From the beginning of the industrialisation of the textile industry to today
The foundation of the cotton mill Elmer & Zweifel by cousins Friedrich and Heinrich Elmer goes back to the year 1855. Until today it remains in family ownership. From the very beginning the cotton was manufactured into textiles. Like many other enterprises Elmer & and Zweifel produced a full assortment of the common textiles like clothing, bedding or damast. Later they specialised in textiles for medical and technical purposes and babycare textiles. In this way extensive knowledge in textiles was established, from which Cotonea profits in every production step to this day.
The textile industry was one of the first to replace manual craftsmanship with machines. England had already begun to mechanise the spinning and weaving processes in the 18th century. After Napoleon instituted an economic blockade of Great Britain in 1806, known as the Continental Blockade, Switzerland also began the construction of a textile industry. With its water power which was ideal to drive the machines, the country was more than ready for industrialisation.
When in the mid 19th century the watercourses of Switzerland had become fully built up the Elmer brothers from the canton of Glarus went to search for a new location. They found the right place in the extremely poor state of Württemberg which, after the abolition of the Continental Blockade in 1814, was in economical dire straights. This was an area with plenty of water and manpower. In the whole of the German central mountain region with its tradition production methods, linen and wool were becoming less significant – the cotton industry was on the rise.