PFAFF was founded in Kaiserslautern, Germany in 1862 by instrument maker Georg Michael Pfaff (1823–1893). Pfaff’s first machine was handmade, and designed to sew leather in the manufacture of shoes.
In 1885, Georg Michael Pfaff opened a sewing machine shop in London. The PFAFF factory was expanded and modernized. Georg Pfaff, the second son of the founder, took over the management of the company after his father’s death in 1893 and expanded it further with great success.
In 2006 the American equity firm Kohlberg & Company, owner of Singer, acquired Swedish VSM Group, owner of Husqvarna Viking and PFAFF, thereby creating SVP Worldwide.
In March 2013 the German holding company of SGSB Group Co. Ltd., ShangGong (Europe) Holding Corp. GmbH, took over 100% of the shares of PFAFF Industriesysteme und Maschinen AG.