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Textile company

Metsovaara Oy was founded in 1954 in Urjalankylä where first a weaving mill was built where all was woven by hand. The first major order of 3.000m came from Asko for a fabric concept with grey stripes that was tightly woven. Considering a handweaver was producing about 3m per day it was a big order. Marjatta Metsovaara who only had 4 weavers hired more women around the Parish of Urjala and trained them to gather a total of 70 weavers. The order was completed within the due date. Production in the 1950s were handwoven blankets, upholstery fabrics, and rugs. The Comfort furniture fabric was made for Funktio Oy. Piikko (homespun tow) and Pikku-piikko (small homespun tow) were fashionable, tightly woven furniture fabrics made with natural materials and colours for Artek Oy.

When producing the first plaid blankets in 1954, the textile artist proved to be a masterful ruler of colours and made these blossom, especially in the mohair blankets using 40% wool and 60% mohair, the opposite proportion from the usual 60% wool and 40% mohair. The surface of the felt was carded and it reflected the colours richly. These blankets became a statement and the US was the most important market.

In the wool pile rugs, the colour incubation was as masterful as with the blankets. In 1960 a new weaving hall with modern weaving machines was added. Marjatta remained the sole designer and owner of the plant and continued producing handwoven textiles.

There was a collaboration with Villayhtymä Oy for producing other furniture, curtain and costume fabrics. With Finnrya Oy for producing machine tufted rugs, and with Finn Flare Oy for designing clothing textiles.

The collaboration with Tampella Oy started in 1962, and yearly about 500.000 metres in prints on Marjatta Metsovaara’s designed and gradually improved Lappi-cotton satin were produced for Metsovaara Oy. The same year she founded a modern weaving mill in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium. This town was the place of origin of the Belgian textile industry. The new factory created the most advanced and innovative fabrics for projects and the furniture industry. Fabrics came out in 40 different colours and Metsovaara Oy got an excellent supply from both her mill in Belgium as well as from Tampella.

In 1969 the Employee’s Pensions Act came into force in Finland. With this new law, the social costs of the employees came to be paid by the employer and the costs of manufacturing rose to a high. Production became unprofitable. Many factories in Finland stopped production. In spite of this Metsovaara continued producing in Urjalankylä high-quality fabrics at the pace of 100.000 metres per year. Production in Belgium was much higher.

Marjatta Metsovaara sold Metsovaara Oy to Sellgren Oy in 1980 and continued to design Metsovaara collections for a couple of years. The firm was just the wrong type to succeed in modern times.

On the other hand, she continued running her mill in Belgium successfully. The furniture industry and textile distributors like Design Tex and Clarence House Textiles in the US were good regular customers. However, the contract was the main business with supply to airline companies, hotel chains worldwide like Hilton, Sheraton, Hyatt, Daewoo, Mandarin Oriental, Oberoi. Stylish Ciga Hotels and the Pierre in New York were dressed with her textiles. Theatres like the Berliner Philharmoniker and city theatres in Finland, government buildings as well as the White House were supplied. Belgian railway, Dutch railway and Van Hool coachbuilder with their demanding criteria were good regular customers. British Airways and Finnair choose their flatweaves for their aircraft seats, Royal Air Maroc and Sabena stylish, light and extremely tight woven jacquards in floral motives. Orders from cruise and ferry lines became the most important business.

Luxury cruise ships were built at Meyer in Papenburg (Germany) and Turku (Finland). Chandris, Ocean Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Royal Cruise Line and ferries of Silja Line were supplied. Many ships required over 20.000 metres of high-end fabrics and the factory in Sint-Niklaas was running in 3 shifts. Marjatta’s design knowledge with the excellence of local workers was an absolute win/win. The last order of  120.000 m in one design, one quality came from Carnival Cruises for their first 3 ships. 

In 1990 Marjatta Metsovaara decided to sell her weaving mill to German textile company Krall & Roth.

Back to history

Textile company

Metsovaara Oy was founded in 1954 in Urjalankylä where first a weaving mill was built where all was woven by hand. The first major order of 3.000m came from Asko for a fabric concept with grey stripes that was tightly woven. Considering a handweaver was producing about 3m per day it was a big order. Marjatta Metsovaara who only had 4 weavers hired more women around the Parish of Urjala and trained them to gather a total of 70 weavers. The order was completed within the due date. Production in the 1950s were handwoven blankets, upholstery fabrics, and rugs. The Comfort furniture fabric was made for Funktio Oy. Piikko (homespun tow) and Pikku-piikko (small homespun tow) were fashionable, tightly woven furniture fabrics made with natural materials and colours for Artek Oy.

When producing the first plaid blankets in 1954, the textile artist proved to be a masterful ruler of colours and made these blossom, especially in the mohair blankets using 40% wool and 60% mohair, the opposite proportion from the usual 60% wool and 40% mohair. The surface of the felt was carded and it reflected the colours richly. These blankets became a statement and the US was the most important market.

In the wool pile rugs, the colour incubation was as masterful as with the blankets. In 1960 a new weaving hall with modern weaving machines was added. Marjatta remained the sole designer and owner of the plant and continued producing handwoven textiles.

There was a collaboration with Villayhtymä Oy for producing other furniture, curtain and costume fabrics. With Finnrya Oy for producing machine tufted rugs, and with Finn Flare Oy for designing clothing textiles.

The collaboration with Tampella Oy started in 1962, and yearly about 500.000 metres in prints on Marjatta Metsovaara’s designed and gradually improved Lappi-cotton satin were produced for Metsovaara Oy. The same year she founded a modern weaving mill in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium. This town was the place of origin of the Belgian textile industry. The new factory created the most advanced and innovative fabrics for projects and the furniture industry. Fabrics came out in 40 different colours and Metsovaara Oy got an excellent supply from both her mill in Belgium as well as from Tampella.

In 1969 the Employee’s Pensions Act came into force in Finland. With this new law, the social costs of the employees came to be paid by the employer and the costs of manufacturing rose to a high. Production became unprofitable. Many factories in Finland stopped production. In spite of this Metsovaara continued producing in Urjalankylä high-quality fabrics at the pace of 100.000 metres per year. Production in Belgium was much higher.

Marjatta Metsovaara sold Metsovaara Oy to Sellgren Oy in 1980 and continued to design Metsovaara collections for a couple of years. The firm was just the wrong type to succeed in modern times.

On the other hand, she continued running her mill in Belgium successfully. The furniture industry and textile distributors like Design Tex and Clarence House Textiles in the US were good regular customers. However, the contract was the main business with supply to airline companies, hotel chains worldwide like Hilton, Sheraton, Hyatt, Daewoo, Mandarin Oriental, Oberoi. Stylish Ciga Hotels and the Pierre in New York were dressed with her textiles. Theatres like the Berliner Philharmoniker and city theatres in Finland, government buildings as well as the White House were supplied. Belgian railway, Dutch railway and Van Hool coachbuilder with their demanding criteria were good regular customers. British Airways and Finnair choose their flatweaves for their aircraft seats, Royal Air Maroc and Sabena stylish, light and extremely tight woven jacquards in floral motives. Orders from cruise and ferry lines became the most important business.

Luxury cruise ships were built at Meyer in Papenburg (Germany) and Turku (Finland). Chandris, Ocean Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Royal Cruise Line and ferries of Silja Line were supplied. Many ships required over 20.000 metres of high-end fabrics and the factory in Sint-Niklaas was running in 3 shifts. Marjatta’s design knowledge with the excellence of local workers was an absolute win/win. The last order of  120.000 m in one design, one quality came from Carnival Cruises for their first 3 ships. 

In 1990 Marjatta Metsovaara decided to sell her weaving mill to German textile company Krall & Roth.

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