Merz b. Schwanen, since 1911

The roots of Merz b. Schwanen date back to 1911. Balthasar Merz started running the textile manufactory on the Swabian Alb in Germany. By 2011, Gitta & Peter Plotnicki, life- and business partners based in Berlin, re-established the brand after the descendants of the founder had shut down the production. An over 90-year-old henley of the former brand caught the couple’s eyes at a flea market in Berlin. Their passion for authentic clothing and their vision to revive the traditional way of textile production to combine it with a modern sustainable approach lead them to the Swabian Alb.

“We are continuing the story of Merz b. Schwanen by combining authentic with contemporary designs, made of sustainable fabric blends,all created with respect to the brand’s heritage.” (Gitta Plotnicki)

The headquarters are established in Berlin where Peter and Gitta Plotnicki have been living for many years. While the two develop the first collection, the distribution strategy and thus lay the groundwork for Merz b. Schwanen, Rudolf Loder tinkered persistently with his old machines in Albstadt. It took a whole year to restore the complex mechanical machines. It still is a particular challenge to find skilled people to operate these old machines. The project began to raise dust in the Swabian Alb – especially Balthasar Merz’ descendants are intrigued by the entrepreneurial vision. They offer the Plotnickis their old brand name ‘Merz b. Schwanen’

“We were thrilled. Suddenly, we held more than a century of company history in our hands. We couldn’t have wished for better support and a more effective motivation”, Peter Plotnicki said.

In January 2011, right on time for the company anniversary, Merz b. Schwanen presented its first new collection at the international fashion fair ‘Bread and Butter’ in Berlin. The idea of using authentic worker’s clothes from the 20s, 30s, and 40s as model and inspiration and blending them with a modern design was an unbelievably huge success. Gitta & Peter Plotnicki say: “We are continuing the story of Merz b. Schwanen, with modern designs and new fabric blends – always developing new styles, created with respect to the rich heritage of the brand.”


Textiles are products that symbolize closeness, character, and liveliness. All Merz b. Schwanen textiles are made in a unique and traditional way from natural materials to guarantee that authentic vintage look and feel. For the production of our quality textiles, we use varying fibres with very distinct properties. Please follow the care labels on each item and only wash on a low spin. If you have any further questions about the care of your item, please do get in touch with the team here at Stuarts.

We are specialists in producing unique fabrics on rare 100-year-old loopwheelers in Germany. Our roots are our foundation. It lets us ever evolve for the present and a good future.

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