Optimally prepared – both then and now
At Kettelhack, we produce and sell high-quality and durable textiles. As an independent family business in its fourth generation, we are very familiar with long-term planning and responsible action. In doing so, we focus equally on the environmental performance of our company and on the quality of our products and processes.
Heinrich Karl-Georg Kettelhack, who founded the company in Wettringen in 1874, would probably be rubbing his eyes in amazement as he wandered through the present-day production halls and offices. Around 100 employees handle textiles, suppliers and customers: negotiating, dyeing, finishing and shipping. For over five decades, we have been proven experts in monochrome fabrics. Our customers use these to produce both high-quality and durable workwear and bed linen for hotels, hospitals and nursing homes.
Anyone familiar with Kettelhack perhaps still remembers that we made our name in household textiles like tablecloths, tea towels and bed linen. Changes have always shaped our business, like sun and rain shape the cotton harvest. Looking ahead instead of clinging to yesterday, staying flexible instead of fixating on preservation: “This strategy has been taking us forward for four generations, making us efficient and fit for the future.” Courageous, but only consistent, when the production of household textiles for private end users is no longer economically viable: to separate ourselves from this segment and sell the bed linen brand Heike (a neologism made up of the initial syllables Heinrich and Kettelhack). Saying farewell to spinning mills and remaining weaving mills four years later was also not a decision we took lightly. It’s the greatest turning point in our company history and marks a radial rethink.
Instead of wanting to do everything ourselves, from now on we are focusing on what we do best: dyeing and processing textiles.
Because these stages in the textile value-added chain are crucial to the quality of the final product: whether it stands the test in everyday work, how comfortable it is, how many washes it withstands. We are also concentrating more on what matters: the creative dimension. This means we can offer our customers considerably greater greater variety, catering to needs and preferences. “Change can only succeed from a position of strength,” Jan Kettelhack emphasises. Firm foundations are essential: values such as loyalty, fairness, reliability, rigour. Towards all business partners, customers and suppliers. But also the willingness to take responsibility and to think outside the box.
“We have been a family company for 145 years – and we want to stay this way.“
Sustainable thinking and action, on all levels and down to the last fibre, is the key. And that includes each and every employee, whether it’s the HR manager, textile lab technician or machinist. Our greatest asset: is not only first-class products and decades of expertise. But above all, the people who support and carry this company forward with toil and dedication.