When George Kappler founded Kappler, Inc. on April 1, 1976, there were eight employees and six sewing machines. Today, the company is a respected global leader in chemical protective apparel. With George still active in the business and daughter Laura Kappler-Roberts serving as President and CEO, Kappler continues to grow as a certified Woman Owned Small Business.
Started April 1, 1976, in downtown Guntersville as contract manufacturer with eight employees and six sewing machines.
Relocated to East Lake facility with 50 employees, began making “Kappler” brand disposable garments.
Built facility in Mountain Crest Industrial Park. Named to Inc. 500 list of Fastest Growing Private Companies at #97
Named SBA’s 1984 Alabama Outstanding Small Business. Made Inc. 500 again in successive years, and formed Research & Development Department.
Reorganized as Kappler Safety Group. Established Kappler Europe in Nottingham, England and began manufacturing with 10 employees.
Acquired Andover Industries and relocated it to Guntersville. Renamed Life-Guard, the sister company produced high-end chemical suits using Kappler proprietary fabrics. Total company employment reached 400.
Patent issued for Responder® fabric. U.S. manufacturing expanded with nearby Rainsville, AL, plant, plus KSG International export division established.
Kappler Canada established with acquisition of Brant Packaging in Brantford, Ontario.
Introduced “fabric family” concept with CPF® chemical range, plus pioneered microporous technology with ProVent® blood and viral barrier fabric.
Established Kappler Engineered Specialty Fabrics division.
Expansion continued with acquisitions of Protemo in Europe and Chemron in U.S.
Introduced Reflector® chemical flash-fire fabric, and launched Pro/Shield® proprietary industrial range. Registered to ISO-9000.
Introduced patented ChemTape® plus Suit Smart® protective apparel selection software.
Reflector® certified as first “single skin” NFPA 1990 (1991) chemical flash-fire suit. NexGen® revolutionized industrial market with microporous technology. protection. Worldwide employees totaled 900-plus.
Kappler sold industrial protective apparel business to DuPont, and continued serving healthcare, military and other government markets during no-compete period.
Frontline® 300 fabric offered first three-way protection for chemical, flash-fire and thermal protection.
Frontline® 500 apparel certified to NFPA 1990 (1991) for chemical, flash-fire and thermal protection.
Innovations included ChemScan® QR Code garment labels, 2N1® Glove and mobile app version of HazMatch® selection tool.
Laura Kappler-Roberts named President.
Opened Kappler Museum & Visitors Center to mark 40th anniversary.
Introduced Expanded View AntiFog Visor System for gas-tight suits.
Self-Certified As Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB).
Laura Kappler-Roberts, President & CEO
Introduced three NFPA-Certified products: ProVent® Plus, DuraChem® 200 and DuraChem® 500
DuraChem® marked the expansion of Kappler technology to woven fabric products and their enhanced protection level
Opened Kappler Technology and Training Center.
The Kappler Museum & Visitors Center opened in April 2016 in conjunction with the celebration of Kappler’s 40th Anniversary.
The museum is located on the Kappler campus in Guntersville, Alabama. It provides a fascinating look into the history of protective apparel — and the Kappler technology that has driven that industry since 1976.
Exhibits range from a historical timeline to how-do-they-do-that technical explainers. The exhibits are designed to be interesting and informative for a wide range of ages and interests. Kappler tour guides available on request, and bring the museum to life with key insights and interesting anecdotes about the company’s history.
School groups as well as other groups and individuals are invited to take advantage of the Kappler Museum. There is no charge for admission. For more information or to arrange a tour call us at 1-800-600-4019 or email customer service.
Kappler garments are made with American pride in Alabama where the accent is always on quality.