City of Textiles
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Amongst Varaždin's numerous guilds, special places belong to the tailor, the furrier and the weavers guilds. The number of members and their influence stemmed form (sic) the fact that the dress of Varażdin at the time was modeled on that of the major European centers of fashion. Small families and their handicrafts would eventually become industrialized, and by end of the 19th Century develop into the current manufacturing industry we see today.
In 1902 work began on a cotton mill, and this culminated in the Varaždin-Tivar Textile Factory opening in 1918. This was the forerunner of what is today 'Varteks'.
In 1922, Tivar began the production of wool yarn and cloth, and by 1926 this production was expanded to include garment production. In 1948, after World War II Tivar's name was changed to 'Varteks", and under this name it grew to be the largest manufacturer and exporter of textiles in Yugoslavia. To date, 'Varteks' has produced over 100 million suits. 'Varteks' products are sold world wide and are frequently to be found on some of the world's most prestigious catwalks.
A 'Varteks' garment is constructed from 105 components that go through 300 different processes by 250 pairs of hands. For the inhabitants of Varażdin 'Varteks' is a symbol of the City and its synonym.
The peak of the textile industry in Varaždin was certainly the 1980's when there were 10 textile companies operating in the City.
Although today textile production in Varaždin has diminished, the company management are fining new ways to market their wares. Apart from the industrial scale production in the old tradition, many of Varaždin's designers continue to create cloths 'a la mode'.