Silk Memory, online archive

This story begins about 200 years ago...
Since the middle of the 19th century, industry-leading companies put Zürich and its surroundings on the global silk production map.
An example of a silk twisting factory in Embrach.
Two workers at a warping machine.
Zürich's silk industry had a worldwide reputation for high-quality textiles and outstanding design.
Silk processing reached its peak at the beginning of the 20th century. After the great global economic crisis of the 1930s, its importance declined steadily.
However, some niches still enjoy an excellent reputation until today.
At the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU), a group of historians are investigating the rise, decline and heritage of the Zürich silk industry for the first time, taking into account written, visual and material sources.
As part of this research, we were commissioned to make textiles and photographs documenting these 200 years of history, digitally and publicly available.
Over a period of 2 years and in collaboration with the researchers at HSLU, we developed an online tool that is both an archive, a source of inspiration and a teaching tool.
Textiles can be filtered visually, like here by patterns...
...or by colour.
Selections of textiles and photographs can be combined and woven into stories. These can in turn be exported as PDFs or CSV/ZIP files, or shared with others via a link. Invited guests use this tool to create personal guided tours through the archive that the Silk Memory team actively forward to an interested community.