Bold, Beautiful, and behind the scenes at marimekko

Marimekko might be the Finnish design house and textile pioneer you didn’t know you knew. World renowned for their bright colours and iconic patterns that inspire a sense of joy. We’ve been a brand partner since 2012, offering their bedding, dining ware, teapots, and home goods in our US and Canadian stores. Today we’re taking our first step on the textile printing floor at Marimekko HQ.

Mesmerized is the automatic feeling. Thousands of silkscreen rolls stacked and archived by memory. Massive meters of fabric fed into machines, transforming blank space into graphic spectacle. Human hands work with respect for creativity and in synchronicity, preparing colours, washing textiles, checking quality. Back in the day before the technology arrived, Marimekko would post ads looking for tall workers with long arms to operate silk screen machines by hand. Today’s print-ers rely on human expertise to gauge the amount of dyes needed. It’s something special. This is art.

Petri is our guide. A technical print master and living library of brand knowledge who has been with Marimekko for 32 years. Collaborating closely with designers to achieve their visions.

Petri takes us inside the Marimekko archives. Swatches of print tests on a variety of materials to see ink-fibre reactions. Colour experiments dating back to the 60s, kept in a simple binder. It’s hard to believe. Designers often return to this priceless tomb to rediscover vintage colourways for potential revival. In this digital era this is the aspect of trial and error from the past that still inspires today.

Each Marimekko pattern represents a collaboration. Printed at the side of every wrung of fabric is the artist’s name and date. Unikko (“poppy”) is a distinctive design most people recognize, by Finnish designer Maija Isola dating to 1964. The decade of Flower Power! A symbol of the era. Since then Unikko has become Marimekko’s unofficial logo.

Beyond the beauty that meets the eye is the driving female force at Marimekko’s heart: Armi Ratia. She co-founded Marimekko in 1951 with the vision to bring joy to everyday life, and carried an unwavering belief to stand out from the crowd, as you are. The name Marimekko means, “Mary’s dress,” and the brand’s apparel is designed with voluminous shapes to liberate. Embodying the idea of truly “living, not pretending,” as the brand stands by today. Expressing who you are and being seen for it. This empowering soul couldn’t be more relevant 68 years later, assisting us in unleashing our personality through un-deniably striking design.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This