The Ullmann rope factory was founded in 1915 by Albert Ullmann in Wetzikon, Zurich. Several years later, the owner operated business was passed to Josef Ullmann and relocated to Abtwil, St Gall, where a cable railway was constructed in 1950. In 1968, the youngest son, Martin Ullmann, took over ownership of the rope factory and at the beginning of the 1970s founded the first branch office in Chur, Graubünden. A new factory hall was constructed in Abtwil and the purchase of a rope beating machine enabled ropes to be produced mechanically for the first time.
With the patenting of a fully automated machine for cord production and the purchase of rope braiding machines, rope manufacturing increased rapidly. New customer groups were developed and in 1982, a second branch opened its doors in French-speaking Switzerland. The factory building in Abtwil quickly reached its capacity limits and new production facilities for the firm were constructed in St Gall, and inaugurated in 1984. A ground-breaking innovation was patented; the Usacord Shock-Line. Production was steadily increased and the machine facilities expanded, and from that point on, ropes made from high-tech fibres were also included in the product portfolio. The sole proprietorship firm incorporated in 1986 to become the Seilfabrik Ullmann AG. At the end of the 1980s, the firm took its first steps into overseas markets.