80 years of Wollsdorf -
A chronicle

Brief 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 two manual tanneries in the Lederergasse in Weiz (by Leopold Zaunschirm from Wildon)
  • 1919: Re-commissioning of the leather factory in Gleisdorferstraße (which previously burnt down to the foundation walls). The company had originally been a water-powered rosary turnery.
  • 1927: Tanner Alexander Schmidt, who was born in Aflenz, marries Friedericke Zaunschirm from Weiz, the daughter of a tanner.

Awards & certificates

  • 1979: Distinction for displaying the national coat of arms
  • 1992: Reception of the Environment Oskar
  • 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: Reception of the eco label “Blue Angel”
  • 2012: Reception of the ECO2L – Energy Controlled Leather
  • 2012: Reception of the Waterland Styria Prize
  • 2013: Certification according to ISO 9001 and ISO/TS 16949 in China
  • 2014: Global Winner – Tannery of the Year Award 2014

Development of products & technologies

  • 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 producing seamless leather for airbag covers
  • 2007: Introduction of alternatively tanned leather (FOC) for furniture leather
  • 2009: Conversion to 100 % chromefree tanning
  • 2010: Introduction of a worldwide new sewage sludge drainage technology in tanneries and industries
  • 2010: Introduction of light leather for the aviation sector
  • 2013: 100% conversion of the entire energy consumption
    to purely natural resources (wind and water)
  • 2015: Conversion of the first drying facility from steam
    to infrared
  • 2016: Wollsdorf Leather is the first CO2-neutral tannery
    in Austria

Distribution of locations

  • 1936: Founding of “Weizer Gerberei Schmidt & Co” by Alexander Schmidt
  • 1976: Construction begin of Europe’s most modern leather factory at the Wollsdorf location
  • 1977: Production begin in Wollsdorf
  • 1991: Founding of Wollsdorf Leather Australia with warehouse and distribution office
  • 1994: Founding of Wollsdorf Leather USA with branch establishment in High Point
  • 2005: Takeover of the location in Wilhelmsburg for the production of furniture leather
  • 2009: Closing of the location in Wilhelmsburg
  • 2010: Restructuring of the location in Australia
  • 2010: Opening of the sales office in Hong Kong
  • 2011: Opening of the location in Fuzhou (China) for the production of sewn and cut parts
  • 2015: Closing of the cutting plant in Weiz
  • 2015: Opening of the logistics centre and factory outlet at the Flöcking location
  • 2015: Opening of the location in Varaždin (Croatia) for the production of sewn and cut parts