In 1921, the cornerstone was laid in Reutlingen/Germany, with the foundation of the German Research Institute for the Textile Industry for the German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research Denkendorf (DITF), Denkendorf/Germany, which today is the largest textile research center in Europe.
100 year ago, the new institution quickly met its goal of supporting the domestic industry with independent research. With the technical center as a teaching institute, the testing office as a service provider and the research institute as a source of ideas, the Reutlingen institute made a significant contribution to the economic success of the German textile industry in the following decades. Over the years, further locations were established in Stuttgart/Germany, and Denkendorf, which merged in Denkendorf in 1979 to become the German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research.
Today, the DITF conduct research on the entire textile value chain, including corporate processes and business models. The DITF work on an interdisciplinary basis: chemists, biologists, mechanical engineers, process engineers, cyberneticists, computer scientists and economists collaborate in researching all textile topics of the future. They are involved in regional, national and international networks. Today, the DITF are the innovation engine of the German economy, especially for technical textiles and medical textiles.
With its innovations, the DITF primarily support small and medium-sized enterprises that do not have their own research department. Specialized events, often in cooperation with other institutes, ensure knowledge transfer to various industries. Service offerings such as a wide range of textile testing services, prototype construction and a pilot factory complement the DITF's range of services. In 2001, the subsidiary ITV Denkendorf Produktservice GmbH (ITVP) is founded, which successfully manufactures medical precursors for industrial partners.
For research on an industrial scale, the DITF is continuously expanding its pilot plants. In 2014, for example, the High-Performance Fiber Center (HPFC) was built, one of the world's most modern facilities for the development of high-performance fibers.