Skip to content

Zurich, Switzerland, and its region were once famous for their silk production. Weisbrod-Zuerrer was started in 1825 by Hans-Jakob Zuerrer by buying a share in his godfather’s silk and fabric trading business.

Between 1836 and 1850, a factory was built in Hausen am Albis (in the region of Zurich), and up to 700 workers were employed who mostly worked in their homes, weaving fabrics. Zuerrer’s silks won a silver medal at the 1856 world’s fair in Paris. Until 1900, further factory buildings as well as a power station using water power were built and other factories in the region taken over. Because of export problems and a crisis in Switzerland, the company, now named Weisbrod-Zuerrer, opened a weaving factory in England in 1931. New factory buildings had been built and CAD-assisted design introduced by the late 1990s.

A factory store existed in Hausen since at least the 1980s, and ties using their own fabrics were being produced as well. In 2004, their own tie label named just “Weisbrod” was launched, a year later the product line was expanded with shawls. A special treatment that will protect silk fabrics from water and oil, without diminishing it’s qualities, was developed together with EMPA (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science) and introduced in 2005. Continuous unfavorable export conditions like the extremely strong Swiss Franc brought on a massive collapse in sales figures from 2008 and finally forced the company to cease their own production of fabrics in 2011. Parts of the production were sold to companies in Germany. The company has since shifted its activities to fabric retail as well as fabric and accessories design, with one store and a company museum located in Hausen am Albis as well as two more stores in Zurich and Berne.

Written by willynillyart

from a 1980s tie - Courtesy of willynillyart

from a 1980s tie

Courtesy of willynillyart