During the eighteenth century, a lot of textile manufacturing and finishing centres were developed in many places in Europe, leading to a new generation of skilled workers (colourists, bleachers and dyers).
Naturally, this resulted in a need for an exchange of specialist knowledge and further training. Consequently, in 1826 colourist associations sprang up in loose form, for example in Mulhouse and Alsace. The first and largest association, organized on a broad basis, was established in England in 1884 as the “Society of Dyers”. Since the beginning, it has been extremely active, promoting the science of textile chemistry. Also in the context of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the textile production was high, concentrated particularly in the north-eastern region of Bohemia, with many printing factories of cotton fabrics in the Dvůr Králové nad Labem (Czech Republic). Therefore, it is no surprise that the colorists from many European countries founded in this location the first association of colour chemists on the European continent in 1908.
The “Verein der Chemiker-Coloristen” (VCC, “Association of chemists-colorists”, 1908-1913) was established in Koniginhof on 22nd December 1908, in the “Deutsches Haus” Hotel, where the local colourists met almost every day to discuss their professional problems.
Immediately, the exchange of specialist knowledge and the development of friendly relations were beginning to bear fruit and branches were founded in Austria, Germany, Italy and Poland.
Afterwards, a member committee was set up, which organized a group of experienced colorists to prepare the proposal of the statute for a new association of colourist technicians. They were: Felix Richter, Ernst Adler, Ludwig Lichtenstein, Paul Zaeslé, Louis Paulus and Maxim Schwarz.
In June 1908, the draft of the statute was sent to the Prague State Authority, which approved it in November of that year under the name of the Association of Colour Chemists, with the provisional seat in Königinhof.
As early as December 1st 1908, the Berlin magazine for the colour industry brought this announcement with the call for the recruitment of members. On 22nd December 1908, the constituent meeting was held in Königinhof. During the meeting, the first regular committee was elected: Felix Richter (President), Emil Lustig (Vice-President), Dr. Ludwig Lichtenstein (Managing Director), Dr. J. Klein (Treasurer). The members of the Management Board were: Ernst Adler, Dr. W.G. Clairmont, N. Pastuchof, Dr. Giovanni Tagliani and Dr. J. Zerner. The “Association of Arts” was the magazine for the colour industry.
The first VCC general meeting took place in October 1909 in Dresden (Germany). At that time, this Association had 173 members in many countries around the world and 80 of them attended the meeting. On that occasion, Dr. Karl Grossner was elected as the new President and, during the scientific meeting, the participants heard five lectures. This scientific meeting was named the 1st Colouristic Congress.
In 1910 important events took place:
in France, the “Association des Chimistes de l’Industrie Textile” (ACIT) was formed, developing rapidly into a very large and active organization which also included Belgian colleagues;
in Italy, the “Associazione Italiana di Chimica Tessile e Coloristica” (AICTC) grew and developed into a flourishing and active association;
the VCC association headquarters was moved to Vienna;
the 2nd Congress, in Frankfurt, under the direction of the President Dr. W. G. Clairmont, was attended by 120 members (compared to the 300 total members).
In 1914, to demonstrate the strong desire for co-operation, the name was changed to “Internationaler Verein der Chemiker-Coloristen” (IVCC, 1014-1948), comprehending six countries: Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Holland, Hungary and Switzerland.
Unfortunately, the First World War of 1914-1918 left deep wounds and the association could not be reorganized until 1921. In fact, after a 7-year break, the congresses were organized by IVCC from 1921 until 1939, yearly.
In the meantime, the demand for extensive cooperation on a European scale had grown to such an extent that, on the suggestion of Dr. Masera (AICTC, Italy), supported by both Chanoine Pinte (ACIT, French) and Dr. Lauterbach (IVCC, Germany), the “International Federation of Associations of Textile Chemists and Colourists” was formed during the Colourists Congress in Milan on 14th May 1930. The first members were Austria, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany and Italy. The first President of the new Federation was Dr. G. Tagliani and first managing director was Prof. Dr. R. Haller.
In 1931, simultaneously with the 16th IVCC Congress (Paris, 1931), the first IFATCC Congress took place in co-operation with the ACIT (President: Mr. Chanoine Pinte).
For the economic reasons in the world, it was decided to organize further conferences of the Federation only after two years.
In 1936, under the Presidency of Prof. Robert Haller, the IFATCC second congress took place in Stuttgart, simultaneously with the IVCC conference.
During the 1939-1945 war period, the activities of the Federation ceased entirely.
Only thanks to the great efforts made by Prof. Haller, who had retained his role of IFATCC President, supported by E. Sack (President of ACIT), was it possible to restart the Federation’s activities. The first meeting of the Delegate Council after the war was on 29th March 1952, in Basel. Delegates were from Austria, France, Germany, Holland, Italy and Switzerland. The Society of Dyers and Colourists was represented by an observer.
In March 1952 the IFATCC President, Prof. Dr. R. Haller, invited the Presidents of the Federation members to Basel. The representatives of six countries present (G. Rivat, France; E. Elöd, Germany; L.A. Driessen, Holland; H. Perndanner, Austria; L. Sessa, Italy; H. Ris, Switzerland) expressed their general wish to renew the Federation. For this purpose, they discussed and updated the statute. The new statute of the Federation was accepted unanimously on 23rd January 1953 in Basel, and Dr. Heinrich Ris was elected President, the first after the Second World War. By this time the associations of the following countries belonged to the Federation: Austria (VOeC), France (ACIT), Germany (VTCC), Holland (NVTC), Italy (AICTC), Spain (AEQCT), Sweden (SFR), Switzerland (SVCC), UK (SDC).
In 1964 the “Asociaciòn Argentina de Quimicos Coloristas y Textiles”, which has since renounced membership, was made an affiliate member. The same year, the Federation established scholarships to foster the international exchange of scientists from University and research institutes and lecturers from schools of textile engineering, engaged in work connected with textile or colour chemistry. Consequently, the statute was updated again. During the first ten years of its existence, the committee of the “Scholarship Fund for Textile Chemical Research”, which was established in 1964, was chaired by Prof. Heinrich Zollinger (SVCC). The chairmanship then passed to Prof. Walter Jenny (SVCC), and since 1981 their committee has been headed by Prof. Manfred Buhler (Federal Republic of Germany).
In 1967, the “Asociaciòn Colombiana de Tecnicos de Acabados Textiles” (ACOLTEX) was made an affiliate member.
In 1968, the “Hungarian Society of Textile Technology and Science” was admitted as a full member.
In 1972, in order to extend the Federation activities, two new bodies were created in addition to the Delegate Council: the Management Committee (comprising the President, two vice Presidents, the Treasurer and the Secretary) and the Board, composed of the Management Committee with the Presidents of all full member associations. In the same year, in appreciation of his great services rendered to IFATCC during his 20 years’ activities as Secretary, Mr. Max Peter was appointed first Honorary Member of the Federation.
In 1975, at the initiative and under the leadership of Mr. P.G. Noble (SDC), a new commission came into being which devotes itself to training and diplomas in the areas of textile dyeing, textile chemistry and dyestuff chemistry. Most unfortunately, however, Mr. Noble died shortly after presiding over the first meeting of the commission in Paris. The work was continued by the new chairman, Dr. J.K. Skelly (SDC).
In 1978, the “Asociaciòn Colombiana de Tecnicos de Acabados Textiles” (ACOLTEX) withdrew from IFATCC. On the other hand, in these years there were three new admissions:
the “Textile Chemists Section” of the “Textile Chemical Association in Finland” (STTL) became a full member in 1975;
the “American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists” (AATCC) joined the Federation in 1976 as a full member. Its status was changed to that of an affiliate member in 1978;
the “Swiss Association of Dyeing Specialists” (SVF) was admitted to the Federation as an affiliate member in 1980.
In the same year, the IFATCC commission prepared a file which in the first part contains a description of the training programmes in all the Federation Member countries, and in the second part presents a table of equivalence of the diplomas granted by various higher institutions of learning. In 1980 the chairmanship of this commission, which was composed of specialists from all countries, passed to Professor G. Di Modica (AICTC).
On 12th of May 1983, the Delegate Council passed an amendment to Article 12, which regulates the participation of observers at meetings of the Delegate Council.
In 2005, 2008 and 2010, three IFATCC Congresses were organized in Weimar (Germany, IFATCC President: Mr. W. Streit), Barcelona (Spain, IFATCC President: Prof. J.M. Canal) and Stresa (Italy, IFATCC President: Mr. A. Gigli), respectively.
In 2012, the Swiss Association (SVTC) resigned from the IFATCC because it was merged to new association named SVTF. In the same year, the IFATCC Secretary, Mr. Krayer, has resigned.
In 2013, during the IFATCC Congress in Budapest (Hungary), with Prof. Andràs Vig as President, Prof. Giuseppe Rosace (Italy) was elected new Secretary of IFATCC.
In 2016, Dr. Francois Litty (France) resigned after 18 years work as the IFATCC Treasurer. During the 24th Federation Congress (Pardubice, CK, 2016), Prof. Michael Rauch (Germany) was elected the new IFATCC Treasurer.
In 2017, during the Presidency of Dr. Jan Marek (Czech Republic), the IFATCC statute was updated with the contemporary transfer of the headquarters from Basel (CH) to Milan (IT).