from 1869 to 1932

Claes & Co. GmbH

from 1932 to 1990

Claes Sewing Machines GmbH

from 1990 to 1994

Cl Maschinenbau GmbH

from 1990 to today


Claes & Flentje, Waidstraße, Mühlhausen, Thüringen

Claes & Flentje was founded in August 18, 1869 by Franz Theodor Flentje and Ernst Bernhard Claes. The two founders manufactured sewing machines using the Wheeler & Wilson system. A little later they started manufacturing knitting machines.

Since 1889 bicycles of the "Pfeil" brand have been produced.

At the beginning of the 20th century also with an auxiliary engine.

Around 1900 the company had more than 1.000 employees.

In 1926 the company stopped production of household sewing machine.

In 1932 bankruptcy of the company.

In April 1933 the company was reorganized under the name Claes & Co. GmbH. The company made sewing and knitting machines again.

In 1937 limited partnership.

In 1961 the production of knitting machines was stopped.

In 1972 the company was nationalized and renamed:

Spezialnähmaschinen-Werk Mühlhausen

It belonged to the Kombinat Textima Karl-Marx-Stadt. The attempt to re-privatize the old owners since 1991 failed in 1994.

In 1990 Claes Sewing Machines GmbH

In 1994 the company was again bankrupt.

Cl Maschinenbau GmbH was founded on December 20, 1994. From the bankruptcy estate of Claes SM GmbH, 3 former employees bought machines, licenses, concessions and property rights as well as the Claes trademark. The company headquarters were relocated in 1996.

December 20, 1994

CI Maschinenbau GmbH is founded, with parts of the production range and manufacturing equipment taken over from Claes GmbH. The company manufactures shoe repair sewing machines and linking machines, and makes parts and components for customers on a job contract basis.


The company relocates from Mühlhausen to a modern building at Weinbergen, OT Grabe, Zum Birntal, in the vicinity of Mühlhausen.


The company has 35 employees. Its main products are:

- Assemblies and components used in warehousing equipment

- Assemblies used in compressed-air engineering

- Sewing machines for shoe repair applications

- Linking machines

- Parts and components used in general mechanical engineering

As of 2010

Approx. 40 employees. State-of-the-art manufacturing for the mechanical engineering sector. Production of shoe repair (patching) machines.


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