The production of textiles and clothing, at one time the cornerstone ofregional industry, has undergone massive transformation in the Niederrhein region: it has moved away from interchangeable mass production to special knowledge and technology-based products. It is only thanks to this transformation that the companies here, with their over 4,000 employees, can still fly the flag of the textiles and clothing industry today with confidence.

Take Verseidag Indutex, for example: This traditional company develops and manufactures special technical textiles for bullet-proof vests but also for architecture – whether it’s for a textile facade or a textile roof for the World Cup football stadiums in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Dimension-Polyant has found an even more specialist niche. The company produces patent-protected high-performance sailcloths in its own weaving mill and finishing facility. Hence, the sailcloths made of the high-tech material from Niederrhein region can be found again and again at the major sailing events like America’s Cup, Vendeé Globe, Sydney Hobart and at the summer Olympic Games.

Aunde went a different way. The company transformed itself from a simple cloth manufacturer to a top international supplier of the automobile industry by supplying the entire seating system and not just the materials for the vehicle covers. Aunde now has 86 plants in 25 countries, in all the places where the final vehicle assembly is carried out.

The sewing of clothing has not taken place in the Niederrhein region for a long time. Yet the fashion industry here continues to be active with well-known companies. Take van Laack, for example: the premium label for men’s shirts and women’s blouses runs its design, production and sales from the Niederrhein region. Fashion fromVan Laack can be found on retailers’ shelves on all five continents.

Other internationally active fashion companies are based in the Niederrhein region too, for example the trousers manufacturers Alberto and Gardeur, the tie brand Alpi, or Mexx, with its headquarters for German-speaking countries.

Strong links to retail are also cultivated in the Niederrhein region. In the specialist retailer centers Imotex and Euromoda in Neuss, in direct proximity to the fashion city Düsseldorf, for decades retailers have been able to view collections of well beyond 500 fashion, shoe and accessory brands in elegant showrooms.

The textiles and clothing industry can rely on extremely well-trained skilled staff. Second and third generation employees are often active in the industry. Industry-wide training in this sector stretches right back to the 19th century. Today the educational duties are mainly in the hands of the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences with its textiles, and clothing technology faculties, wich are leading faculties in Europe and attended by students from all round the world, as well as the design faculty.

The textiles sector in the Niederrhein region can look to the future of technical textiles with confidence. In fields such as medicine technology, automobile construction and architecture, a new era in the intelligent use of textile materials is just beginning.