The BIRKAN saga.

Episode 2: First successes (1925 - 1938)

The Triumph printing blanket gradually became a bestseller. It impressed with its unprecedented durability, quality and better printing results. Added to this was the personality of its inventor, who shared his technical knowledge with the other printers. The division of labour at Birkner & Kandlbinder was clear: Ferdinand Birkner took care of finance, order processing and administration, while Alois Kandlbinder was the technical head and responsible for product development and, of course, sales.

Alois Kandlbinder's main concern was the correct cylinder packing system, and he carried out important pioneering work in this area. In brochures, he described the influence of the blanket on packing and pressure, explained correct thickness and finishing of the packing and recommended application-specific combinations. He was a man of practice who knew what was important in printing and was always on the lookout for new possibilities for improvement. Further inventions soon followed.

Among other things, Alois Kandlbinder developed an oil-resistant protective sheet called “Gygant” for rotary presses and, in response to an impending shortage of natural rubber in Germany in the 1930s, the first synthetic rubber printing blanket, which became known as the “BIRKAN blanket”. In addition, there was the so-called “Kandlbinder blanket” in 0.4 mm thickness, “BIRKAN-Batiste” in 0.3 mm, “BIRKAN Silk” with a rougher top side for heavy image shapes, and later also the rotary printing blanket “BIRKAN Special”, also with a rougher surface.

Thanks to these numerous new creations, Birkner & Kandlbinder soon became increasingly well known. Success did not fail to materialise. Birkner & Kandlbinder's cylinder packings were also in great demand from neighbouring European countries – the first steps towards the company's later international orientation.

Brochure Screen image printing in the newspaper

Kandlbinder was primarily concerned with improvements and passing on expertise, as this brochure impressively shows (brochure available as PDF)

Logo M√ľnchner Gummituch

"The Munich blanket" becomes a household name.

Schutzbogen Gygant

The Gygant protective sheet was advertised with cutting-edge graphics


In the range for decades: a sample of BIRKAN Silk from the 1950s

Mr and Mrs Kandlbinder

Personal happiness: Maria Marchner (1900 - 1966) becomes Alois Kandlbinder's second wife and also actively supports him in the company.

Brochure Rational working on the high-speed press

Everything you needed to know about the blanket could be found in this small brochure (available as PDF)


The Who's Who of the German-speaking printing industry ordered from Birkner & Kandlbinder