Happy Birthday, Vlieseline!

Invisible superhero for fashion and creativity

An invisible superhero has crept into the hearts of fashion enthusiasts and creative minds. It has unimagined powers in the areas of fashion, household, health and many more: nonwovens.

From warming jacket linings to protective face masks - who would have thought that an "invisible" interlining would one day become an indispensable must-have? For example in the textile industry: Vlieseline, the Freudenberg Group's interlining range for clothing and the creative sector, gives fashion, accessories, theatre and carnival costumes as well as creative handicrafts the perfect fit, a warming property and the necessary stability. The nonwoven fabric is a real superhero that turns 75 this year: Invisible and indispensable at the same time.

How did it all begin? Due to the shortage of materials in the mid-1930s - Freudenberg was one of the largest leather manufacturers in Europe - research into substitutes for leather began. In 1936, the company expanded its portfolio to include synthetic leather with a non-woven backing material. This was developed by the young chemist Dr Carl-Ludwig Nottebohm. He later focussed intensively on the further development of the nonwovens segment. His numerous patents and ideas are the foundation for the extensive expertise with which Freudenberg continues to set standards today.

When the currency reform came and real leather was back in fashion, nonwovens seemed to have lost their place. However, the pioneers at Freudenberg had other plans, and in the 1940s they initiated the triumphal march of nonwovens.

The real fashion revolution began in the 1950s with master seamstress Charlotte von Böckmann, a small table and dresses as demonstration objects. Vlieseline conquered the fashion world and ensured that collars, lapels and pockets kept their shape perfectly - a true miracle for sewing studios.

The invisible hero took to the catwalk with the Vlieseline fashion service and trade shows, inspiring fashion designers with its stretchy interlinings. In 1957, the chemist Dr Ludwig Hartmann brought a breath of fresh air with the spunbond process and opened up new areas of application in agriculture and medicine. However, the 1970s brought challenges for the clothing industry. The year 1973 and the oil price crisis led to a low point.

Vlieseline weathered the storm thanks to innovations such as adhesive nonwovens and spot welding. In the 1980s and 1990s, the invisible superhero regained its former strength, integrated influences from the clothing industry and enriched the DIY creative range. Even Miss Germany 1990, Christiane Stöcker, became an ambassador for Vlieseline and showed how easy it is to sew with these interlinings.

Sustainability: nonwovens made from recycled PET bottles and natural materials

Vlieseline has been integrating natural materials such as merino wool and bamboo since 2006. Today, the sustainable production and processing of recycled materials are key elements of the Vlieseline philosophy. One example: In 1997, Freudenberg was one of the first companies to start recycling PET bottles for the manufacture of its products. Every day, around 7 million PET bottles pass through Freudenberg's European plants on their way to becoming nonwovens. Lined up end to end, all the bottles cover the earth 15 times. They are inspected, freed of foreign matter, washed and shredded into flakes. These are melted, extruded into fibres and processed into polyester nonwoven fabric in a multi-stage cycle.

Old advertising poster for Vlieseline

These seven zones are what a Sacco is all about...

A year later, Freudenberg made it possible to process interlinings made from 100 percent recycled fibres using power dot bonding technology (an innovative form of pinpoint bonding based on an adhesive mass that melts under pressure and heat) - both of which laid the foundations for Freudenberg's subsequent positioning as a sought-after supplier of interlinings, padding and yarns made from recycled materials.

With the slogan "Be creative with Vlieseline", the interlining fabric and superhero not only presents itself at trade fairs, but also as an influencer on social networks.  As a Youtuber and DIY blogger, Vlieseline continues to inspire creatives worldwide.

Vlieseline, the invisible hero, remains curious for more. Creative. Colourful. Here's to the next 75 years of innovation, fashion and creative collaboration. Cheers to Vlieseline!