TaDA – Textile and Design Alliance is a cultural promotion programme. Its goal is to promote artistic discussion with the eastern Swiss textile and design culture and thus strengthen the regional identity. A connection to practice and to the textile companies established in the region is a central component and fruitful for both sides. TaDA offers on an annual basis a work stay in Switzerland to six to eight national and international personalities. The residents develop innovative projects in the fields of art, design, architecture, literature, the performing arts or in transdisciplinary contexts. As programme partners textile and design companies in Eastern Switzerland make their know-how and technology available to the artists, thus giving the residents an opportunity to do practical and artistic work and carry out applied research. On their part the partners benefit from the creative exchange with the art practitioners invited. On the occasion of the annual event "TaDA Spinnerei" the work results are presented to the public and discussed.
From the late 16th century the textile industry developed into the key economic driver in the areas of today’s cantons of St.Gallen, Thurgau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden and Innerrhoden. It reached its high point in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Initially, spreading from the city of St.Gallen, the production of fabrics in the form of home weaving spread from the city of St.Gallen into the surrounding countryside, mainly to Ausserrhoden and the Toggenburg. With hand embroidery, Innerrhoden and parts of Vorarlberg were included from 1780 onwards, and with the mechanisation of embroidery parts of Thurgau from 1865. In the early 20th century St.Gallen Spitzen (embroidery) represented the most important Swiss export product. Lack of demand for embroidery after the First World War caused Eastern Switzerland to lapse into a severe economic crisis. With new production techniques, especially in knitting and hosiery, as well as textile finishing and technical textiles, the industry maintained its importance until around 1970. In the globalisation that followed certain Swiss companies have managed to hold their ground, thanks to their quality and spirit of innovation.