The city of Wuppertal is regarded as one of the most important cradle of weaving art. In 1527, the Wuppertal bleachers were given the monopoly to bleach and dye yarns and fabrics. Later, in 1780, the secret of Turkish red dyeing came to Wuppertal. Around 1880 Wuppertal steam engines together produced about 4000 hp. The production of the so-called Barmer articles “strands, laces and ribbons” brought Wuppertal the rise and prosperity. Around 1900 about 70% of all Wuppertal residents worked in the textile industry.
So it was not surprising that the brothers August and Otto Becker founded their band factory at Dönberg around 1910. In the beginning they produced silk, shoe and underwear ribbons in twos on twelve Jacquard looms.
Despite two world wars, the great-grandfather of the current owner was able to hold his own with his company and later handed over the business to his son-in-law Werner Stuhr. His sons Eberhard and Wolfgang, who gave their name to today's Gebrüder Stuhr GmbH, directed the company's fortunes for more than 30 years.
With the purchase of textile factories Rudolf Homberg (1912-1984) in the mid-1980s, Stuhr succeeded in becoming a market leader in Jacquard weaving. With 1000 employees in the early 60s, Homberg was the world's largest manufacturer of so-called Barmer articles.
Andreas Stuhr has been successfully managing the family business in the fourth generation for 10 years now.
The current 25 employees in Wuppertal’s Höhenstraße process all common materials from natural linen to cotton and polyester to belts, ribbons and braids. They operate the broadly specified machine park, which comprises about 75 machines. About 40 jacquard machines and as many dobby weaving machines each ensure sufficient capacity. Today, all 40 Jacquard machines are electronically controlled, and modern CAD systems are available for the design of patterns and binding technology.
The last 10 shuttle looms from the former Homberg Textile Works will be in the museum operation of the Kafka ribbon weaving mill from 2020 after 30 years of loyal service at Stuhr.
New challenges have always been a strength of the company. At the end of the 1990s Stuhr expanded its range with bobbin laces. Today, however, implants for surgery are produced exclusively on 4 rather modern, electronically controlled bobbin lace machines in the main building on Stürmannsweg, which was extensively renovated in 2015-2019.
Since 2009, Stuhr has been refining stable ribbons into elastic ribbons - the “stretch articles” - in a patented and licensed process. Stuhr is currently the market leader in this field in Europe.