Unique floor coverings since 1883 135 years ago, carpets were a luxury product. Driven by the idea of producing the best floor coverings, our founding fathers brought English technology to Germany. With the aim of making carpets, which were expensive until then, accessible to everyone.

Our carpets bring a history

FULL OF PASSION AND INNOVATION.

“Always straightforward and tough as a cogwheel,” wrote August Mittelsten Scheid about his father-in-law, Carl Vorwerk. Who founded the company together with his brother Adolf in 1883, after he had been amazed by the innovation he saw in England in the mechanical carpet industry. He purchased English carpet looms, employed English weavers and master craftsmen, and had German weavers trained in England. “He thought about his carpet factory day and night. Everything else was secondary.” This spirit continues to write the company’s story of success to date.  

The founding
Vorwerk & Co. is founded on the 30 April, 1883 in Barmen, Germany by Carl (1847–1907) and Adolf (1853–1925) Vorwerk. Our story begins with 750,000 marks consisting of their own resources and several private loans from the family.
The Victoria patent
With the acquisition of the Victoria patent Vorwerk becomes a serious competitor for Oriental rugs. For the first time, rugs and carpets can be industrially manufactured whose quality and abundance of colours matches the hand-knotted Persian rugs.
The seamlessly interwoven carpet
One day a part is inserted the wrong way while resetting the loom. Although Carl Vorwerk criticises the mistake at first, while moving on he promptly realises that something has just been invented: the seamlessly interwoven carpet in a new quality.
The visionary partner
Soon after this, Carl Vorwerk brought his son-in-law and the visionary entreprenuer August Mittelsten Scheid into the company. Whose descendents continue to lead the success of the company today.
The four-metre width
Following a seven year development phase, Vorwerk successfully constructs a Victoria loom able to weave carpets up to four metres wide. An unprecedented achievement equivalent to the work of 120 to 150 carpetmakers knotting by hand.
Trademark registration
One year after the company’s 25th anniversary, “Vorwerk Teppich” is registered as a trademark. Ever since that day, all floor coverings from Vorwerk are sold exclusively bearing the self-confident label.

With the development of tufting technology

a new era in carpeting begins.

Tufting originated in the USA, where voluminous, soft pile yarn was hand-stitched (tufted) into a backing material with a sewing needle. This process was very laborious and cost a lot of time. Later, this idea was further developed in terms of production technology into the highly developed technology for manufacturing tufted carpets, which was only introduced in Germany at the beginning of the 1950s. Vorwerk was one of the pioneers in Europe. The considerably higher output compared to the conventional loom and a fabric width of up to 500cm quickly ensured a high market share for this product. Many of our textile floor coverings such as carpets, rugs and modular tiles are produced using this process. This is just one of the innovations with which Vorwerk flooring has set new standards in carpet production.

Tufting technology
Thanks to the co-invention of tufting in Europe, Vorwerk is at last able to make the dream of a fluffy wall-to-wall carpet for the home come true. To this day it remains the most frequently used process for manufacturing textile floor coverings.
The expansion to Gehrden
In 1956, Vorwerk purchased the Vereinigte Smyrna Teppichfabriken and built a new production location in Gehrden, Germany, near Hanover.
The expansion to Hameln
In 1968, Vorwerk purchased the OKA-Teppichwerke in Hameln – today’s headquarters of Vorwerk Teppichwerke. This growth gave Vorwerk the ability to outfit not just homes, but also larger spaces and buildings, offices and hotels. For instance, in the European high-speed TGV and ICE trains, you’ll find especially robust Vorwerk carpet.
Relocation of the Vorwerk production to Hamelin
Vorwerk Carpets dissolves the production facility in Gehrden and concentrates production and administration at the location in Kuhlmannstrasse, Hamelin - the current location of Hamelner Teppichwerke.
The ecological advance
Vorwerk developed into a leader in the industry when it came to ecology. All products, especially the manufacturing process, were re-organised. The aim was to use energy, raw materials, dyes and water in a more economical way so as to be as eco-friendly as possible.
Acquisition of the Herford Teppichfabrik
In 1993 the Herforder Teppichfabrik, a manufacturer of tufted carpets, was acquired by Vorwerk Teppich. Two years later, Vorwerk decided to move large parts of its machinery from Herford to Hameln especially for the legendary COC constructions.
The full-textile backing
Vorwerk successfully takes a big step to the benefit of health with the first fully textile backing. Foam-based, indoor air-polluting carpet backing is history.
TÜV seal “Suitable for allergy sufferers”
Vorwerk Carpets has its carpets tested by the RWTÜV in Essen and receives the TÜV certificate “suitable for allergy sufferers”.
The invention of the ecofix installation system
Innovative in a completely different way was the Velcro installation system introduced in 1998 for the quick replacement of carpeting, which is still used in the trains of the Deutsche Bahn.
Tile backing without PVC or bitumen coating
For designers, the carpet tile opens up completely new creative leeway along with a unique spatial feel. Eco-friendly and health-conscious in the best Vorwerk quality, without PVC or bitumen, and in return certified Green Label Plus on top.
Development of the self-adhesive tile backing
Vorwerk Carpets develops freeform carpet tiles whose novel back coating enables non-slip laying on smooth surfaces.
Acquisition of the Norddeutsche Teppichfabrik „Nordpfeil“.
Vorwerk Carpets takes over Norddeutsche Teppichfabrik in Geesthacht and aligns the range of carpets and tiles available there to meet the needs of retailers as well as architects and contractors.
Relocation of the Geesthacht production site to Hamelin.
The factory of the Norddeutsche Teppichfabrik in Geesthacht is closed and parts of the machinery are moved to Hamelin.
New steps for marketing
Vorwerk flooring is reinventing itself. Including a brand promise that clearly makes Vorwerk the most desired brand when it comes to floor coverings. Vorwerk flooring proves this through quality, innovation and design, and makes sales easy, too: with a new, clearly defi ned product range, transparent terms and prices, etc., etc., .
Carbon-neutral production.
To protect the climate, Vorwerk Carpet is introducing additional compensation measures in addition to technical measures to reduce CO2 emissions. And the electricity requirement is covered by CO2-neutral green electricity generated from hydropower.
Management Buy-out
From 2020, Vorwerk® flooring is managed as an independent company outside the Vorwerk group.
Change of name
As a second step towards independence, Vorwerk Teppichwerke now becomes Hamelner Teppichwerke.

Our carpets have a
written design history with

their design history

Design has always played an important role at Vorwerk. While the start of the company was focused on presenting the beauty of old Oriental carpets, Vorwerk carpets were later valued above all for their flat, closed surfaces. Today, Vorwerk continues to prove its ability to redefine itself with continually new collections. Carpets have become an object of desire. Research in design has made them a reflection of a person’s personality. And innovative structures have created completely new stimuli for the senses of sight and touch. 

The beginning: modelled on originals
In 1902, Vorwerk presented products “based on the good old Oriental classics”. “Carpet based on old Anatolian motifs” or the “copy of a Turkmenen Chiva carpet”. Another model with “Anatolian motifs” could be provided in ten different sizes, the largest measuring 2.45 x 5.20 metres. Prices started at 14 to 17 German marks per square metre.
Orient is trend
In addition to solid-colour verlours in the typical colours and models at the time, designs were created which strongly reflected the spirit of the day. With the carpet “Parsa”, featuring the design “Garden Impressions”, Vorwerk fused Oriental patterns with a modern design language for the first time.
Scandinavian design
Scandinavian design influenced interior design in the late 1950s. With a focus on long pile and bright colours, the Vorwerk carpet “Wasa”, featuring the design “Northern Lights”, picked up on the shapes and tones of traditional Rya carpets.
Pure seventies
The carpet “Varia” was complemented by the design “Vignette”. Luxury in the 1970s: strong geometric shapes, a thick and high pile, the lustre of pure wool in perfectly harmonised colour combinations. The carpet “Käbris” made of wool in the design “Rondo” coupled “design and quality to form a harmonious unit” and measured up to “the modern European interior design trend”, as it was described in the collection’s catalogue.
The DIALOG Art Collection
Renowned artists such as Gerhard Richter, David Hockney or Roy Lichtenstein view the textile floor covering as a new canvas for their art and design carpets for the Vorwerk Dialog Art Collection.
Vorwerk goes Fashion
For the Vorwerk trend brand, which is based in the specialist store, a separate carpet design collection called “Fashion” is being created in cooperation with international fashion designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood
Introduction of the ARTERIOR carpet collection
The success of the Dialog Art Collection encourages Vorwerk to develop and produce a collection of high quality and fitted carpets in limited quantities with international artists.
Time of Art Nouveau
Under this title, Vorwerk transposes historical motifs by artists such as Koloman Moser, Josef Hoffmann, Peter Behrens or Richard Riemerschmid onto the carpet as further parts of the Dialog Art Collection.
Women at the Bauhaus
This carpet collection pays tribute to the achievements of women at the Bauhaus and includes designs by Gunta Stölzl, Gertrud Arndt, Monica Bella-Broner and others.
Flower Edition
As the fourth part of the Dialog Art Collection, refreshingly modern interpretations of the floral ornamentation of the classic oriental carpet are created here, for which artists such as Robert Wilson, Philip Taffe, Jeff Koons, Paul Wunderlich are responsible.
Vorwerk at the Expo 2000
Vorwerk Carpets is presenting itself as a sponsor in the “Basic Needs” exhibition in the EXPO theme park in Hanover with five carpet designs developed especially and exclusively for the world exhibition, each of which was designed according to one of the five basic elements of earth, water, fire, air and space.
Implementation of the CNC cutting technology
For designers, the carpet tile as a free form opens up completely new creative leeway along with a unique spatial feel.
Introduction “RE/COVER green”
With RE/COVER green, Vorwerk is launching a collection of resilient floor coverings made from naturally renewable raw materials.
40 years of the velour classic Modena
In 1975, the luxurious carpet quality MODENA was presented to the clientele for the first time and has since conquered living spaces at home and abroad. In four decades, the velours always met the taste of the respective epoch with constantly updated colour concepts.

2000: Canteen floor for Spiegel publishing house

At the Hamburg-based Spiegel publishing house, the canteen floor features the “Kairo” carpet, with the aim to carry on the room’s interior created by the Danish designer Verner Panton. 

2005: Redesign of the Goethe Institute

For the Goethe Institute in Riga, the Berlin-based agency FT Wild developed a carpet flooring which picks up on the ten colours of Goethe’s colour theory. A touch of typography of the most beautiful German words, as provided by the Goethe Institute, lets the division between wall and floor disappear. 

Today: Always impressive.

With 3 product lines and 3 style worlds, Vorwerk offers millions of possibilities today for floor coverings in home and public spaces. The award-winning free-form tile, which was developed together with Hadi Teherani, sets new standards in custom flooring creations. The flatweave of the EXCLUSIVE 1015 carpet has convinced juries of experts and customers alike thanks to is exceptional structures and effects with recycled SD yarn. 

Our carpets are influenced by historical design research

with famous artists and designers.

With the change of society and the different way of manufacturing products, Vorwerk began an experimental phase at the end of the 1980s. Instead of historical patterns, Peter Littmann, the Managing Director of Vorwerk Teppichwerke at the time, focused solely on modern and contemporary design without compromise. For a project in 1989, he brought together nearly 50 internationally known artists, designers and architects to create designs for Vorwerk carpets. This was followed by collections with designs by masters from the art nouveau era and Bauhaus designers.

Roy Lichtenstein (1923–1997)

One of the fathers of American Pop Art. He transferred the comic strip, and thus a piece of trivial culture, into the realm of high art.

David Hockney (1937)

One of the founders of English Pop Art of the 1960s. At one time he lived in California where he captured the typical optimism of the west coast in large-format paintings.

Jean Paul Gaultier (1952)

The enfant terrible of the French fashion scene. His fashion combined carefree styles with cultural traditions. For his carpet designs, Gaultier fused the traditional worlds of the fashion atelier and the knotted carpet, and enriched it with simple decorative elements.

Robert Wilson (1941)

Director, theatre author, painter, set designer and architect. Typical for his suggestive theatre are fantastic, dream-like and associative image worlds. Wilson created two designs for the Vorwerk Flower Edition, for whose debut in Hanover in 1998 he staged the Magical Garden formed of living images.

Zaha Hadid (1950-2016)

One of the most galvanising figures of the renewing of architecture. She experienced her big breakthrough at the beginning of the 1990s. Sie was the Pritzker award winner in 2004. For the Dialogue Art Collection, Hadid created designs with architectonic, spatial structures of fantasy.

Tord Boontje (1968)

Studied in Eindhoven and London. Around the year 2000, Boontje explored floral ornament, which he applied to lamps, procelain and fabrics. He developed three-dimensional decorative elements and space-shaping fairy-tale landscapes. For Gradiant 1, the Vorwerk anniversary carpet edition, the designer broke away from his repertoire and staged an optimistic colour gradation.

„Frauen am Bauhaus“ -women at Bauhaus

Seventy years after Gertrud Arndt, Monica Bella-Broner, Kitty Fischer, Grete Reichardt and Gunta Stölzl created designs under the most difficult of conditions at Bauhaus, Vorwerk honoured their artistic achievements with the Women at Bauhaus Collection. Designs were chosen which had never been seen before.

Era of art nouveau

The major designers of the Vienna, Munich and Darmstadt art nouveau era created contemporary designs for interior spaces, floor coverings and carpets which were meant for industal production. In 1994, Vorwerk satisfied the hopes of these first modern masters and realised floor coverings in line with their designs.