Bielefeld in the middle of the 19th century: the industrial revolution has turned the city into a major textiles location. Imported sewing machines, mainly from the USA, are used to further process the materials. They are expensive to buy and hard to service. The two mechanics, Carl Baer and Heinrich Koch, recognise the opportunity and start the first sewing machine factory in Bielefeld.

1860. Koch & Co. sewing machine factory is founded in Bielefeld.

1861. Nikolaus Dürkopp had already designed his first sewing machine.

1865. With the success of the venture and the potential of a new open market, Carl Baer decided to start his own operation. Heinrich Koch continues trading under the name of Koch & Co. and employed two sewing machine mechanics Nikolaus Dürkopp and Carl Schmidt.

In 1867 Nikolaus Dürkopp together with Schmidt started his own company known as Dürkopp & Schmidt and starts the manufacture of sewing machines for household, trade and industry.



The sector undergoes a crisis in the 80s as a result of growing national and international competition. Dürkopp & Co, as the company is called after Schmidt's departure, is the first enterprise to start seeking new markets for the manufacture of bicycles in 1865. The new product sells very well and the company continues on its successful path.



The manufactory of Messrs. Durkopp & Co., of Bielefeld, is a very extensive concern and gives employment to upwards of 700 hands. It produces daily close on 150 machines. Hundreds of ingeniously constructed tools manufacture each separate part of the sewing machine; from the wood-work down to the very smallest spring or Borew. Everything is made in the manufactory itself and made so accurately besides that even years afterwards any part of the machine can be replaced by a piece from stock. There are four kinds of machines manufactured by Messrs. Dürkopp & Co., viz., family, shoemakers, tailors and a hand machine. The family and hand machines are provided with an elegant cover, nickel plated fly-wheel, and are prettily ornamented with mother of pearl. The trade mark is cast in all the frames and the stands of the machines are handsome in appearance. For shoemakers the patent elastic machine with upper and lower feeds is undoubtedly a good machine It will sew thick leather or fine cloth, and has a well-established reputation amongst Continental manufacturers as being a very excellent machine. Messrs. Dürkopp & Co.'s machines which are constructed on the Singer system, are provided with a patent bobbin winder that reels up the thread lay for lay just as on the bobbins in common use. By this means a great quantity of thread is reeled up, and good regular sewing ensured. The machines have automatic winders saving wear and tear and automatic thread tension by which the breaking and bending of the needle is obviated. The working portions of the machine are of fine steel and all parts are carefully finished. We have examined specimens of work performed by these machines which we find to be excellent.




Dürkopp starts producing bicycles; Koch soon does the same.









Advertisement for bicycles


Dürkopp, constantly busy trying to find new fields of business for his company and inspired by his success, starts with the manufacture of cars, trucks and other forms of motorised transport at around the end of the century.



Start of car production



Start of motor-cycle production and development of cardan bicycle




The Company reformed to become Dürkoppwerke AG



The company celebrated its 50th anniversary



Nikolaus Dürkopp died on June 25, 1918 in Bad Salzuflen



The newly named Kochs Adler discontinues bicycle production

At the end of the 1920s the world economic crisis forces Dürkoppwerke AG (the name of the company after the death of its founding father) to give up car production, which in any case had not been a great success. At the end of the Weimar Republic after development of the first conveyor system for the textiles industry, a new sales market is found in which the enterprise is still active today.



Formation of distribution subsidiary in France (today: Dürkopp France S.A.)




Car production discontinued





Development of first conveyor systems for the clothing industry



After the Second World War, Dürkoppwerke AG restricts itself to the production of industrial sewing machines and conveyor systems. 

Motor-cycle production at Dürkopp
Motor-cycle production at Dürkopp




Re-start of sewing machine, bicycle and motor-cycle and start 

of roller bearing production



Production of bicycles, motor-cycles and household sewing machines discontinued. Concentration on industrial sewing machines, roller bearings and conveyors.


Share majority acquired by FAG Kugelfischer.


Construction of roller bearing works in Künsebeck / District of Halle.


Dürkopp Nähmaschinengesellschaft mbH formed in Vienna.


Reformed into Dürkoppwerke GmbH.


Return of roller bearing division to parent company FAG Kugelfischer.


Formation of a distribution subsidiary Dürkopp (UK) Ltd. in Great Britain.


Dürkopp Systemtechnik GmbH starts the development of CNC-controlled water-jet cutting systems. Formation of Dürkopp Far East Ltd. in Hong Kong.


Dürkopp Amerika Inc., Norcross represents the company in the USA.


When the Kugelfischer group takes over the majority of shares in Kochs Adler AG, the path is levelled for a merger of the two competing factories.


Launch of the cooperative venture Moskau Bielefeld Maschinenbau (MBM) in Moscow.


Implementation of the merger decided upon in 1987 to form the company DÜRKOPP ADLER AG.


The business activities of the sector “Conveyor Technology” are hived off into the Dürkopp Fördertechnik GmbH.


Majority shareholder of Minerva, a.s., Boskovice / Czech Republic.


Acquisition of Beisler GmbH, Hösbach.


Formation of Dürkopp Adler Romania. Set-up of a parts production in Romania.

With effect from July 1, 2005, the Chinese SGSB Group Co., Ltd., Shanghai (SGSB Group) took over the majority shareholding in Dürkopp Adler AG from FAG Kugelfischer GmbH, Schweinfurt.


Acquisition of  a shareholding of 29% by Zoje Europe GmbH, subsidiary of the chinese Zoje Sewing Machine Co. Ltd.


Acquisition of  Dürkopp Fördertechnik GmbH by Knapp AG from Graz, Austria.

The Zoje Europe GmbH, subsidiary of the chinese Zoje Sewing Machine Co. Ltd., took over 29% of the shareholding of the Dürkopp Adler AG with the effect from October 28, 2012.

Today, Dürkopp Adler AG offers solutions in the field of sewing technology. The group operates with a worldwide service and distribution network of 11 subsidiaries, 2 Joint Ventures and more than 80 authorised dealers. The objective of the company is to perfect the automation of production procedures, guaranteeing at the same time a maximum degree of flexible applications.

Complete consultation and reliable service round off a product pallet that takes a top place in major segments of the world market. The pioneering spirit and creative drive of the founding fathers is an integral part of a company philosophy, and will be further used by the creative potential of the staff.