Steiff factory

Europe’s most celebrated soft toys, the teddy bears with buttons in their ears (‘Knopf im Ohr’) are manufactured in an architecturally revolutionary factory building in this small town 32 km north-east of Ulm. Margarete Steiff (1847-1909), a native of Giengen was partially-paralysed at the age of 18 months, but from a dressmaking studio in her father’s house established a company making felt toys, moving in 1888 to a building designed by her brother. Her nephew Richard Steiff was largely responsible for the company subsequent growth, and for the construction in 1903 of an iron and glass building, 30 m long, 12 m wide and 9.4 m high, with an outer shell consisting of a continuous double-glazed wall and a flat roof. Three floors within are supported on iron lattice-work columns. The iron castings and forgings were provided by the Eisenwerke Munchen. The building was subsequently extended.


The Steiff company has a factory shop and an interactive museum on the premises, and other aspects of the history of Giengen are illustrated in the nearby municipal museum which includes a general store of 1904, and brushmakers’ and clock-face makers’ workshops.

Steiff factory
Margarete Steiff GmbH
Richard Steiff Straße 4
89537 Giengen an der Brenz
+49 (0) 7322 - 500