Schifflli Embroidery

Schiffli machine embroidery got its name from the word “ship” in Swiss-German referring to the shape of small containers for the bobbins on the embroidery machine. Developed in 1863 by Isaak Gröbli, the Schiffli machine started flourishing between the late 1800s and early 1900s, when St. Gall Embroidery made its name within the world of embroidery. Before then embroidery manufacturing was mainly led by hand embroidery, which required a lot of manpower to achieve large quantities. Machine embroidery gave birth to an industry with scaling the production opportunities for luxury embroideries to a level which was impossible to reach with hand embroidery.

How It Works

Schiffli machine embroidery technique combines a front and back yarn stitched onto a  base cloth on a machine with up to a thousand or more needles placed horizontally side by side. The bobbin inside the “Schiffli” forming a slope around the thread of the needle pushed through the fabric to secure it with a knot and then the thread goes back to the front for the next stitch.

St. Gall or Swiss Embroidery

Swiss embroidery got its name around 1910 when more than half of all embroidery produce worldwide came from the region around St. Gall, a city in the german speaking part of Switzerland. After the demand for luxury embroidery plummeted during the First World War, the industry bounced back fairly quickly, but it never became as important as it was before. Ultimately St. Gall Embroidery kept its high reputation for design and quality worldwide.

Embroidery vs. Lace

Embroidery differs from lace because embroidery gives freedom of design and ability to create unique three-dimensional effects like holes, superposés, multiple fabric layers etc. It can be placed onto a variety of bases like fabrics, knits, non woven and the base can even be removed, like with Guipure embroidery. Its often more colourful than lace because it is easy to create many types of patterns.

St. Gall or Swiss Embroidery

Swiss embroidery got its name around 1910 when more than half of all embroidery produce worldwide came from the region around St. Gall, a city in the german speaking part of Switzerland. After the demand for luxury embroidery plummeted during the First World War, the industry bounced back fairly quickly, but it never became as important as it was before. Ultimately St. Gall Embroidery kept its high reputation for design and quality worldwide.