Silk was for Switzerland a very important good. The first known silk production dates back to 1250 A.D., when in Zurich a flourishing silk production and manufacturer cottage industry has been established. It is reported, that in the year 1785, 300’000 mulberry trees were planted alone in the area of Lausanne. Before World War 1st the last cocoons were produced in the southern part of Switzerland. After a break of 100 years, the project Swiss Silk aims at reintroducing the silk production in Switzerland.
-• The silk production in Switzerland shall be reintroduced.
-• Main aims are the creating of side income for Swiss farmers and at the same time strengthening the Swiss textile industry.
-• Decentralized Production of Uni - biovoltine Cocoons.
-• Centralized silkworm nursery, cocoon drying and silk reeling.
-• Manufacturing of Silk accessories such as ties and shawls by the Swiss textile industry.
-• Marketing by Swiss high end brands such as Weisbrod - Zürrer AG and Akris with as strong emphasis on Swissness and ecology.
The market potential has been elaborated based on consumer research. From the 250 tons of raw silk processed in Switzerland annually, we estimate a potential of approximately 5%, which gives a potential of 10 tons raw silk per year. This would give a side income for 150 farmers, each with 1 hectare (10‘000 square meter) of plantation (total 330‘000 trees) The gross income for the farmers would be 3,2 million Swiss francs which will be used to pay their own labour (CHF 2,2 million) and depreciation. Additional income will be generated for silk reeling (CHF 1,8 million) and the selling of the pupae for fish feed. There are still unfortunately no subsidies by the Swiss Government.
Local sericulture institution:
Swiss Silk - Vereinigung Schweizer Seidenproduzenten
Mr. Ueli Ramseier, President
CH - 3032 Hinterkappelen
Tel. 079 436 85 53