Dörflinger & Nickow, known as D & N, evolved in 1919 from the work of Berlin based Martha Dörflinger, born Nickow, and Karl Dörflinger who began as sales representatives and developed their business into an independent wholesale company for high quality fabrics imported from England, France and Italy.
The foundations for this strong start to the business were built on the excellent working relationship between the Dörflinger couple. Martha Dörflinger, influenced by her professional education and passion for home furnishings, was the leading force in the selection of new designs and tasteful colours. Karl Dörflinger had followed an apprenticeship in the textile business, and had a business studies education, so the two could successfully handle the daily tasks of their new company.
They guided D & N through the inflation of the economic crisis during the 1930s and gradually gained a network of shops and interior decorators as clients in Germany before 1939.
In 1944, shortly before the end of World War II, the inventories had to be outsourced because of the bombing on Berlin. D & N decided to place their warehouses in the east of Germany, and so unfortunately most of the stocks were lost at the end of the war.
Karl Dörflinger’s optimism and commitment meant that in 1945, the company was able to gradually rebuild and create a collection in the D & N tradition.
In order to create a reliable business environment insofar as it was possible at this time, Karl Dörflinger formed a partnership with an expert weaver and in 1946, he set up his own weaving company in Gondelsheim. From 1947, his son Karlfriedrich began work there, and developed the company to become a respected supplier of upholstery fabrics.
Over the next few years, D & N had to deal with the increasing challenges of doing business with the West when located in Berlin, and so in 1948 the company relocated to Lindemannstreet, Düsseldorf. In 1960 the company moved within Düsseldorf to the Fürstenwall in Bilk. Three years after the move, Karl Dörflinger died unexpectedly and his son, Karlfriedrich, inherited a well-run family business. In 1967, Karlfriedrich decided to close the mill in Gondelsheim in order to completely focus on the wholesale company Dörflinger & Nickow. D & N built on its success, and in 1978 when Christian Dörflinger, the son of Karlfriedrich, entered the executive management team, the survival of the family business was secured.
n 1990, in order to expand the D&N business portfolio with wallcoverings and double width fabrics, D&N began a collaboration with dnw deco fashion, formerly the Neue Wand, which continues to thrive to this day.
To keep pace with the changing requirements of the company, in 1992 D&N moved its head office to its present location, the business park on the Schiess-Str. 64 in Düsseldorf. These premises offer D&N a storage area of around 800m².
The business started its collaboration with the Scottish company The Isle Mill in 1996, which specializes in exclusive decoration and upholstery fabrics in high quality wool. The partnership is still successful today.
In 2005, D & N took over the distribution of the English companies Sanderson and Zoffany, adding a wide range of high quality fabrics and wallpapers to its portfolio. Harlequin is now also distributed by D&N.
In 2009, after 46 years of service to the company, Karl Friedrich Dörflinger entrusted the leadership of the family business to his son Christian. His farsighted management and careful selection of fabrics allowed Karlfriedrich to hand over a healthy, internationally recognized company. He remains a partner and shareholder in the business to this day. In 2010 Christian’s son Philipp joined the company, as the fourth generation of Dörflingers, securing the future of the family business.