HISTORY OF THE WERNLI GROUP
Company founded in Aarau
In the wake of the World War I, founder Jakob Wernli, like many other people, became unemployed. And so, at the age of 48, he decided to start his own business and employ the knowledge he had gained in the textile industry. He acquired a wooden tape loom, set it up in a living room in Aarau, Switzerland and used it to produce the first Wernli bandages.
Relocation to Rothrist
In 1941, Jakob Wernli moved all his looms into the old cotton mill in Rothrist, Gländ. By then, the factory had been empty for some time. The building was run-down, the turbine for hydroelectric power was worn out, and the walls were in need of renovation. Meanwhile, the small ribbon weaving mill has long since become a highly modern company that sells its products in all possible variations all over the world.
Successful product development
Wernli AG became known primarily for its colored dressings, which were presented for the first time at a medical trade fair in Zurich in 1978 and are now used worldwide. Since then, Wernli AG has developed very successfully. The fundamental reason for this has been the high quality of the products and many innovations. In addition to the colored dressings, Wernli AG is known for its cohesive and adhesive elasticated bandages. These products, together with the compression bandages, are the main product groups.
Takeover by Felix Schönle
Until 2009, the company was managed by Bernhard Wernli, the third generation of the family. Within the Wernli family, a succession was not possible and Bernhard Wernli decided to sell his company to Felix Schönle. Since then, the company has been managed by the new owners.
Launch of the «Wero Swiss» brand
Since 2010, the Wernli AG products have been sold not only as a private label but also very successfully under the company's own brand Wero Swiss®.
Founding of subsidiary WeroClip AG
In autumn 2012, the subsidiary, WeroClip AG, was founded. It took over five production lines from the company Johann Schwab Metallwarenfabrik GmbH in Hersbruck, Germany for the production of bandage clips.
Partnership with BLN Qualitex AG
In July 2015, Wernli AG entered into a partnership with BLN Qualitex AG. At the same time, BLN Qualitex AG took over the production of technical textile trimming ribbons from Kyburz & Co., Erlinsbach. All BLN Qualitex AG products are manufactured by Wernli AG and BLN Qualitex AG focuses on marketing its products.
Founding of Wero Swiss
In 2015, sales activities overseas were intensified with the founding of the subsidiary Wero Swiss Americas, Inc. in Jupiter FL, USA. The focus is on servicing the North and Latin American markets.
Founding of Wero Swiss Med Kft.
In 2017, a new production site was opened in eastern Hungary under the company name Wero Swiss Med Kft. Since its foundation, the production facility in Hajdúböszörmény has been continuously expanded every year, so that since 2021 the largest part of the Wernli Group’s dressing material production is now located in Hungary.
Establishment of own mask production
Driven by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, mask production with an extensive machinery was set up in Switzerland within a few months. Since then, the Wernli Group has been manufacturing Type II surgical face masks using exclusively European raw materials. At peak times, the company employed over 300 people and was thus able to contribute to Switzerland’s security of supply.