Rafzerfeld / Canton of Zurich

The Canton of Zurich adjoins the eastern border of the canton of Aargau and the districts of Wil – Huentwangen – Wasterkingen are where the straw work took place.


We cannot be certain when plaiting began in these areas. It can possibly be dated back to the 1600s when it may have been an occupation of the evening and winter months. It is interesting that the plaits and edgings made in these areas were similar to those made in the Onsernonetal in the canton of Tessin, being made of whole straw and needing milling to improve their quality. The plait was made into straw hats. In 1890, the factory of Heinrich Ritz opened and hat making became a factory-based occupation.


- The village museum in Huentwangen has a collection of articles from the straw industry.

- The Light Parlours (Die Lichtstuben)

Hubert Boschung, october 1999