Our brief story
An industrial change in the course of time
In the Hueb, a small hamlet above Wald, the history of the «Bleiche Wald» began in 1853. Johannes Honegger founded a cotton weaving mill there, together with his brother Kaspar. In 1860 the factory burned down in the Hueb, and the two brothers decided to go their separate ways. Johannes Honegger then rebuilt the factory on his own. Business soon prospered, so in 1872 he expanded the company to the village of Wald ZH building more factories. There he laid the foundations for the weaving mill «Bleiche», which today forms the pulsating heart of the Bleiche district.
Until the end of the 20th century Johannes Honegger expanded with his company through numerous acquisitions. His activities extended to Bergamo in Italy and he established himself as a major industrialist.
«The largest enterprise of the municipality of Wald closes its factories.» reported the «Zurich Oberländer» in the spring of 1988. For economic reasons the textile production of the «Bleiche» was stopped.
On 20 October 1997, the opening of the Bleichibeiz and the occupancy of the first lofts began a new period in the Bleiche district. Today a hotel, restaurant and bar, the many apartments in the former staff houses and the modern lofts in the factories, has become an exciting and lively place to live and work. Not to forget are the wellness and fitness center, the therapy center and the various companies and artists’ studios. Thus the Bleiche Wald became a popular «village within a village», which is still managed and maintained by the founding family.
Incidentally, the name «Bleiche», dates back to the time when fabrics were bleached in the sun.