A Brief History of Wolford

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Walter Palmers and Reinhold Wolf, founded Wolford in Bregenz, a decade or so after nylon stockings had made their first appearance. Nylon stockings were in great demand at the time, and at first Wolford simply produced hosiery to distribute and fulfil agreements with a variety of companies.

Frequently at the forefront of hosiery developments, Wolford has always blended technological developments with innovation and an extensive quality control system. In the beginning Wolford simply adapted its knitting machines to produce a higher quality standard, which often proved difficult to replicate or copy.

1954 saw the Wolford premiere of Perlons, a seamless stocking. Produced on on newly-acquired knitting machine using perlon yarn, it was this line and the need for good shape stability that sparked Wolford's drive to research and develop new knits and yarns.

During the mid-sixties Wolford established a relationship with Dupont producing new yarns exclusively for Wolford.

In 1969 both companies partnered to produce a new yarn called Cantrece, culminating in the launch of 'Cantrece from Wolford', tights with high elasticity. The new yarn also features strongly in the "Perfection" collection of hosiery launched in 1971. The testing of new textiles and yarns still continued, and produced Touchlon, a synthetic textile similar to silk. In 1975 Wolford released 'Luxor', the first ladder-proof tights, using a patented process that welds the yarn.

During the eighties, Wolford strove to improve the silky texture of its hosiery, launching "Satin Touch" and "Opaque de Luxe". These blended Lycra into the knit and gave a satin sheen and silky lustre to their new lines. In 1983 Wolford partnered with Chantal Thomas to exclusively produce 'Legs in Lace', this highly-successful strategy of producing exclusive ranges for the best designer names in the lingerie market continued with exclusive partnerships such as La Perla, and many more.

It was in the eighties also that Wolford introduced its first range of bodies. Inspired by a range of leg wear made of fine delicate lace, lace bodies made their debut, backed by Wolford's expertise in hosiery.

In 1988, Wolford was floated on the stock market, and the company soon began to develop its branded image. They pursue a luxury brand strategy, which makes stringent demands on its international partners presentation and customer service by trained personnel, as it had always done with its product quality from the beginning.

The brand quickly established a reputation for select hosiery and body-wear, and extended its line to include swimwear. 'Bodies Without Side Seams' was launched, followed by 'Swimbodies', a complete seam-free bodysuit for women of all shapes and sizes offering an ideal body hugging fit.

Renowned for its dedication to quality, Wolford freely accepted the exciting impact that computer technology had on hosiery design and manufacture, and capitalised on it opportunities. Its advanced computer system generated an extensive number of patterns and together with new yarns and high-tech knitting machines, created exquisite items of intimate apparel of the highest quality.

By the 1990's, Wolford's had separated its hosiery and bodywear into two distinct fashion divisions and offered four new seasonal lines every year. Its prioritisation of brand development results in 1991, with the finalisation of contracts with a select group of partners, who will have an discernable impact on the shaping the Wolford culture.

By establishing itself as a leading manufacturer in the global luxury market, its products were allied with the best international fashion designers of the time.

In tandem, its imaginative designer team attended all the seasonal fashion shows, predicting trends and seasonal colours, and subsequently lead to Wolford products being chosen to compliment the collections of such designers as Alexander MacQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, Coco Chanel and Vivienne Westwood to name but a very few.

In 1999 Wolford produced their first lingerie range to compliment their other product groups and styled in a purist manner.

As the nineties ended, the Wolford brand appeared independently in many exclusive retail outlets across the globe. Its strict policy of inclusion ensured the brand kept and continued its reputation and synonymy with beauty, quality and modernity into the new century.
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