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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