The Simpukka rug

American-Finnish company Finnrya moved to Finland in 1963 to manufacture rugs industrially. The most exciting models they made were those designed by Marjatta Metsovaara. In the beginning, Finnrya used a long, worsted yarn of high quality, glossy, vibrant, and bright in color, and 20 different shades of color were available. Only two different shades of colors could be tied to one fluff tassel. Simpukka was the most exciting design and is now among the most coveted collectibles reaching high prices in auctions.

Metsovaara and Puunveisto Oy

The Finnish interior architect and designer Carl-Gustaf Vilhelm Hiort af Ornäs (1911–1996) designed the Rialto chair, which was included in the XI Milan Triennial in 1957, where Marjatta Metsovaara also participated. The furniture designed by Hiort af Ornäs has been manufactured by Puunveisto Oy in Lauttasaari, a carpentry factory he founded in 1945. His hopes were to design modern furniture in seamless collaboration with carpenters, like his Danish colleagues. Over the following decades, his wish came true as the fruitful cooperation resulted in an impressive collection of sculptural and extremely high-quality furniture. Hiort af Ornäs was a perfectionist and idealist who strived for perfection in every piece of furniture. During his time, newspapers repeatedly wrote about the quality and refined finish of the furniture he designed. His example was also estimated to force other Finnish furniture manufacturers to raise their quality standards. He was ambitious about his work but modest …

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Woven linen

Marjatta Metsovaara expanded its print design to woven linen. The linen set, designed in 1968, was divided into three parts: a chequered Ruska (autumn) series resembling herbaceous flax, a semi-linen floral Primavera series, and a linen-like cotton series with design Krysanteemi (chrysanthemum) and Untuvapallo (down ball). All series also included monochrome napkins in many colors and were woven at Tampella for Metsovaara.

Rugs made of new materials

Marjatta Metsovaara made rapid carpet design progress as she grew up in carpet manufacturing as a small child. Artek’s exhibition in 1957 featured a convincing display of a collection of new and promising carpet designs that did not exist in Finland before. High-quality rugs were enthusiastically received, and their varying color scales were considered with acclaim in the carpet industry.  Metsovaara’s carpets were very durable. The materials used were netting fabric, linen twine, sisal yarn, coconut hair, and horsehair yarn which made these carpets truly dirt-repellent, easy to clean, and considerably more durable than, for example, wool or rag rugs.  In the 1950s, the range included thick and very soft rugs. A skillful combination of wool and sisal made the carpets airy and light and available in different thicknesses. It wasn’t easy to dye the fibers for such carpets. Marjatta also valued handspun yarns, even for carpets produced by machines. …

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Curtain fabrics

In the 1950s and early 60s, Metsovaara’s weaving mill in Finland made plenty of full wool, light, and descending curtain fabrics in different thicknesses and a wide variety of colors. The textile artist also enlivened the surface of the curtain fabric with thin effect yarns such as horsehair linen interlacing yarns such as in the Musa curtain fabric, whose surface was woven uneven and sparse. Curtain fabrics were woven by hand. Marjatta Metsovaara did not support the extended offer of extensive wool curtain collections only because man-made fiber curtains were made known to people in the 1960s. However, the wool curtains had their supporters as well. Synthetic fiber became famous as a curtain material due to its ease of care. Curtain fabrics made of man-made fibers were known to consumers after Marjatta Metsovaara started designing furniture and curtain fabric collections for Villayhtymä Oy (wool group) in 1960. It was Finland’s …

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Alvar Aalto

Finlandia Hall (1967 – 1971) was Alvar Aalto’s late-period masterpiece. Marjatta Metsovaara designed chair fabrics by Aalto’s views and wishes. Marjatta wrote down the description of the material by Aalto:“Listen, the fabric of Finlandia Hall should be blue, with a bit like a spider web on it. And it should be elegant, but it shouldn’t be too dominant … though it should have so much surface that it would be an advantage for the acoustics of the place. It should also be as durable as leather. “ Marjatta designed the fabric with a thin nylon warp with pitch binding and realized the best technical properties such as lightfastness and abrasion resistance, and safety against fire during the design stage. According to Alvar Aalto, the chair fabric was exactly what suited the Finlandia Hall, emphasizing monumentality and individuality. The cooperation between Alvar Aalto and Marjatta Metsovaara was enjoyable because the overall …

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The legendary Lappi-satin is an invention of Marjatta Metsovaara in 1962 in collaboration with the engineers at Tampella Oy. This material was optimized for taking in reactive dyes in 1966. The best cotton printers in Finland now use this noble and robust material. The quality is solid, resilient, suitable for any use, and perfect for taking the reactive dyes that make the colors of the fabric so lively and robust. Washed several times up to boiling temperature and steamed, these fabrics will last for several generations and are certified according to the STANDARD 100 by OEKOTEX®, meeting the requirements of product class 1 – the highest classification, suitable for baby and toddler articles.

Special fabrics

Marjatta Metsovaara launched the first fabric wallpaper and room divider fabrics in the late 1950s. These were great inventions. Copper fabrics were designed to be stretched in a window or divide a large room into smaller parts for room dividers. The material did not break the room into smaller parts but sparkled in different lighting conditions thanks to the translucency. And copper fabrics held their posture.Fantastic designs were Japanese-inspired Light Wall and Sultan. Its materials were plastic strips of rattan and unbleached linen. These Japanese-inspired textiles resembled the paper walls, sliding doors, and partitions of Japanese houses. Translucent room dividers were trendy in Finnish interior design in the 1950s. The Japanese Woodcut Exhibition in 1954 was a significant event for Finnish artists. Marjatta Metsovaara lived a strong creative period throughout the 1960s with no boundaries and no end with ideas demonstrating this creative power by bringing out new and surprising …

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