About Original Kettenstich
Original Kettenstich is a brand born out of love for traditional embroidery, nostalgia and sustainable clothing.
The art of Chainstitching
Chainstich embroidery has been around for a long long time, having the first machines date all the way back to around 1865. This specific embroidery has a unique looking stitch in a chain like pattern. It’s hand operated by steering with a crank under the machine while being powered by a motor (in my case) with the speed controlled by foot. It’s a skill that takes a lot of time and practice to develop and unlike modern embroidery, each piece is carefully embroidered by an artist and not a computer. Every piece has it’s individual quirks and no piece is like another.
Zurich based Tattoo artist El Bernardes, has always had a passion for exploring different art forms and creative outlets. During the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown, while looking for a way to best apply her free time, she managed to get her hands on a Singer 114E103 and decided to take on the challenge of learning the art of chainstitching.
What started off as a possible alternative income in times of uncertainty, quickly developed into a real love for this traditional type of embroidery. “Tattooing” on fabric and seeing a garment blossom into a one of kind piece of art really lit up the fire to create more and more pieces, pushing her to finally start her own brand.
El finds her inspiration from past times, yesterdays where the world seemed a little less complicated and non digitalized. Her work is inspired by anything from vintage automotive graphics to traditional tattoo flash, old fashion western wear to motorcycle culture. Nothing is off limits.
Every piece in our store has been created with love by El. For her, success is more than just about having a bestselling product, its about creating pieces that evoke a sense of nostalgia and pride, something that can start up an interaction between the wearer and an onlooker.
As an attempt to not contribute to the huge environmental impact of fast fashion, Original Kettenstich uses mostly vintage or reclaimed, high quality garments.
For us, there’s nothing more exciting than giving a garment with history, a new breath of life!
It’s all about taking a piece that may have some day been overlooked and transforming it into a unique, one of a kind masterpiece, something that stands out in a crowd, someone’s new favourite clothing. A staple piece with a story.