Polish Porcelain Factories ‘Ćmielów’ and ‘Chodzież’

Polskie Fabryki Porcelany (Polish Porcelain Factories) ‘Ćmielów’ and ‘Chodzież’ S.A. are the largest thin-walled porcelain factories in Europe. The company was established by merging two companies – Porcelain Works ‘’Ćmielów’ Sp. z o.o. and ‘Chodzież’ S.A. It is a combination of a rich history and unique design, drawn from the two oldest porcelain factories. Polish Porcelain Factories ‘Ćmielów’ and ‘Chodzież S.A. create unique items, pay attention to the smallest detail and emphasize the craftsmanship and the adornment. Collections ‘Ćmielów’ return to the roots by reproducing the oldest, unique, traditional tableware and by showing it in a new exclusive version.

Polish Porcelain Factories are the owner of three brands: ‘Ćmielów’, ‘Chodzież’ and ‘Ćmielów Design Studio’. Classic and traditional ‘Ćmielów’, is famous for its historical collections, which are sold to monarchs and heads of state around the world. The elegant and functional ‘Chodzież’ and a brand new ‘Ćmielów Design Studio’ set a line of modern porcelain. All three brands offer the highest standards of quality, while Ćmielów Design Studio implies a new, creative approach to porcelain and draws from the experience and potential of talented designers from around the world.

The origins of Ćmielów factory date back to 1790, when a local potter Wojtas founded in Ćmielów manufactory producing crocks and earthenware. In 1838 the factory began the production of porcelain. Such eminent designers as Wincent Potacki and Bogdan Wendorf (the author of the famous Globe) were invited to cooperation. The current catalogue of ‘Ćmielów’ products creates several stylings, divided by a series of designs. Classic line is represented by Bolero, Lvov, Pułaski, Feston, Rococo and Vega. Design line is represented by Quebec, Akcent, Happa, Yvonne. While Connoisseur line is represented by services: Empire, Płaski and Kula, the real diamonds in the Polish output of porcelain goods. In addition, the company offers porcelain figurines and accessories.

The origins of Chodzież factory date back to 1852, when two traders Hermann Müller and Ludwig Schnorr bought one of the existing buildings. Initially, the factory produced earthenware dishes. In 1896 the factory began to produce porcelain. The current catalogue of ‘Chodzież’ products creates several stylings. They were all designed by designers from the factory Centre of Design, which is as old as ‘Chodzież’. The offer includes dishes divided into design series. Classic style is represented by services: Iwona, Astra, Berni, Romantica, Kamelia, Laura, Rita, and Venus. Modern style is represented by: Koliber, Kropla, Point, and Twister. Avant-garde style is represented by: Future, Kalla, and Noa.

Świdnicki Ośrodek Przemysłu Meblarskiego (Świdnica Centre of Furniture Industry)

The origins of the centre date back to 1945. At the beginning of its existence the factory produced school desks, cots, desks, interior shop fittings and housing for the radio industry.

The company developed and frequently changed its name. The most famous in the history is Świdnickie Fabryki Mebli (Świdnica Furniture Factories) since 1952 and Dolnośląskie Fabryki Mebli (Lower Silesia Furniture Factories) since 1975. In the mid-70s the company began the cooperation with a Swedish company IKEA and it had a significant impact on the future of the company. In 1991 Lower Silesia Furniture Factory was divided and as a result, the factories in Świdnica and in Srebrna Góra became PPUH ‘DOLMEB’. Due to a difficult financial situation of the company in 1994 Compulsory Administration was established, which lasted until 2002. That year the company was also privatized. Since then it exists as Dolmeb sp. z o.o. (private limited company).

The most popular item produced in this factory is a chair by J. Chierowski type 366.

Gościcin Furniture Factory

The Gościcin Chair Factory was established in 1899 under the leadership of the president von Gossler. It is the biggest industrial plant in the Wejherowo district. Over the years the company name and management were changed several times.

It reached its full production capacity in 1902. The factory produced chairs, armchairs, kitchens, dining rooms, cabinets, sofas, office furniture, tables, cabinets, school desks and coffins. During the war, the production was switched to the military needs.

In 1969 the company was producing a lot for the export to the USA, Sweden, RFN, Holland, England, France, Italy, and Canada. During this period of time they received some spectacular furniture orders for: State Council in Warsaw, for ship m / s Stefan Batory, entertainment halls in Katowice and Poznań, sanatorium Leśnik-Drzewiarz in Krynica and for parliamentary halls.

In 1998, the factory was given the title of THE LEADER OF QUALITY GOODS AND SERVICES, and in 1999 it won a gold medal at the Furniture Fair ’98 and Furniture Fair ‘99 in Poznań. Nowadays, the company exists under the name KLOSE. The company belongs to the club of the 100 largest exporters to the European Union and is considered as a big success.

One of the famous designers who cooperated with the factory is Zenon Bączyk, who designed the chair ‘Wars’.

Bystrzyca Furniture Factories

Bystrzyca Furniture Factories were established as a government enterprise in 1946. The factory produced timber for the manufacture of wooden packaging. The production of home furniture, as wella as upholstered, solid and veneered furniture was launched in 1958.

Over the years the assortment was expanded and the factory started to produce furniture. The furniture was exported to Hungary, former GDR and former Soviet Union. Over time, the furniture started to be exported to the Swedish company IKEA, Germany, Holland, England, Austria and France. All products were manufactured using the highest quality eco-friendly materials, with approvals and required certificates. It is worth mentioning the fact that all the furniture was produced fully independently.

The company ceased to function in 2006.

One of the flagship product that was produced in Bystrzyca Furniture Factories is an armchair by H. Lis type 300-190.

Fabryka Mebli Giętych Radomsko (Radomsko Bentwood Furniture Factory)

Radomszczańskie Zakłady Przemysłu Drzewnego (Radomsko Wood Industry Plants)

The company was founded in 1881. The history of this plant is associated with the famous Michael Thonet – a talented inventor of the pioneering method of bending beech wood, who came from Vienna. Veneers were given a hot bath, and then were bent in bending forms. Since 1881 the company has been continuously producing furniture well-known and appreciated on 6 continents.

Michael Thonet’s sons – August and Karol continued his work. Since the furniture made using hot bending technique gained such a huge popularity, the brothers began to establishing new factories in Europe including Poland. In 1881, they bought a property with steam mill in Radomsko, which was adapted to the production of furniture. In the close area they built new facilities – a large Bentwood Furniture Factory ‘Thonet Brothers’ (Thonet Mundus). Thonet’s manufactory helped to create a large furniture centre in Radomsko.

In 1913, Bentwood Furniture Production Plant ‘Ksawery Wünsche & Co.’ and a large Bentwood Furniture Manufactory ‘Mazovia’,which was closed in 1939, were launched in Radomsko.. Factories ‘Thonet – Mundus’ and ‘Ksawery Wünsche & Co.’ operated until the end of World War II. In 1945 they were nationalized and operated as independent companies under the names Bentwood Furniture Factory No. 1 (former ‘Thonet’) and Bentwood Furniture Factory No. 2 (former ‘Wünsche’).

In the 50s the above factories were merged together with newly constructed ‘Fameg’ factory (the name comes from the words Fabryka Mebli Giętych – Bentwood Furniture Factory). They were merged into a single government owned company.

In the 60s, many leading projects were created and nowadays enjoy great popularity. One of the flagship projects is the seat by H. Lis 300-190 type, a project by M. Pochała 300-123 type or the famous chair Var B310.

Prudnicka Fabryka Mebli (Prudnik Furniture Factory)

Zjednoczenie Przemysłu Meblarskiego w Prudniku (Furniture Industry Union in Prudnik)

Furniture manufacturing tradition in Prudnik dates back to pre-war times. The post-war history include Prudnik Furniture Factories, Głuchołaska FM and FM Opole.

The current production facilities started to be built in the eighties, but began to fully operate in the 90’s. Ten years later – on April 1, 2000, the plant was passed on to Bruno Steinhoff. It exists today.

Zjednoczenie Przemysłu Meblarskiego w Poznaniu (Furniture Industry Union in Poznań)

Furniture Industry Union in Poznań worked since 1950 as an organ of the furniture business management and it existed until 1981.

The Union included:

  • Bystrzyca Furniture Factory
  • Świdnica Centre for the Furniture Industry Świdnica
  •  Bentwood Furniture Plant in Radomsk
  • Oborniki Furniture Factory

Designers who have collaborated with the union: Edmund Więcławski, Aleksander Kuczma, Rajmund Hałas.

Słupskie Fabryki Mebli (Słupsk Furniture Factories)

The development of the furniture industry in Słupsk dates back to the years 1840 – 1893, during this period six factories were built in the city. The largest one began to operate in 1845 and belonged to a well-known family of manufacturers in Słupsk – the Beckers. Since 1945 their tradition has been continued by Słupsk Furniture Factory, private limited company.

Over the years Słupsk Furniture Factories were one of the largest furniture manufacturers in the country and a major furniture exporter.

In 1994, a majority of SFM private limited company shares were purchased by a well-known German company S.H. Schieder Möbel. One year later, the company was included in the elite group of the 100 largest exporters in Poland.

Continuing its activities Słupsk Furniture Factory private limited comp. continues to sell furniture.

Obornickie Fabryki Mebli (Oborniki Furniture Factories)

The factories existed between 1952-1979. They belonged to the Furniture Industry Union.

The famous chair ‘Aga’ was designed in these factories.

Rawickie Przedsiębiorstwo Usługowo – Wytwórcze Przemysłu Terenowego (Rawicz Service Company – Manufacturing Local Industry)

The company belonged to the Furniture Industry Union in Poznań.