Imagination, optimism, a feel for technology and a belief in success were the start-up assets as the company was founded in 1930 by master interior furnisher Wilhelm Hachtel and his partner master joiner Adolf Stäbler.
While one of their first ideas was admittedly a commercial flop, it was nevertheless the initial spark for a brand name that later evolved into a generic term.
The product was called a ‘Mechanischer Hachtel Zug’ (Mechanical Hachtel Curtain Draw), an innovation that was way ahead of its time. Far too progressive at its launch, it is only now that one of this decorative item’s features – when operated, the curtain lowered itself to the ground – has gained market acceptance. At that time, it was a form of decoration abhorrent to German punctiliousness.
Nevertheless, the MHZ brand had been born.
One part of the ‘Mechanischer Hachtel Zug’ did, however, conquer the market and thus laid the commercial foundations for numerous highly marketable, patented and successful products. The part concerned was a curtain rail with a wooden inner channel.
Even in the early years, the company’s founders quickly recognised the importance of providing good service and sought to get close to their customers, home furnishing retailers and decorating businesses. MHZ extended its area of activity systematically to different regions of Germany and by the outbreak of the Second World War MHZ products were already sought-after brand-name items.
Production had to be discontinued until the end of the war. In March 1944 the present-day main plant in Musberg near Stuttgart was completely destroyed.
After the War, the company began to rebuild itself with the same flair as when it was originally founded. Apart from an enlarged product range, MHZ developed into a service provider, into a haulage company and into a technical centre for the decoration industry. At the end of the fifties, Wilhelm Hachtel invented the plastic curtain track and achieved what numerous specialists at major chemical companies had failed to accomplish: the combination of plastic and wood in one single product – the ‘MHZ Rail’. With this success MHZ developed into one of the leading suppliers of state-of-the-art decoration elements.
The production of MHZ curtain rails
In 1958, the company moved into a modern production plant for plastics processing, injection moulding and woodworking, including its own tool shop and development department, in Niederstetten, North Württemberg. In parallel, a strong expansion phase started, extending beyond Germany. Subsidiaries were founded in France, Austria and Switzerland. The increasing demands of the market triggered an inconceivable diversification phase.
From the classic offering of traditional window decorations there emerged the modern MHZ, with high-tech products for decorative shade from the sun, plus screening and blind systems for domestic, commercial and industrial use. Numerous awards for design and innovation were won and hundreds of patents applied for. Apart from wood and plastics, the most diverse metals and textiles are now processed and used.
Today MHZ is an internationally successful business with a range of products that includes decorative items, internal sunshade and all possible types of exterior sun protection systems. The product range consists of curtain rails, curtain rods, roller blinds, Roman blinds, Venetian blinds, panel blinds, pleated blinds and fly screens and extends as far as awnings, shading systems and complete multi-functional systems.