Our history

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80 years of Wollsdorf – a timeline

Family history

  • The Schmidt family has been producing leather for at least 5 generations.
  • 1896: Year in which Alexander Schmidt was born
  • 1896: Takeover of the two artisanal tanneries at Lederergasse in Weiz (from Leopold Zaunschirm from Wildon)
  • 1919: New commissioning of the leather factory at Gleisdorferstraße (which had previously burned to the ground). Originally, this establishment was a hydro-powered rosary turnery.
  • 1927: Tanner Alexander Schmidt, who was born in Aflenz, married the tanner’s daughter Friedericke Zaunschirm from Weiz.

Awards & certificates

In past decades, Wollsdorf has received numerous awards, which can in part be attributed to the basic environmental principles of the international leather manufacturer.

Our certificatesOur values
  • 1979: Distinction to bear the national coat of arms of Austria
  • 1992: Winner of the Environment Oscar
  • 1993: Certification according to ISO 9001 as the 1st tannery in Europe
  • 1993: 3rd place at the Austrian Waste Prevention Prize
  • 1997: Certification according to ISO 14001 as the 1st tannery in Europe
  • 2000: Certification according to ISO/TS 16949 as the 1st tannery in the world
  • 2007: Certification according to EN 9100 as the 1st tannery in the world
  • 2010: Certification according to BS OHSAS 18001
  • 2011: Certification with the “Blue Angel” eco-label
  • 2012: Certification according to ECO2L – Energy Controlled Leather
  • 2012: Waterland Styria Prize
  • 2013: Certification according to ISO 9001 and ISO/TS 16949 in China
  • 2014: Global Winner – Tannery of the Year Award 2014
  • 2015: Certification according to ISO 9001 and IATF 16949 in Croatia
  • 2019: Certification according to ISO 9001 in Mexico
  • 2020: Certification according to IATF 16949 in Mexico

Development of products & technologies

While Wollsdorf’s initial focus was on furniture leather, the professional leather manufacturer now also covers the leather needs of the automotive and aviation industry. Wollsdorf is also a pioneer with respect to the production of sustainable and environmentally compatible leather. An overview of the various milestones in the developmental history of the international leather supplier is provided in the following:

  • 1970: Start of furniture leather production
  • 1990: Start of automotive leather production
  • 1995: Start of steering wheel and aviation leather production
  • 2002: Introduction of a worldwide new technology for seamless leather furnishings for airbag covers
  • 2007: Introduction of alternatively tanned leather (FOC) for furniture
  • 2009: Conversion to 100% chrome-free tanning
  • 2010: Introduction of a worldwide new technology for sewage sludge drainage for tanneries and industry
  • 2010: Introduction of lightweight leather for the aviation sector
  • 2013: 100% conversion to renewable energies (wind, hydro, solar)
  • 2015: Conversion of the first drying facility from steam to infrared
  • 2016: Wollsdorf Leather is the first CO2-neutral tannery in Austria.
  • 2019: Introduction of the sustainable tanning method BrighTan (zeolite tanning)
Industry solutionsOur values

Global Footprint

Distribution of our sites

  • 1936: Founding of “Weizer Gerberei Schmidt & Co” by Alexander Schmidt
  • 1976: Start of construction of the most advanced leather factory in Europe at the Wollsdorf site
  • 1977: Start of production in Wollsdorf
  • 1991: Founding of Wollsdorf Leather Australia with warehouse and sales office
  • 1994: Founding of Wollsdorf Leather USA with branch establishment in High Point
  • 2005: Takeover of the site in Wilhelmsburg for the production of furniture leather
  • 2009: Closing of the site in Wilhelmsburg
  • 2010: Restructuring of the site in Australia
  • 2010: Opening of the sales office in Hong Kong
  • 2011: Opening of the site in Fuzhou (China) for the production of cut and sewn parts
  • 2015: Closing of the cutting plant in Weiz
  • 2015: Opening of the logistics centre and factory outlet at the Flöcking site
  • 2015: Opening of the site in Varaždin (Croatia) for the production of cut and sewn parts
  • 2018: Move and expansion of the site in High Point (USA)
  • 2018: Opening of the sales office in Montevideo (Uruguay)
  • 2019: Opening of the site in León (Mexico) – leather production and cutting plant
Our locations

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Dive into the Wollsdorf news world and find out all the latest news from the international leather manufacturer.

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