martha Monstein studied English and German language and literature as well as culture management. Since 2014 she has headed the Thurgau Cantonal Office for Culture with responsibility for cultural promotion, outreach and conservation with the five cantonal museums. She is one of the initiators of the Textile and Design Alliance. She began her career in the cultural field as editor for a local radio station, followed by engagements as programme manager at Zurich cultural centres and in production management and tour organisation for renowned theatre and dance groups. From 1993 to 2001 Martha Monstein was co-director of the Culture Department of the Canton of Aargau, before becoming a member of the Board of Trustees of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, where from 2001 to 2013 she headed the Theatre Department.
Markus Müller’s main artistic interest is in the field of spatial representation. His work, examining the potential of craftsmanship as an image and strategy for today’s society, has been shown in various institutions in Switzerland and abroad, including Kunstmuseum Basel, Kunsthaus Glarus, Néon – diffuseur d’art contemporain in Lyon and Cafe Gallery Projects London. Permanent interventions in public space – whether in Basel, St.Gallen, Winterthur or Teufen – allow him to introduce this topic into the daily routine of an urban environment. Markus Müller’s work has been honoured with the Swiss Art Award, the Manor Art Prize or membership of the Swiss Institute in Rome. Since 2010 he has been teaching in the study programme at the Fine Arts Department of Berne University of the Arts.
René Rossi has been working for over 25 years as a researcher at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology. He studied applied physics and was awarded his PhD in Technical Sciences at ETH Zurich. Since 2003, René Rossi has been leading the Laboratory for Biomimetic Membranes and Textiles at Empa, an interdisciplinary group of around 40 researchers. He is lecturer for Thermal Physiology and Sports Textiles at ETH Zurich and Guest Professor at the University of Haute-Alsace in Mulhouse, France. His research focus is smart textiles, in particular fibre-based sensors for body monitoring as well as hybrid fibres for controlled substance release.
Rebecca C. Schnyder works as a freelance writer in St.Gallen. She writes drama, lyrics, prose and radio plays. She has been honoured with numerous awards for her work, including the Prize for Dramatic Writing by the Swiss Authors Society SSA, the jury prize at the “SALZ!” Authors Festival at the Lüneburg Theatre, the audience prize at the playwright competition of the theatres of St.Gallen and Konstanz, and most recently the advancement award of the St.Gallen Cultural Foundation. In 2013/2014 Rebecca C. Schnyder took part in the “Dramenprozessor” at the Winkelwiese Theatre in Zurich, and in 2015 she was invited with her play “Alles trennt” to the Heidelberger Stückemarkt. Her first novel “Alles ist besser in der Nacht” was published by Dörlemann Verlag in Zurich in 2016.
CSO Saurer AG
Peter Trinkl is an engineer and has an MBA. He is Chief Strategy Officer and CIO of the Saurer Group, and has over ten years’ experience in the textile machine industry. He is currently responsible for the strategic orientation, business development and digitalisation of the Saurer Group. Previously he worked in the telecommunications and other high-tech industries. He has extensive experience in heading blue chip and start-up companies as well as being a member of various boards. Formerly he held global management positions at Siemens, e.On, Cablecom, Orange and Swisscom. In addition he was a partner in an international Merger & Acquisitions firm, and Advisor for a Venture Capital Fund.
Fair fashion entrepreneur
Guest member residency 2021
After studying journalism and communications at the ZHAW in Winterthur, Sebastian Lanz soon returned to the watch industry, where he had previously worked. As marketing manager he was able to help build up a small start-up. Questioning himself and the world of expensive watches more and more, he decided in 2010 that he would rather dedicate his working hours to something that would contribute to solving the acute social and ecological problems of our time. So RRREVOLVE was founded, initially just as an online shop. Today Sebastian Lanz also runs two shops in Zurich under the same name. The three R's stand for Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, and the range of products includes a wide selection of fair fashion and sustainable alternatives for everyday life.
Brubo GmbH manufactures and sells high-quality cottons. Fabrics are woven, sheared and made up, primarily for export, in the company's production facility in Speicher. Brubo has amassed decades of experience in the Scherli technique, in which it now specialises. Since early 2019, the company has been instrumental in reviving an aspect of local cultural heritage, Appenzell satin stitch weaving, a tradition that had been somewhat forgotten in the region. By investing in new technology, the company can once again manufacture satin stitch patterns.
Empa is the interdisciplinary Swiss research institute of the ETH Division for Material Sciences and Technology. As a bridge between research and practical application, it develops innovative solutions in the fields of nano-structured, “smart” materials, environmental, energy and sustainable building technologies, biotechnologies and medical technologies. Together with industry partners, Empa turns research findings into marketable innovations.
Established in 1919, Filtex AG remains in the hands of the founding family. As a leading retail and production company, the tradition-rich firm supplies its customers worldwide with fine cotton goods, novelties, embroidery, home textiles and raw materials. The company’s core values are exceptional aesthetics, outstanding quality and innovative design.
As a small business in Thal, Lobra AG specialises in the refining and manufacture of a great variety of films and sheeting. Using a wide range of basic films, all kinds of sequins can be punched out and overprinted using dye sublimation printing.
For over 20 years, Rigotex AG in Toggenburg with its some twenty employees has been developing, producing and selling high-quality gastronomy and home textiles. They are produced in the company’s own factory on eight Sulzer Rüti looms. In addition to durable, affordable products for customers in the catering sector, rigotex also offers customised home and decor textiles.
Created in 1853 in St.Gallen by Franz Saurer as an iron foundry, Saurer is a leading global technology company with a focus on machines, components and software for processing fibres and yarns. The long-established firm now consists of two segments: Spinning Solutions, offering high-quality, technologically-advanced and customer-specific automated solutions for processing staple fibres from bale to yarn; and Saurer Technologies, focusing on yarn and embroidery solutions as well as special components in the field of special bearings and polymer solutions for the industry.
In 1868, Rudolph Schoeller established one of Switzerland's first worsted yarn spinning mills in Schaffhausen. A few years later, he bought another cloth mill in Sevelen. Innovative fabrics like polyamide and elastane arrived in Europe from the US in the 1930s; Schoeller embraced this trend and began to manufacture the first stretch fabrics himself. Since then, Schoeller has been developing and producing extremely functional textiles and innovative textile technologies. In addition to textiles used in sportswear, workwear and leisurewear, these also include protective textiles and textiles used for medical and technical applications.
The Sitterwerk Foundation, which houses an art library, materials archive and studio house, is located on an industrial site in the Sitter Valley near St.Gallen and in direct proximity to the Kesselhaus Josephsohn, Kunstgiesserei St.Gallen AG and the photo laboratory. This closely knit network is further enriched by the production of art and craft and by the related research, preservation and educational activities conducted here.
Founded in 1978, Textilcolor AG is based in Sevelen in St.Gallen’s Rhine Valley. As a specialist in textile chemistry, Textilcolor is a byword for the development, manufacture and sale of textile auxiliaries, textile dyes, pigments and optical brighteners. With its expertise and technical advice the company supports its customers in all fields of textile manufacturing and finishing.
As one of the last manual screen printing companies in Switzerland, Textildruckerei Arbon has been producing premium-quality hand- and flat-film prints on its 50-metre print tables since 1903. This micro business is dedicated almost entirely to the manufacture of niche products, whether these are the renowned traditional Swiss linen calendars or the handcrafted fabrics for international catwalks. The textile printing company also has an archive of approximately 3,000 screens.
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, sample books, sketches and photographs illustrate the history of the Swiss textile industry, shaped by regional pride and international influence. In addition to the show “Fabrikanten & Manipulanten” about the history of textiles in Eastern Switzerland, the Textile Museum regularly presents special exhibitions on selected topics from the fields of textile history, fashion and design.
Tisca, a family firm founded in 1940 and still located in the village of Bühler, is today a group that operates internationally. It develops high-quality textiles for exterior and interior furnishings, especially carpet flooring, sports flooring and textiles for the transport sector. In so doing the manifold possibilities of textiles, such as impact on air humidity, dust and bacteria cushioning effect, or heat and sound insulation are constantly exploited and developed.