On a recent trip to Germany, my husband and I took a side trip that only a knitter would understand. We had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Thomas Selter, CEO of Gustav Selter GmbH & Co. KG, at the company headquarters in Altena, Germany. The company is better known as the maker of Addi knitting needles. The Gustav Selter company is a family-run enterprise dating back to 1829. Thomas is the sixth generation Selter to run the business.
The Gustav Selter company is the only needle production facility in Germany. Thomas guided us through a tour of the facility where we saw the entire production process for making Addi needles – straight needles, circular needles, needles made of steel and bamboo, as well as crochet hooks.
At each step of the process, a combination of machinery and human intervention come together to create the needles. Because they are the only facility of its kind in Germany, they have had to become resourceful and innovative in their craft. Some of the equipment is purchased and then adapted to create unique pieces of machinery for specialized steps in the production cycle.
Each step in the manufacturing process is carried out with precision. When producing the circular needles, special attention is paid to the joints where the wire and the needle come together so as not to snag the yarn during knitting. Similarly, an innovative threading system was developed to create the interchangeable needles in the Addi Click system.
What was evident on every floor of the Selter facility was the pride in workmanship that went into every needle. Thomas spoke with an in-depth knowledge and a passion about the company’s products. Their focus is on quality and on providing hand knitters the best tools possible.
For more on the company’s history, visit addi by selter (in english).