GERRIETS

Gerriets - your Partner for over 60 Years
 
Gerriets was established in Freiburg, Germany in 1946 as the city's first textile wholesaler. Company founder Hans Gerriets soon became one of the leaders of the postwar reconstruction of Freiburg's theaters, and before long he turned the focus of the business to fabrics and textiles specifically for theater and stage purposes. 
 
In the mid-1950s, Hans was joined by his son, Walter, and together they envisioned the future of the family business as a major drapery house and theatrical textile supplier. Gerriets pioneered the development of flame retardant textiles, which were in great demand as theater and opera house restoration and reconstruction continued across Europe. Before long, the company opened its own sewing and drapery studio to serve the ever-expanding market for custom-sewn, flame retardant soft goods. 
 
The young enterprise first emerged as an industry leader when Walter created an organized portfolio of textiles for presentation to clients. The Gerriets portfolio was the first of its kind, and it revolutionized the theatrical textile business by introducing scenographers to a wider world of fabric choices, far beyond the limited range previously available.
 
 Necessity once again inspired innovation in the 1960s. Now with Walter at the helm, Gerriets produced a huge projection cyclorama for the Paris Opera that set a new standard throughout the industry - the term "opera screen" is still synonymous with large-scale front-and-rear-projection screens. With the introduction of this groundbreaking product, Gerriets created not only its signature OPERA® line, but also the modern projection screen market. The company soon established one of the first projection screen welding shops in Europe.
 
 In the 1980s Gerriets developed breakthrough technology for weaving wide-width cotton muslin. Designing and constructing its own loom especially for this purpose, the company was the first to produce seamless muslin up to 10 meters wide. Much to the delight of directors and scenic designers in theater, film, television, this innovation fulfilled a perennial demand for cycloramas, backdrops, and other expansive scenic elements unmarred by seams.
 
Over the years, as the range and volume of Gerriets' business has grown, company facilities have relocated and expanded. In 1970, administrative headquarters moved from Freiburg to newly constructed office, workshop, and warehouse space in nearby Umkirch. A new administration wing was added to the Umkirch building in 1990. Then, in 1992, Gerriets constructed a state-of-the-art manufacturing complex in Volgelsheim, France, approximately 12 miles (20 km) from company headquarters. These facilities comprise over 80,000 square feet (7,500 square meters) of workshop space for sewing, high-frequency welding, and metal fabrication. Gerriets thus greatly increased production capability and gained the extensive space needed for ongoing development and prototyping of new technology and equipment. Most recently, in 2007 and 2008, the company reconfigured operations, centralizing all administration, sales, and design at an expanded Umkirch campus. Existing buildings were completely renovated to house corporate offices and a new 38,000-square-foot logistics center was constructed. 
 
Gerriets‘ first foreign subsidiary was established in the United States: Gerriets International (GI) opened in Allentown, New Jersey in 1980, and relocated to a new, custom-built facility in Ewing, New Jersey in 2007. Gerriets Great Britain (GGB) opened in London in 1990. In recent years, additional offices have been established in various locations around the world, so that today Gerriets is also represented in Austria, France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Slovenia, Korea, Japan, Israel, South Africa, Brazil, and the Netherlands.
 
 Since 2003, Hannes Gerriets (grandson of Hans) and Bernd Baumeister have renewed the company‘s guiding vision, diversified its product line, and raised its international profile. What began as a small shop has evolved into a worldwide company with more than 200 employees and subsidiaries in 15 countries. Operating on five continents, Gerriets today is a global leader in stage machinery, textiles, and soft goods for a varied clientele - from performing arts, television, and film to architecture and design, and from expos and events to cruise ships and churches.

+49 (0) 7665 960-0 | Telefax: +49 (0) 7665 960-125