The History of EDELRID

Over 150 years of alpine expertise

EDELRID was founded by Julius EDELmann and Carl RIDder in 1863. At first, the company made braids and cords. Julius Edelmann was a salesman and mountaineer, Carl Ridder a technician, who specialised in braiding machines. The faces might have changed over the years but EDELRID remains an innovative and creative company to this day. In 1953 EDELRID invented the kernmantel rope and revolutionised the world of climbing. Materials and production techniques were constantly improved and then 11 years later, EDELRID produced a rope capable of withstanding multiple falls – the forerunner of the modern dynamic climbing rope. Climbing has never looked back since.

Geschichte von EDELRID
Fig.1: The EDELRID Kernmantel Rope - "A Pioneering Achievement"

Four specialist divisions

EDELRID specializes in four sectors: Sports, Safety, Adventure Parks and Industry. The four EDELRID divisions originate from the company’s core competences in textile braiding and processing (i.e. weaving, braiding, stitching and textile finishing). As a manufacturer of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), EDELRID’s puts safety and quality first during both development and production.

Geschichte von EDELRID
Fig.2: Innovative and sustainable products since over 150 years

Innovative and sustainable products

EDELRID now produces millions of meters of climbing rope every year and is proud to be able to say that every single centimetre is bluesign® certified. EDELRID was the first rope manufacturer in the world to ensure that all its ropes fulfil the stringent bluesign® standard. This set new industry benchmarks for innovation and sustainability. But EDELRID has always stood for so much more than just outstanding ropes.

History of EDELRID Logos
Fig.3: Evolution of the EDELRID logo throughout the years

Company milestones

  • 1863: Julius EDELmann and Carl RIDder found EDELRID. Julius Edelmann was a salesman and mountaineer, Carl Ridder a technician, who specialised in braiding machines. The company starts manufacturing braids and cords.

  • 1880: EDELRID presents its first braided fishing lines in Berlin.

  • Until 1941: Three different types of construction are in use: hawser-laid ropes – mainly made of Italian hemp, spiral braided Lützner ropes and spiral-braided ropes made of pure silk. The first nylon ropes are then developed in the United States and France.

  • 1953: The kernmantel rope is invented. EDELRID introduces the first kernmantel rope and revolutionises fall prevention when climbing. Hemp climbing ropes and rope breakage soon become a thing of the past.

  • 1964: EDELRID develops the dynamic rope, the first rope capable of withstanding multiple falls. It becomes the forerunner of the modern dynamic climbing rope.

  • 1965: EDELRID launches the first climbing harness onto the market – a chest harness – and then develops the first seat harness parallel to the competition. This paves the way for the revolution in climbing standards in the 1970s. Climbing grades soar as a result.

  • 1973: Quickdraws: EDELRID continues to blaze trails. Claus Benk, the owner of EDELRID at the time, launches the first stitched quickdraw.

  • 1977: EDELRID’s twin rope technique is accepted and adopted as standard climbing practise.

  • 1994: Always ready to innovate, EDELRID recognises the arrival of canyoning as an adventure sport and pioneers the floating rope.

  • 1996: EDELRID introduces a rope designed specifically to cope with the demands of indoor climbing walls.

  • 2000: The EDELRID development team remain ahead of the field with the 9.8 mm Dynalon rope – the thinnest diameter single rope available at this point.

  • 2006: EDELRID becomes part of the VAUDE group.

  • 2009: EDELRID is the first rope manufacturer in the world to ensure that all its ropes fulfil the stringent bluesign®environmental standard. The whole manufacturing process is certified, from material selection, to production and sales.

  • 2007: EDELRID launches the Madillo – the first ever folding climbing helmet

  • 2010: For high ropes courses EDELRID releases the Smart Belay, an intelligent self-protection system with interactive carabiners for increased safety when self-belaying.

  • 2010: EDELRID receives the EMAS / DIN ISO 14001 certification for environmental responsibility.

  • 2013: 150 Years’ Rope Making Experience. EDELRID celebrates its 150th anniversary with a special 150 years collection.

History of EDELRID
Fig.4: EDELRID - "Successful on the mountains in this world"

Key Facts and Numbers

  • Number of employees: over 150

  • Management: Albrecht von Dewitz

  • Executive Board: Markus Wanner (CFO), Carsten von Birckhahn (Brand Manager)

  • Divisions: Sports, Safety, Adventure Parks, Industry

  • Brands: Fritschi

  • EDELRID is part of the Vaude Group.

  • Made in Germany. A large proportion of EDELRID’s production – 60% of real net output – takes place in Germany.