The world becomes more colourful! British chemist William Henry Perkins lays the foundations. He develops a method for synthetically producing aniline dyes. This enables the creation of many more colour shades, which are also more brilliant and long-lasting in comparison with the natural dyes previously used.


Pharmacist Wilhelm Brauns starts to produce fabric dyes for household dyeing. Customers are impressed—his textile dyes sell exceedingly well. At the end of the 1870s, he therefore decides to devote himself fully to working with dyes.

He leaves the pharmacy in Brome, which is now located in the administrative district of Gifhorn/Germany, and moves to Quedlinburg/Germany, where he sets up an aniline dye factory with Dr Josef Weller, who later becomes his partner.


Together with his brother Nikolaus, Fritz Heitmann founds the company in 1884 with its official name “Gebr. Heitmann, Köln, Fabrik giftfreier Farben”. Right from the start, the Heitmann brothers focus on the household dye market.

The 50th anniversary publication in 1934 states that “the proven Heitmann dyes for domestic use give every woman the option to revive dresses, fabric, linen, in brief any textile, at a low cost and to adapt them to the demands of fashion and taste”.


To emphasise its quality standards, Heitmann launches the simplicol brand for its textile dyes in 1924.

The implication inherent in its name was something that did not go hand in hand with household dyeing at that time: simple dyeing (lat. simplex: simple + lat. color: colour). To this day, simplicol has remained true to this principle.


Brauns establishes the “Citocol” brand for its textile dyes.

The status of household dyeing at that time is reflected in the range of products offered by Brauns and Heitmann: leather dyes, fabric dyes, cream dyes for curtains, lace, and drapes, finest emperor blue wash, or brush-on dyes.


The years after the Second World War were difficult for Brauns and Heitmann. In 1969, the two companies merge—and the concept proves successful. After a short transitional period, all the textile dyes of the company are united under the simplicol brand.


Revolution! simplicol introduces the world’s first true textile dye to the market for washing machines that is resistant to boiling temperatures.

As a result, dyeing is now as easy as washing laundry. And as dyed clothing is now colourfast, it no longer has to be washed separately.


Textile dyes follow fashion. simplicol follows suit. For example, the simplicol plus series for chemists’ shops, which offers customers a wide selection of colours. As expected in the 1980s, these definitely included bold tones: popular colours were emerald green, cyclamen red, fuchsia, straw yellow, or mint.

In comparison, fifty years earlier the fashionable colours were reseda (a light green), heliotrope (a dark purple), peacock blue, and buff (or chamois).


“Priceless”: a large-scale advertising campaign for simplicol textile dyes is promoted under this motto. It shows how simple it is to dye individual items creatively.


The liquid simplicol true cold dyes for dyeing textiles at 30°C are launched. They supplement the simplicol true dyes, which at that time still required a dye temperature of 60°C.


To rescue the colour of greyed lingerie, there are simplicol Lingerie dyes. They were specifically developed for dyeing the demanding mixed synthetic fabrics used for lingerie.


Thumbs up for the simplicol Facebook page. This is where you have been able to find ideas and practical advice for dyeing and creative techniques. Take a look!


simplicol launches its colour campaign. To mark the 140-year anniversary of the company, the textile dye colour range was harmonised and expanded.

The fixative for textile dyes joins the simplicol family. It makes textile dyes colourfast up to 40°C and improves colour brilliance.

The new idea collection shows just how easy and creative it is to dye with simplicol. It offers inspiration, gives advice, and provides step-by-step instructions for a range of creative techniques.


The original product line was made over with a fresh design, new website, and three strong dye series.

The new simplicol Textile Dye intensive is a complete package that has been optimised for modern washing machines. Thanks to its liquid colour, it dyes particularly evenly and brilliantly. Textile Dye expert is used for easy and creative dyeing. It can also be used to dye wool and silk. Black and blue clothing look as good as new again with Back-to-Black and Back-to-Blue.


You've found a great colour there!

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