How it all began ...
In 1966, the Vorarlberg businessman Wilhelm Grabher acquired an interest in the corsetry factory Werner Blatter OHG in Lustenau. In the same year, the joint venture Blatter & Grabher OHG was founded, equipped with five covering machines and several circular knitting machines. At this time, the company employed a staff of 25 and supplied their products to local businesses.
The triumphant market success of elastic tights using LYCRA® fibre in finer yarn counts pepped up the fashion scene. In 1973, the rapidly increasing demand for covered yarns necessitated a relocation to a new building. Upon the taking-over of the entire business by Wilhelm Grabher, the company name was changed to Fein-Elast Umwindewerk GmbH with registered place of business in Lustenau/Austria.
Early sucess and modernisation
Wilhelm Grabher's and Reinhard Schneider's keen business sense ensured the growth and expansion of the company. As early as 1976, the company Fein-Elast Grabher AG based in Diepoldsau/Switzerland was founded. In the following years, further business locations in Austria and Switzerland were established and extended. Innovative technologies such as air-covered yarns and specialities, e.g. the knit-de-knit process allowing the production of effect yarns for distinctive designs, were added.
After Wilhelm Grabher's death in 1986, the company was passed on to the families Grabher and Schneider in equal shares, and is today already under the management of the third generation.
For strategic reasons a production facility - the Fein-Elast Umspinnwerk GmbH in the Thuringian town of Zeulenroda/Germany - was established within the EU in 1991. At this time, this constituted a crucial move to ensure the competitiveness of the Fein-Elast Group on the European market. In this new company, the product range was decisively extended with the installation of Hamel Elasto Twist machines and, thanks to the weaving mill, it was possible to serve yet another market sector.
In 1994, investments in the production site in Estonia were made with the aim of managing the Eastern European market more intensively and of being more customer-orientated there. Today, Fein-Elast Estonia OÜ produces mainly for the Russian market.
Another milestone in the history of the company was the construction of the spinning mill in Triebes/Germany in 1999. With the registered trademarks cotton star® and elasto star®, customers are offered finest Corespun and Sirospun qualities for particularly high textile requirements.
The Fein-Elast Holding
To strengthen the market position even further, the individual factories were combined, on July 30, 2002, in the Fein-Elast Holding AG, based in Lustenau/Austria. The objective of this restructuring was to improve the co-ordination of the different business activities, to promote the team-orientated attitude of the employees and to utilise synergetic effects within the group more efficiently.
Today, this family enterprise with a staff of 250 and an annual turnover of 38 million Euro can look proudly back on a continuous, dynamic expansion enjoying an increasing international reputation.