The Höhere Technische Bundes- Lehr und Versuchsanstalt Spengergasse dates back to the year 1758 when is founded as k.k. Commerzialzeichnungsakademie. Its foundation was based on the lack of skilled workers in the domain of textiles. With the progressive industrialisation of Austria the importance of the school quickly grew until the end of the century. The continuing growth of textile industry in Austria in the 19th century led to further extension of the school. It was named Lehranstalt für Textilindustrie (Academy for Textile Industry) in 1881. After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy the school was for a while the only textile technology educational institution of the republic, and thus had to expand its activities into all areas of textile industry, there included chemical and commercial departments.
In 1971 the area of computing has been introduced, that became the biggest department today.
In 1998/1999 established departments of textile technology, textile design, textile management and textil chemistry have been replaced with a new curriculum for Art and Design. A further focus on Interieur- and Surface design within the curriculum led to a decimation of machines and use of the remaining machine within the school, with the effect of many machines lying idle.