Straw to gold:
The hat industry of the Freiamt

The Straw Museum in the Isler Villa
The Straw Museum in the Isler Villa

The "Strohmuseum im Park" (Straw Museum) pays homage to the hat industry of the Freiamt, a region of the Canton of Aargau in the German speaking part of Switzerland. In no other part of the world were such delicate hat materials and trimmings created as in this region during the 1800s. Straw, such a humble material, was the foundation of a blooming industry which spanned over 200 years. What began as a cottage industry eventually grew into a far-reaching international business.

Visitors are invited to take an exciting journey, that commences in the rural craft of the 1700s and 1800s, through the times of industrial mass production that was at the mercy of the whimsy of international fashion, until the trade's downfall in the last quarter of the 20th century.