Stifel & Sons History

Johan Ludwig Stifel was an apprentice dyer and calico printer from Germany. In 1833 he immigrated to the United States, where he worked for a local farm in Wheeling, West Virginia.



In 1835 Johan's interest in textiles was still his main passion and with all his savings he bought a single bolt of unbleached cotton. He then hand-dyed and sold it. Later, he repeated the process again, this started a new business which would introduce the world to Wabash fabrics.


Calico is smoother than canvas or denim but very resistant, it made its biggest success in the world of workwear clothing. Typical calicos had polka dots, flowers, dotted lines and ticking to name some of the most popular motifs.


From such small beginnings, Stifel and Sons have developed into a giant calico works, becoming the first plant in the nation to print yard-wide indigo blue calico. This in-turn, saw Stifel fabrics shipped all over of the world and made into clothing.


The brand logo, a boot (meaning"Stiefel" in German) with the word “Stifel” inside, connecting Johan's German heritage and learnings to the brand. 


In modern-day times, J.L.Stifel & Sons are known as an American textile and denim manufacturing brand which became prominent from 1835 to 1956 and a leader in indigo-dyed cotton calicos