About the Zundt Team
Bringing Beautiful Swiss Embroidery to the World!
Urban and Tracey join forces with vastly different but complimentary creative talents. Together, they cover all aspects of embroidery design, projects, patterns, and education. “We believed our combined talents create a new and unique product within the industry,” says Tracey.
Like any artist, there is a creative process to what they do, including developing an idea, then the technical work – converting the ideas into drawings. For Urban, it is designing and digitizing to create the unique embroidery designs. Tracey then uses these designs to create unique and interesting projects and written instructional patterns and books.
Tracey says she gets a lot of her inspiration from the beauty in nature, such as birds and flowers, but also from her environment including colors and shapes. She describes her talent as a “gift from God” that brings joy to people and gives her satisfaction in life as well.
Urban, having been in the industry his whole life, says he gets a lot of enjoyment from seeing a finished product and having customers enjoy their creations. He also relishes the learning process and the personal growth that comes with it. The two agree the biggest challenge to what they do is mimicking the depth of nature and getting all their creative ideas translated into stunning designs and project ideas onto fabric.
Since knowing each other for well over a decade, Urban and Tracey have become great friends as well as colleagues. “Although we come from different backgrounds and cultures, we share a similar vision and passion for design. He has a creative mind that inspires me and incredible skill in both design and digitizing. With a wealth of knowledge coming from 3 generations in the Commercial Embroidery Industry and an arts degree majoring in textiles and design, Urban has developed unique digitizing techniques that give our designs a quality, style and sophistication not seen in the home embroidery market.
He is passionate about his work and loves the joy and inspiration we bring to our customers,” says Tracey about Urban.
And the high regard is mutual. “Tracey is an award-winning and passionate artist who has brought a new level of creativity to the Machine Embroidery industry. She has a vast knowledge of colour and design which is evident not only in her artworks, but also her project design, and the choices of fabric and threads she uses for these projects. Aside from her creativity, Tracey’s ability to share and inspire through book and pattern writing is abundant. She is also a talented teacher and presenter, who loves to share her creativity, knowledge, and passion with others,” says Urban about Tracey. Both artists love the process of the work they do and they put their heart and souls into every design and project they create.
What’s next for the dynamic duo of Zündt Design? Urban and Tracey have several innovative ideas for the business moving forward. They have developed online classes and an educational online embroidery club, “Embroidery Time with Zündt Design.” The team are also very excited to continue traveling, hosting events, and meeting and inspiring their followers.
History - Where it all began
Embroidery is multi-generational in the Zündt family. Urban’s grandfather worked in the embroidery industry as a hand embroiderer in the early 1900’s, using the first, hand-embroidery machines. He founded the company Stickerei Zündt (Zündt embroideries), and Felix Zündt, Urban’s father, founded Atelier Zündt in Altenrhein in 1960. Urban himself founded Zündt Design in 1992.
Urban’s father was born in Balgach in the St. Gallen Rhine Valley. After completing his education, he successfully qualified as a designer, working in a leading textile company. He continued his training in England where he met and married Jacqueline – also a textile designer.
Following their return to Switzerland, Felix again worked as a designer in the textile sector. He spent three years as a lecturer at the Swiss College of Textiles, Clothing and Fashion, the STF, in St. Gallen prior to setting up his own business Atelier Zündt. His work involved designing and producing his own creations. He won multiple design awards in Paris for most impressive lace embroidery designs which were used by numerus world renown fashion companies such as Chanel and Nina Ricci.
About founder Urban Zündt
Producing artistic digitized embroidery
Urban Zündt is from the peaceful rural setting of Altenrhein. A small village near the Swiss central region of embroidery – St. Gallen. In past days St. Gallen embroidery was represented at all the world’s major exhibitions and enjoyed unbounded success. Even today the leading fashion designers of Haute Couture still repeatedly use St Gallen embroideries.
Urban has an arts degree majoring in textiles, and further tertiary qualifications in Digitising and Design, as well as Business Administration. He inherited his parents’ imagination and creative drive, and at the age 20, joined his father’s company, Atelier Zündt. He brought with him fresh new ideas of a younger generation.
Urban modified machines and developed the technique for embroidering on ultra-fine lady’s hosiery and fine elastic fabrics. This technique was revolutionary, and Atelier Zündt was inundated with orders from all over the world, particularly the fashion houses in Europe.
Being a major force in the development of techniques as well as being known as one of the best designers and digitizers in the Country, the Swiss Textile Museum recently asked if they could feature Urban and his work in a major exhibition in Switzerland. Urban’s work is also represented in the lace museum in Germany.
For some collections, he draws inspiration from his tremendous library of historical embroideries and makes modern interpretations of them creating contemporary designs.
In the late 1990’s, the new era of downloadable files and the world wide web, Urban decided to establish a website featuring downloadable designs with some of the exquisite embroideries Atelier Zündt was renowned for. This innovation brought the commercial embroidery industry to the home embroiderer and thus the formation of Zündt Design Ltd.
In those early days, 4”x 4” hoops were all that was available for the domestic market, so Urban had to create small designs suitable for these machines. He had the idea to build larger designs by combining small ones, enabling him to showcase the exquisite lace designs, doilies, runners, bowls, and other elements from Atelier Zündt.
This innovation took the home embroidery industry by storm, and Urban soon decided to take his program to the USA, attending embroidery events and exhibitions. He was happy to meet first-hand the home embroiderers who were using his designs and introduce new products and ideas to them at these events. This included wash-away stabilizer and metallic threads, which were, until this time, only available in the commercial industry. Customers loved these products and still do.
Zündt embroidery designs have been featured on many award-winning quilts and embellish quilts in the USA quilt museum currently in Paduca KY.
In 2009, Urban was introduced to Tracey Sims, an artist and designer from Australia, and since then they have collaborated on many collections, project books, patterns, and accessories. Tracey has brought a unique artists perspective to the industry, and together with Urban’s knowledge, creativity, and skills, they are continuing to develop ground-breaking concepts within the industry.
As well as being the principle of Zündt Design, Urban continues to work in the commercial embroidery sector, where the Swiss Army asked Atelier Zündt to create embroidered badges that they would like to test. After three years of trials, they were honoured to receive the contract to produce the badges for the entire Swiss army and air force.
Swiss Customs conducted a design competition for a new design, and the winner would receive the contract to produce all their badges, nametags, shoulder loops with the degree signs and lots more. Atelier Zündt won this award and still proudly produce these products, as well as badges for UNICEF, NATO, OSCE, Police units, Fire fighter brigades, National sport teams, Government and lots more.
Urban Zündt, Founder
About Designer Tracey Sims
Creating elegant embroidery designs
Tracey Sims is an award-winning artist and designer from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland Australia. She draws her inspiration from nature and during her travels, she sketches, makes notes and takes many photographs of plants, flowers, birds and insects which are later used as reference material for her paintings and designs.
Back in the studio, Tracey utilizes these pictorial records to plan and paint the wonderful works of art that are the premise of her embroidery and fabric designs. Tracey also loves the incredible designs of William Morris and other artists from the Pre-Raphaelite era. Their influence is evident in her ornamental designs and embellishments to her artwork.
An introduction to Urban Zündt of Zündt Design in 2009 has influenced Tracey’s artistic life. Urban digitizes her artwork, creating beautiful embroidery designs from which Tracey designs and creates stunning projects.
Combining her passion for painting and machine embroidery, Tracey has created many mixed media projects which are unique, fun and innovative. She also offers workshops, trunk shows and lecture/demos which highlight their amazing embroidery designs, projects, quality threads and associated products. Tracey has also developed an on-line education program for all aspects of machine embroidery.
As a respected educator of both art and machine embroidery, she has travelled extensively teaching classes, lecturing and demonstrating throughout Australia, Europe, England, Ireland, America, Singapore and New Zealand.
Her warmth and enthusiasm for the industry has seen Tracey become a much sought-after teacher and presenter.
She has authored seven decorative painting books and eleven machine embroidery project books. She has also written many articles and projects for magazines in Australia, the UK and the United States and has been featured in many live presentations and tutorial events.
She is privileged to be one of only three Australian Artists to be commissioned twice to paint a project for the Decorative Arts Collection Museum in the USA.
Tracey has also designed fabric ranges for Northcott Fabrics and is honoured to be the Pfaff Ambassador for Australia.
Tracey Sims, Embroidery Design Artist
Annette Reddy – USA Distributor and Events Coordinator
Annette Reddy has been sewing since she was 6 years old, being taught by her grandmother who worked in the clothing industry. She started with small sewing projects for her room and fashion accessories, and, in her teens, with her grandmother’s guidance, she would design and sew clothing apparel for herself and friends.
Since then, Annette has gone on to educate herself in many aspects of the sewing and fabric industry. She has become proficient with all types of sewing, machine embroidery, quilting both hand and longarm and many other aspects of the industry. Annette is a retired teacher with years of experience in managing large groups of individuals, accurate record keeping, and an enthusiastic sense of humour. She continues to take classes and attend conferences around the country to further her sewing knowledge.
With her vast knowledge of the industry, Annette has become an Annetteasset to the Zündt Design team, working as their distributor and events coordinator since 2019.
Annette Reddy – USA Distributor and Events Coordinator
Jess Mickelson – Australian Operations Manager
Jess Mickelson is a young and dynamic woman who has worked as Tracey Sims Designs and Zundt Design Australian Operations Manager for over 5 years.
She handles all things “tech” including the downloads, uploads, sales, and shipments within Australia. She also handles all our customer enquiries in any of these areas.
Jess has worked with Tracey setting up the on-line class program and virtual events during COVID.
She is loyal and passionate about the industry and has also worked alongside Tracey at many shows and events in Australia.
Jess is a valuable member of our team, and, as one customer said, “She’s Awesome.”
Jess Mickelson – Australian Operations Manager
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