Traditional Swiss Shirts
The Swiss folklore shirt commonly seen today goes back in part to the mid-19th century. The materials were and remain perfect for the Swiss climate, which is why they are as valued now as they were in great-granddad’s day.
Demand for these hardwearing textiles waned through the years and shirts were difficult to come by. In spring 1978, this prompted the Jenni Family to seek out a weaving mill in the Emmental valley, purchase their first bolt of cloth and sew a quantity of shirts. Attention to detail and high production standards from the word go meant that the shirts soon became a popular and coveted item among Swiss wrestling enthusiasts.
Making a Jenni shirt – step by step
Cutting out 30 pattern pieces and assembling them step by step to make an Original Edelweiss shirt is a routine process at our Meiringen workshop. The material for our garments is woven exclusively for the Märithüsli in the Alps. Yarn-dyed double-strength yarn is chosen to produce a textile that meets the highest quality requirements. The woven cloth is then refined using various finishing techniques, giving it the characteristic comfort and hand feel that is so appreciated by its wearers.
Precision is everything when it comes to making our shirts. The pattern is applied to the fabric, cut, pre-ironed and sewn. Around 1.7 metres of material and 70 minutes’ work go into the finished article. Accuracy, skill and speed are required – parts for up to 60 shirts, cut by jigsaw and band saw, can be processed in a single production run. Hand scissors are still used for custom orders which require an individual pattern. The shirts are sewn using fast, state-of-the art industrial sewing machines. An overlocking machine adds a safety seam to the sides.
Despite the advantages of the modern production line, our Meiringen workshop is still very much an atelier rather than a factory. This means that we can also fulfil one-off, bespoke orders such as special sizes or shirts tailored entirely to the wearer’s requirements. And this is a service that the Jenni Family – now represented by two generations – cares deeply about. True to our guiding principle “natural, hardwearing, traditional yet modern”.