Wolf Bauer studied textile design under Leo Wollner at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart, and served as his assistant from 1963 to 1965. Both men were prominent textile designers in Europe, creating work for the top firms: Tanus Textildruck, Heal Fabrics, Weverij de Ploeg, and most importantly Pausa AG, a printer known for its technical skill and innovative approach.
When Barbara Rodes took over the textiles division of Knoll International, the company had introduced no new prints in several years. Rodes sought out Bauer, and they developed a series of textiles which were introduced in Europe in 1967/68. In 1969, Bauer’s printed collection, Delta, Stones, Fragment, and Collage, were introduced in the U.S. These large-scale designs in hot colors printed on velvet marked a departure for Knoll from the textural, hand-woven look with which it had become associated. The series was celebrated in the design press, and Industrial Design magazine included it in its Best Designs of 1969 issue.