Beginning and establishment:
From Reutlingen to Denkendorf

© Municipal archive Reutlingen

Prehistory: In the age of industrialization, the textile industry takes a pioneering role. Artisanal textile production is no longer enough to supply the rapidly growing population. In order to develop trade and industry, well-trained skilled personnel are needed. Therefore in 1855, a weaving school was opened in Reutlingen. Spinners, weavers, knitters and soon also textile finishers were trained here.

© Photo archive DITF

1921 - By World War I, the Reutlingen Weaving School had developed into the Reutlingen Technical Center for the Textile Industry, a comprehensive textile training center. A research institute which is independent of teaching is also planned, but this only becomes a reality after the war: On January 10, 1921, the German Research Institute for the Textile Industry in Reutlingen-Stuttgart is founded "by resolution of the State Ministry" as a foundation under public law.

© Municipal archive Reutlingen

1936 - The Research Institute and the Reutlingen Technical Center lay the scientific and technical foundations for the emerging textile industry. Increasingly, chemical issues also play a role. Since 1936, the German Research Institute for the Textile Industry also has its own research department for textile chemistry.

© Photo Scheurenbrand Denkendorf / DITF

1937 - Almost at the same time as the textile chemistry department in Reutlingen, the Zellwolle-Lehrspinnerei GmbH, a state research facility specifically for viscose fibers, is established in Denkendorf. Here, it ensures that the new semi-synthetic fiber made from domestic raw materials can be processed in the industry. After World War II, the activities expand to include all modern man-made fibers.

© Stuttgart University Archive

1962 - A chair for textile chemistry is established at the Stuttgart Technical University and filled by the head of the Department of Textile Chemistry of the Reutlingen Research Institute. The Institute for Textile Chemistry moves to Stuttgart-Wangen. In 1968, an additional Institute for Man-Made Fibers is founded here.


© Hubberten (Hundert Jahre Technikum für Textilindustrie Reutlingen)

1970 - The College for Textile Industry is integrated into the newly founded Reutlingen University. The Institute for Textile Technology and Process Engineering becomes independent and expands its field of work: In addition to classical textile technology, environmental technology, medical textiles, data processing and management also become important. At the same time, plans for a comprehensive textile research center are developed and Denkendorf is finally chosen as the new location.