IT’S A VORWERK! WHEN THE FLOOR TURNS INTO AN ART OF CRAFTSMANSHIP THANKS TO MORE THAN 130 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE.

Over 130 years ago carpets were a luxury product and marked the birth of Vorwerk. Driven by the idea of manufacturing the best floor coverings, our founding fathers brought British technology and know-how to Germany. The aim was to make carpets – an exclusive and extremely expensive product until then – accessible to everybody. A promise we made and have kept, leading to today’s superior quality, sustainable innovations and global award-winning design. The initial proof of this is our unique success story ever since 1883.

IT’S A VORWERK! WHEN IT INTEGRATES 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A FAMILY BUSINESS WITH A LONG TRADITION AND A LONG-TERM MINDSET
More than 135 years after its founding, Vorwerk is a broadly aligned international corporate group with products that set standards – from carpet to Thermomix.

IT’S A VORWERK! WHEN ITS DESIGN HISTORY WRITES 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.
Personified design
In place of neutral products, which were often seen as replaceable by scene outsiders, manifests of design came into play for the floor which were designed by well-known architects, designers and artists. The collection featured the perfectly matching name “Dialog” and was staged by Rolf Heide in Hamburg’s famous Fish Market hall.

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. 

IT’S A VORWERK! WHEN IT HAS BEEN SHAPED BY HISTORICAL DESIGN RESEARCH WITH FAMOUS ARTISTS AND ARCHITECTS.

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.