From the post war period until the middle of the nineties Denmark, and in particular Midtjylland (“Middle of Jutland”) developed a thriving vertical textile industry especially within circular knit fabrics and garments.
In 1947 Thomas Poulsen, the former mayor of Ikast – the “textile capital of Denmark” – founded a small textile company manufacturing garments, and later fabrics, for the hungering domestic and local markets in Scandinavia.The product focus was mainly on velour and other cotton garments for men, women and children and the company’s key competences were the basic manufacturing processes. The owner took care of the sales in an era where the Danish and Scandinavian customers were visiting Ikast to place their orders.
Thomas Poulsen & Evald Klausen
During the first years, the sewing production took place in the basement of a traditional city villa. Later, the company moved to larger, newly built facilities to make room for a knitting department. In 1973 the current head quarters of Spectre were constructed on Orionvej, designed and specified in detail by the owner, who had an architectural background. The building also served as the private domicile of the owner.
In 1982, Thomas Poulsen, decided to sell his company to focus on his mayor ministry. The assignment of selling the property ended with the realtor, Evald Klausen, buying the whole company together with his wife, Anny Klausen.
The first years under new ownership were very much a learning process but at the same time the external market conditions forced the new owner to develop an entirely new strategy in terms of both products and customer segments.
In the 80s the customer portfolio was expanded to including a number of high-profile European fashion brands and the company invested massively in product innovation. The export share, primarily to Germany and Scandinavia, was increased from a moderate level to a substantial part of the company’s business and in 1989 the company was awarded with the “Export Pioneer Prize” by the Danish Textile Association.
In the 90s, when production costs reached an uncompetitive level in Western Europe, the production was moved to Eastern Europe after acquiring a large state-owned garment factory in Latvia in 1992 – a few months after the independency of the Baltic States.
The focus on functional garments started with the acquisition of iconic US outdoor brand Lowe Alpine’s (founded by brothers Lowe in Colorado in 1967) machine park in 1995 after their decision to close the Irish production unit in the late nineties.
This was a landmark event for our gradual shift from the fashion industry to the outdoor sports industry. Since that we have built and gained industry and product specific knowledge and knowhow for almost 20 years, adding layer after layer of competences.
In 2003, 2nd generation of the Klausen family, Jacob Klausen and Jesper Klausen, took over the company and continued the internationalization of the company and the specialization within the outdoor sports segment. In the meantime, the segments have been broadened to include running, cycling, cross country skiing and hunting, besides the key segment mountain sports.
In 2010 we established our first garment manufacturing company in Vietnam in a joint venture with a local business partner. After a rapid growth, a new fully owned company was established end of 2015 followed by the construction of an entirely new manufacturing facility in 2017.
Our heritage as a circular knit fashion manufacturer – and later functional garments – means that we have a wide range of sewing machines allowing us to manufacture all types of base layer and mid layer garments.
Later, as our focus shifted towards functional garments, we introduced and developed a vast range of new technologies into our production. In the 00’s we introduced two important technologies into our production:
- Automated cutting process including digital pattern making and automated nesting of markers
- Lamination – the process of joining several layers of different materials via the use of adhesive applied by heat pressing machines
Today, our machine park includes a vast number of special machinery such as laser cutting, ultrasonic cutting and “sewing”, hot air bonding machines, automated quilting machinery etc. Every year we are investing substantially in human resources, machinery, technology and IT solutions to stay on the front-edge in the competitive outdoor market.
Spectre is on the constant search for new team members, machines and technologies that allow us offering new product solutions, adding new services, improving the workmanship of the product or improving the efficiency of our manufacturing process.
We find inspiration on various trade fairs for the global sports industry, trade fairs for the garment manufacturing process, in sports shops and – not least – in our close cooperation with our customers.
The world is dynamic and our most important task as owners and management is to adapt the company to the future needs of the market. We look forward to continuing the exciting journey!