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 materials like antenna wires, battery cords, polypropylene rope, teak, and oak for her wallpapers and room dividers. There was extensive use of man-made fibers such as nylon and lurex. Metsovaara’s production also included a large number of new copper fabrics such as Katinkulta (Kathy’s gold), Korento, Sakasti (sacristy), and Turnajainen (tournament) in which skinny copper wire was used in the weft. Copper wire was imported from Belgium. All these special fabrics were handwoven in Urjalankylä.

Production included a selection of thick and vibrant wallpapers such as Mars-Lux (used in several hotels as room dividers or wallpaper) and Rustic and very thin and smooth-surfaced fabric wallpapers such as Gold and Silver. These two were also produced as placemats for stylish table settings.

At Expo 63, it was clearly explained that ‘Special fabrics are becoming more and more popular in modern and stylish decoration. A very enriching fabric as wallpaper is Scala. The backside of this fabric has a latex coating which enables anyone to cut the fabric with scissors, like normal wallpaper. With any glowing product, it can be applied to the wall directly. Scala’s half-brilliant, half-matte aspect gives you different reflections with artificial light, which creates an intimate and warm atmosphere. This handwoven fabric with its unavoidable irregularities of ‘hand made’ has a touch of ancient that perfectly fits stylish interiors.’ Marjatta Metsovaara was an architect of woven fabrics who could be different by combining materials, colors, and the proper mixtures.

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