Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The LODEN Overcoat.

To produce Loden fabric, strong yarns are woven loosely into cloth which then undergoes a lengthy process of shrinking, eventually acquiring the texture of felt and becoming quite dense. It is then brushed with a fuller's teasel and the nap is clipped, a process which is repeated a number of times until the fabric provides good warmth for the weight, and is relatively supple, windproof and extremely durable.

Johann Georg Frey started his Munich weaving business in 1842 and soon invented loden, a boiled-wool textile similar to felt. Thirty-six years later, Frey Jr improved on his father’s invention by developing napped loden, a water-resistant version of the original. The thick, warm fabric and the classic coats traditionally made from it have become the de-facto costume for alpine men wanting to protect themselves from the region’s weather, and Loden Frey is still the place to get them.

Maffeistrasse 7
80333 Munich

Lodenfrey was founded in 1842 by Johann Georg Frey, a young skilled weaver. Frey, at the age of 21, moved to Munich and purchased his first weaving license for 250 gulden, a "Webergerechtsame."

Frey was awarded the first prize at the Vienna trade exhibition for the production of simple and smooth woolen clothes on 10 looms. Frey continued to adapt his methods of production to the needs of the time and thus gained mass recognition.

In 1855 Frey received a gold medal for the world's first water-repellent loden cloth from the World Exhibition in Paris.

In 1862 plans were made for a mechanical spinning mill for sheep wool in a cloth and woolen factory at "Dianabad," in the English Garden of Munich. The location and availability of water-power provided everything needed for the production of loden, the washed and fulled loden left out to dry in the open.

In 1870 the war against France began and a recession was overcome with the help of the Bavarian royal court.
Details were arranged for a new factory in Munich. The popularity of loden cloth has grown internationally with the nobility in Germany and Austria, especially emperor Franz Joseph I (1830-1916), leading the trend. In royal courts, loden cloth is now worn during hunting parties and thus making it court acceptable.

In 1872, the founder's son, Johann Baptist Frey, develops the first truly water-repellent loden cloth called the "napped loden," a cloth that is raised to form a nap and is impregnated. This marks the birth of the loden coat that will ultimately become a classic as it is still to this day.

In 1928 Georg Frey member of the third generation, joins the family enterprise. This same year marks the beginning construction of the "Zugspitzbahn," a rack-railroad leading to Germany's highest mountain, the "Zugspitze." The rack-railroad workers wear the loden coats of Lodenfrey to protect themselves against the rough climate. The construction of Lodenfrey's own clothing factory enables the mass production of ready-to-wear loden coats that are later supplied to retailers. Due to an expansive business policy, the Lodenfrey's turnover increases despite an economic crisis on the rise in the early thirties.

The Lodenfrey history during the Nazi years 1933 till 1945 was researched by a professional team of historians.

Lodenfrey conquers the market across the world from 1948 onwards. Lodenfrey opens a branch in the United States and shortly afterwards opens another branch in France. During the fifties, Lodenfrey is exporting respectively to more than 40 countries.

In 1950 Herbert Frey and in 1959 Bernhard Frey enter in the fourth generation into the company. In 1956, a Lodenfrey branch is opened in Bad Ischl in Austria.

In 1964 the construction work begins for a large-scale factory in Bad Ischl. Shortly afterwards, the Austrian branch is one of the most advanced operations of its kind in the world.

Lodenfrey receives the "Comitè du Bon Goût Français" cup, the coveted Oscar of the fashion world in 1968.

In 1977 Lodenfrey opens a factory in Malta.
The company is awarded the City of Munich Fashion Prize in 1979.

Lodenfrey makes a fashion statement in 1983 with its new idea of casual clothes and transforms a tradition into a fashion.

The years between 1991 and 1995 mark a change of generations for the Lodenfrey Company. Dr. Sabine Frey (1991) and Dr. Peter Frey (1995), the fifth generation, take over management and ownership of the company.

In 1995 the new management introduces "Country Frey," a trendy lifestyles collection. Lodenfrey is ready at the turn of the century with the combination of classic functionality and tradition with modern trends.

In 1996 Lodenfrey takes over the traditional Bavarian company "Jakob Zeiler" in Geisenhausen. Zeiler is the ideal supplement to Lodenfrey's traditional loden collection with specialization in the production of high quality leather clothing in a casual, yet traditional dress style.

Lodenfrey built a new developing and logistics centre in Garching near Munich in the year1998.

2003 marks the creation of "Poldi," an exclusive collection created jointly with H.R.H. Prince Leopold of Bavaria.

2005 Lodenfrey is getting into the area of wearable electronics. They also designed "Multimedia Tracht". Now it becomes possible to hear music and to telephone with a Lederhose.

Lodenfrey receives an innovation voucher for the development of a heated loden coat from the Free State of Bavaria in 2010.

In 2011 the sledge legend and Olympic champion "Schorsch Hackl" was the inspiration for a new collection, consisting of loden cloth and knitted jackets.

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