Wülfing Textile Town

Living textile history hidden away in the valley

As early as the 18th century the waters of the Wupper drove the engines in spinning mills and weaving mills hidden away in the valley. Here a clothmaking factory by the name of “Johann Wülfing & Sohn” was set up and grew into a highly successful business. For 160 years it produced cloth, with every working step taking place within a single building. From the moment the raw wool was washed until the production of the finished cloth, everything was subject to strict controls.

In the 19th century a small town by the name of Dahlerau sprang up around the factory. It contained everything you could think of from workers’ houses, a factory owners’ villa, a station, a kindergarten, a post office and a general store. It even had a public bath. 

High-class material for suits were still being produced here until 1996 when the factory was forced to close because it could no longer keep pace with international competition. But for some years now the Wülfing Textile Town has received a new lease of life. Thanks to financial help from the NRW Foundation it has been transformed into an industrial monument of European status.

Many buildings have been given new uses but the overall image of the old clothmaking town has been retained to bear witness to its past importance and size. Today one section is a museum run by voluntary workers. Here visitors can find out many new things about the clothmaking industry on an authentic original site. 

The main exhibit is the steam engine – the largest in the Bergisch Land. When it’s running the 300 horse power engine you can feel the whole room vibrate. The huge machine was built in 1891 and thanks to regular overhaul it is still working today.

As well as the steam engine, many other machines, equipment and intermediate products give visitors an insight into the manufacturing processes. Thousands of cloth samples document the factory’s dependence on the twists and turns of fashion. Many other exhibits, contemporary reports and audio-visual documentation bring the everyday life and work in the factory vividly back to life. At many stopping points along the way visitors, both young and old, are invited to actively take part and experience the factory at first hand.

[Translate to English:] Adresse

Wülfing Museum
Am Graben 4-6
42477 Radevormwald

Telefon: +49 (0) 2191 / 66 69 94
+49 (0) 2191 / 66 32 19

Opening hours

April to October:
Sundays 11.00–17.00

On days when voluntary workers from the Museum Society are present:
Saturdays and Tuesdays 9.30–12.30

Group guided tours are available at any time by prior arrangement