Discover the fabulous story of Scabal since 1938 until our days

Founded in 1938 by Otto Hertz, Scabal was originally a cloth merchant and supplier of fabrics. His successor is JP Thissen, who is assisted by his son Gregor Thissen, the third generation of the family owned business. Through the aquisition of fabric brand Wainshiell, Scabal traces a history back to the 18th century.
Today Scabal employs almost 600 staff worldwide. Over the years Scabal has evolved into a producer of top quality fabrics to the most prestigious tailors and textile businesses around the world and as a manufacturor of the finest suits, jackets and shirts for the most demanding men. Since 2009 we opened several Scabal stores to be able to show the full range of apparel, including our accessories range.

1938German entrepreneur Otto Hertz (1903 – 1991) starts his business in Brussels, Belgium at Rue Royale, the street linking the Royal Palace of Brussels with the Royal Palace of Laeken and on which many manor houses were built in the 20th century, including the five star Astoria Hotel from Henri Van Dievoet. Mr. Hertz’s father already had a fabric store in Essen, Germany dating his experience in the trade even a lot of years before the launch. Every day deliveries were done by bike to the tailors or to the station for shipment to other towns.
1946big-5400927In a difficult after-war climate when ration stamps still had to be used to purchase goods, the brand Scabal is officially launched on the 18th of June. Scabal is the acronym for: Société Commerciale Anglo Belgo Allemande Luxembourgeoise, already a sign that Mr. Hertz wanted his company to have an international appeal.

Scabal moves to the location where it has been till today in Rue des Commerçants, initially at nbr 50 on the 1st floor and restarts the production of bunches based on the pre-war model, of which the most famous the Superlana VII. Marchandise was carried up and down the stairs to help out the growing amount of people interested.

1950_big-4513380A special department “Export” was created at Scabal Headquarters to be able to follow up the increasing demand for fabrics of several European countries. At the same time Scabal started the use of the telex machine to be able to communicate orders more easily and quickly at any time, of course replaced in the eighties by the fax machine and later by email.
1951_big-3936723Scabal buys Barclays, a known fabric trader in London and as such increases its presence in UK.

As a passport of one of Scabal’s earliest employees shows (Mr. Norbert Nisen °1929), even more travelling to UK was done ever since.

With the continuously increasing demand for Scabal fabrics, more than once the doors had to be closed to be able to work in safe conditions, as customers came in big numbers.

1958_big-8529764Scabal pioneers in the digital field by using IBM computers in a newly built and larger office at Rue des Commerçants 55 (Brussels, Belgium). This computer took up a 30 square meter space and performed 100 times less than the average pocket calculator of current time. The system was based on perforated holes in cardboard that contained the data. This would later be replaced by magnetic tapes, discs, etc
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1960_big-9772681Scabal launches it’s “International conferences” in Knokke Le Zoute in Belgium. Important national and international customers and international agents attend the 4 day gathering but more and more press is interested in the forum that shows the latest in fabrics development, the global fabrics market including publicity aspects, registered trademarks etc.
1962_big-7995251First steps are made into the Japanese market thanks to Mr. Carl Derenberg who had extensive global sales experience. In 1966 Scabal introduces it’s fabrics in Japan in collaboration with Itochu who has remained our privileged partner till today.
1964_big-4241045On the tradional wool sale in Australia, a record has been set for the buying price of a bale of wool that was three times the previous price. Scabal obtained the full ownership of this production and give the collection the name “Ultimus, the most expensive cloth in the world.”. It was first shown at the international tailor convention in Vienna and both customers and press were delighted to discover this finest wool ever made!
1966_big-7453418Scabals wins the Ambassador prize, an international prize by a famous English magazine with that name. On March 23 Lord Thompson highlights Scabal’s contribution to the British export.
1970_big-5274194J.-Peter Thissen, Otto Hertz’s most valued associate, is elected to manage the company.
1971_big-5655906Scabal commissions famous painter Salvador Dali to imagine what will be the men’s fashion in the 21th century. For Scabal, Dali produces 12 exclusive paintings that are still owned by the company.
1972_big-5269554Scabal opens a showroom on Savile Row, London and introduces its fabrics range in US in collaboration with Beckenstein.
1972_big-16931Scabal provides fabrics for several films made in USA. From here a close and long relationship starts with the Hollywood film industry and Broadway and Scabal becomes a privileged fabrics provider. Scabal has notably provided fabrics for The Godfather, Casino, Men in Black, The Aviator and lots more. In London Scabal starts a close collaboration with the West End theatres.

Several accessories are made under the name “Scarab” to complete the fabrics range. In the eighties sweaters, shirts, belts, and lots more were added under the same name.

1973_big-9885976Scabal makes the acquisition of a fabrics mill in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, producing exquisite fabrics since 1899 when Messrs Bower and Roebuck registered the company and rename the mill to Glendale Mills. New Mill, the home of Bower Roebuck takes its name from the mill built there in 1315.

This area in England has been recognised for its production of the finest fabrics since the 16th century. The dissolution of the monastries broke the monopoly of milling in 1536, at which time the abundant energy of the millstream was harnessed to drive cloth fulling machines for the first time and the textile industry of the Holme Valley was born. The importance of the water in this area is crucial, the soft quality allows wool and other natural fibres to expand and soften, creating the luxurious handle synonymous with Yorkshire fabrics. Bower Roebuck hard work and relentless innovation of the experienced and dedicated workforce continues to impress, producing good honest cloth.

194big-5274133Scabal pioneered a finer wool than the standard “Super 100’s”. Scabal’s own mill in Yorkshire were the first company to manufacture cloth classified Super 120’s approximately one micron finer than the first Super 100’s and called it “Jewel”.

Scabal launches its first ready-to-wear range and supports it with the first advertising campaigns.

1980_big-177343Leather and velvet packaging are used for luxurious bunches. Special boxes are made to introduce the top range of Scabal fabrics. Exclusive cars as Bentley and Rolls Royce and yachts appear on window displays. Sensation, Nobility, Velours are only a few of the remarkable bunches that came out in this flamboyant period in fashion history.
1983_big-793784Scabal forms a partnership with the twelfth Duke of Argyll to promote the high quality fabrics range Ultimus, an extraordinary wool made in England.
1983_b_big-4438193Scabal builds it’s new warehouse of over 6000 m2 near the heart of Brussels and in the same year Scabal acquires a garment factory on the Franco-German border, and starts to develop its ‘made-to-measure’ system that today has 300 employees. Over 200 options are available, of which engraving initials in the buttons is only one. “Made in Germany” stands for true craftsmanship.
1983_c_big-6226022Based on precious objects, Scabal launches the series “Highlights” showing valuable fabrics in special glossy folders related to Oriental Art, Tapestry, Imperial Crowns, etc.
1989_big-9376625Scabal builds it’s new warehouse of over 6000 m2 near the heart of Brussels and in the same year Scabal acquires a garment factory on the Franco-German border, and starts to develop its ‘made-to-measure’ system that today has 300 employees. Over 200 options are available, of which engraving initials in the buttons is only one. “Made in Germany” stands for true craftsmanship.
1991_big-8275886Scabal converts 12 Savile Row, London into a flagship store carrying all clothing and fabrics.
1991_b-big-2068493The quest for ever finer wools is continued by being the first to launch a “Super 150’s” under the bunch name “Golden Carat” using 15.3 micron wool, a cloth of prestige that is top of the line with the weaving process exclusively at Scabal’s factory at Huddersfield, Yorkshire. These are now international standards of quality and excellence and will later be followed by finer and finer wools that were previously thought to be beyond technology: Super 180’s and Super 200’s.
1997_big-2056241Scabal makes it possible to create a most personal fabric by weaving a text in a cutlength, the collection is called “Initials”. They remain successful bespoke fabrics till today.
1999_big-3486846Scabal launches it’s “Sartoriale” line, a handmade product for the most demanding suit wearer, later this line will be renamed to N°12, the house number of the Scabal store on Savile Row in London, UK.
2000_big-5716228Scabal launches the Diamond Chip exclusive fabrics, a most innovative way to interpret the most luxurious fabrics. From there on more precious stones and metals as gold, platinum and lapis lazuli are used to launch exquisite fabrics.
2000-b-big-306669With the change of the century and the switch to Euro for many countries, Scabal decides to invest in SAP, a highly performant IT program, to be ready for a new decade with increased production and deliveries. At the same time, the Marketing Department is reinforced with press agencies, visual merchandiser, top brand agencies etc.
2000-c-big-9719106Scabal launches the first Dali fabrics collection in honour of the 12 paintings Dali had made in 1971 with his vision on the men dressed in the year 2000. To pay homage to Dali’s vision, Scabal have humbly recreated fabrics for six of the works of art which are presented in a book and were available in a strictly limited quantity. To illustrate his future looks historic fashion plates were put next to his most daring paintings.
2000_d_big-9243567Scabal launches the Gold Treasure fabric. Following up on the succesful Diamond Chip fabric, Scabal succeeds in incorporating tiny fragments of this precious metal in an even more precious fabric.
2003_big-6230669After incorporating both gold and diamonds in its cloths, Scabal introduces Lapis Lazuli, an ancient stone that has always appealed to man’s imagination. In ancient Mesopotamia this stone was the reserve of the ruling class. Since time immemorial lapis lazuli has been known for its therapeutic properties. From the fifteenth to the mid nineteenth century it formed the basis of ultramarine, an intense blue that decorated many paintings and frescos during the Renaissance. Scabal has succeeded in integrating microscopic particles in an ultra-fine bale of Super 150’s wool from Australia that can be worn all year round. This exceptional cloth has doubtless enticed men seeking quality, who appreciate discreet luxury.
2004_big-1632515In the continuous quest for softer and more luxurious fabric, Scabal has combined the softest wool in Super 200’s with Vicuna to create a sensational quality “The Star”. Made in England, of course, Sir.
2006_big-5238122Gregor Thissen becomes Scabal Co-CEO. From here onwards, father and son work together on a daily basis, in both a family and international spirit.
2006_b_big-2474341Scabal launches Yangir for suits, a fabric softer and finer than cashmere named after a wild, rare mountain goat inhabiting the Mongolian high mountains and by specialists called “the golden fleece”.
2006_c_big-7446367In Summer Scabal launches Summit, another innovation from our own mill in Huddersfield reaching the pinnacle of fineness. Over one year the team has searched for the very best wool ever seen with a rare combination of fineness, volume, fibre length, crimp and colour, which places it in a league of it’s own. Highly skilled craftsman have spun and woven this exceptional cloth and have called it themselves their lifetime achievement.
2007_big-9444102Scabal launches its international magazine Bespoken, mainly distributed in Europe, Asia and America.
2007_b_big-1788547Scabal fabric is used for Adidas shoes, caps and track suits under the name “Adidas Heritage”.
2009_big-469035In collaboration with London College of Fashion and Mr. Alan Cannon Jones, the drawings that Dali made in the seventies for Scabal come to live. Twenty years after the master’s death they are reproduced by students in life size outfits respecting the finest tailoring traditions.
2010_big-1338932A treasure box was launched to mark the innovation of Scabal to include precious stones into fabrics. At the same time Platinum was added in the range to meet the growing demand of the luxurious fabrics with exceptional shine and feel.
2011_big-2554131The Vicuna Jacketings range completes the range of vicuna fabrics and is another innovation of the Scabal fabrics department.
2011_b_big-91785Scabal adopts a new logo. The new sign is a soft evolution, a mix between the historical lion monogram (which represented the fabrics division) and the modern logo used for the clothing line, also known as finished products.

An iPad app is launched to read the Bespoken magazine digitally.

2011_c_big-2424764Scabal produces the most exclusive diamond cufflinks to celebrate it’s 10 years existence of the Diamond Chip fabrics range.
2012_big-3621788Scabal sells its products in more than 65 countries, has over 5000 fabrics in stock representing over half a million metres, ships over 100000 made to measure suits and opens a flagship store from the new concept in Brussels.
2013_big-1384450Opening of a new store in Beijing, China answering an increasing demand of Chinese customers of the entire range of Scabal apparel.
2013_big-7963833Scabal launches the Peace fund using the Private Line cloth to bring a message of peace and support Doctors Without Borders.