We have been pushing the boundaries of sewing technology for more than 160 YEARS - and we will continue to shape the industry in the future! Join us on our inspiring journey as we look back on our company MILESTONES in the world of sewing technology.

1860 - 1867

Bielefeld, mid-19th century: The industrial revolution has transformed the city into an important textile location. Sewing machines imported from the USA are mainly used to process the fabrics. They are expensive to purchase and difficult to maintain. The two locksmiths Baer and Koch recognized the opportunity and founded the first sewing machine factory in Bielefeld in 1860.

The company's success showed the partners the potential of the newly developed market, so that Baer decided in 1865 to set up his own company. From then on, Koch operated under the name Koch & Co and employed two sewing machine mechanics Dürkopp and Schmidt.

By 1861 Dürkopp had already designed his first sewing machine and went into business with Schmidt as Dürkopp & Schmidt in 1867.

1880 - 1900

Within 20 years, Bielefeld developed into one of the most important locations for the sewing machine industry in Germany. In 1880, 19 Bielefeld companies were active in the industry. Their products enjoyed international recognition and were sold across Europe. Due to the great national and international competition, there was a crisis in the industry in the 80s.

Dürkopp & Co - as the plant was called after Schmidt left - was the first company to start manufacturing bicycles in search of new sales markets. The new product was selling very well and the company could continue on its successful course. Like other companies, Koch & Co followed Dürkopp's example, so that bicycle production soon developed into an important economic factor in the city.

1900 - 1920

Spurred on by the success, Dürkopp began producing cars, trucks and other motorized means of transport towards the end of the century.

While Dürkopp was constantly striving to open up new business areas for his company, Koch & Co. concentrated on the field of industrial sewing and clothing technology. The brand name Adler became a synonym for internationally sought-after special sewing machines. This led Kochs Adlernähmaschinen Werke AG, the company’s new name, to stop the production of bicycles in 1920.

1929 - 1961

The global economic crisis of the late 1920s led Dürkoppwerke AG - as the company was called after the founding father's death - to abandon stagnant automobile production. Towards the end of the Weimar Republic, the development of the first conveyor system for the textile industry opened up new important and future-oriented sales markets.
During World War II the company was reoriented towards the war economy, like other factories. After the destruction of the corporate premises by heavy bombing in Bielefeld in 1944, the company was eventually rebuilt after the end of the war and the events of the last few years had been reassessed. The lessons from this process, as well as the redefined values, have determined the corporate culture and are also enshrined as fundamental principles in today's Code of Conduct.
After World War II, Kochs Adler Nähmaschinen Werke AG attempted to penetrate new business areas with the production of typewriters and packaging machines. However, the strategic decision was made to withdraw from both areas, as well as from the production of household sewing machines. Furthermore, Dürkoppwerke AG has focused its efforts on the product areas of industrial sewing machines and transportation systems since the early 1960s.

1962 - 1990

In 1962, the majority of the shares in Dürkoppwerke AG were taken over by FAG Kugelfischer.

When the Kugelfischer Group also took over the majority of the shares in Kochs Adler AG, the way was paved for the merger of the two competing sewing machine factories. Since 1990 they have been operating as Dürkopp Adler AG in the new company building in Bielefeld-Oldentrup.

1997 - 2010

The Czech-based sewing machine manufacturer Minerva, a.s., Boskovice became part of the group in 1997 through the acquisition of the majority of the shares. One year later, with the founding of Dürkopp Adler Romania, parts production started in Romania. The specialist in trouser production, Beisler GmbH from Hösbach, was taken over in the same year and complemented the product portfolio.

On June 30, 2005, the majority of the shares in Dürkopp Adler AG were taken over by the Chinese SGSB Group. The transfer of the shares in Dürkopp Fördertechnik GmbH to Knapp AG from Hart near Graz took place on July 1st, 2010.

2015 - 2020

In 2015, the ShangGong Group brought together the companies Dürkopp Adler, Pfaff Industrial and KSL as the parent company. The resulting DA Group, headquartered in Bielefeld, has since been the largest European manufacturer of sewing and welding technology for the textile industry and boasts impressive growth. Dürkopp Adler has been operating as a GmbH since the end of 2020.


Today the Dürkopp Adler Group offers solutions to problems in all areas of sewing technology. The group operates with a worldwide service and sales organization of 10 subsidiaries and over 650 distributors. The aim of the company is to perfect the automation of production processes and at the same time to guarantee a maximum of flexible application possibilities. Comprehensive advice and reliable service complete an offer that occupies a leading position in important segments of the world market. The pioneering spirit and the creative drive of the founding fathers are part of a corporate philosophy that relies on the creative potential of the employees.

Since 1860, Dürkopp Adler has been creating countless pioneering products with a great deal of passion and expertise. Follow our digital journey into the past.