The second part of our online series begins in the 1950s with the foundation of a second company – Taunus Textildruck.
Georg and Horst Zimmer founded Taunus Textildruck Zimmer GmbH after the Second World War. Following the death of Georg Zimmer in 1950, Horst Zimmer ran the textile printing company alone at first, until, in the early 1950s, Anton Rudolf Czerny – a technological genius and excellent chemist – joined the firm. A little later, Rudolf
Czerny married Gerda Zimmer, Horst’s sister.
From the very beginning, the stated aim of the company was to produce exquisite, artistically designed interior design fabrics of outstanding print quality. The 1960s was a difficult period for the textile industry. During this time, these high standards, as well as technical innovations in fabrics, became crucial to the company’s survival. They also produced a large number of clothing fabrics as well as household textiles.
The textile designs, rich in detail, were rendered using innovative printing techniques in printing workshops based in Germany. The rotary screen printing machine was one of the biggest of its kind worldwide at the time (left upper image). Another printing technique was screen printing, which first made an appearance in Lyon in 1926 (right and left bottom image).
Right into the 1960s, Horst Zimmer himself dealt with the creation of fabric designs. Then he met the creative Erich Bültmann, who took over management of the design department, then known as the development department. ‘It is very difficult to find someone who is creative and at the same time has one eye on commercial matters, who
motivates their colleagues and can also deal with customers,’ said Horst Zimmer, describing his luck at having acquired the designer for Taunus Textildruck. At that time, the development department already consisted of a large team, consisting of textile designers, graphic designers and colour chemists.
Indeed, ever since the firm was founded, it had worked with a range of freelance textile designers, such as Janosch from the 1950s onwards, and Jack Lenor Larsen since 1962. An old windmill on the Taunus premises was turned into a live-in studio so that the guest designers could follow the printing process.
As Taunus Textildruck established itself as one of the most innovative textile printing companies with cutting-edge printing techniques, Zimmer + Rohde benefitted from these incredible innovations and the quality they produced. During the post-war years, the company achieved the highest standards in manufacturing – not least because of Taunus Textildruck.
Taunus Textildruck was established at the same time as Ernst Georg Zimmer, the brother of Horst Zimmer, joined the company Zimmer + Rohde in 1953. He became an expert in the prevailing styles of the era, and contributed to the collection on the basis of this knowledge. It was during this time that Zimmer + Rohde developed its characteristic style, which is typified by timeless elegance.
In the next part of our online series, you’ll learn about how a decades-long collaboration with the artist Janosch began and how the artist made an impact on the collections with colourful innovations.