Indiennes are printed or painted cotton fabrics that made their way from India to Europe in the 16th century. Soon French and Swiss companies were imitating these fabrics. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Indiennes inspired enthusiasm throughout Europe and for almost two centuries made a lasting mark on society, the economy and fashion here. The role of the numerous Swiss people who helped to shape that highly profitable branch of industry is described here in detail for the first time. But it was not just for economic reasons that Swiss people were drawn to India. Missionaries also travelled to the sub-continent, and in the 20th century the Swiss photographer Walter Bosshard disseminated images of Gandhi's struggle for independence all over the world.