This Is Our
Warp & Weft
Established in 1985 by a couple, designer and pioneer of the Finnish rag rug Eija Rasinmäki and businessman Erkki Immonen, Finarte designs and manufactures affordable, sustainable rugs which balance a traditional Finnish weaving heritage with a contemporary Nordic design sensibility.
Accompany us on our journey – travel the world with us.
Finarte is the leading design house for Finnish rugs. The history of rugs in every Scandinavian home is long, and we aim to maintain these traditions with new colors and styles. It all started 50 years ago in 1970 when the co-founder of Finarte, textile designer Eija Rasinmäki was gifted a handloom by her mother. Having a strong calling to create and weave, Eija started her life as an artist and entrepreneur at the age of twenty five. Creating a collection of new-era rag rugs (the traditional Finnish cotton rug), her rugs and tapestries quickly became sought-after pieces that were sold to numerous countries. Fifty years later, she is known for her extensive work for Finnish textile – a pioneer of making the “rag rug” a statement design piece.
In the early 1980’s Eija, a single-mother of two and by then a succesful entrepreneur, went to a history-making opening party in the Finnish town of Kotka. It was hosted by “the most sought-out bachelor” in the area, businessman Erkki Immonen. These two very diverse people yet hit it off and soon started to think, why not expand and make these rugs in many.
The couple established Finarte and began production in Europe, with its own factory in Porto, Portugal in 1985. The family – by 1988 having two daughters, Laura and Larissa, lived in Portugal until the early 90’s when things backfired and they had to stop production in Porto. Finland was facing the toughest economic recession in its history 1990-1993, which had a dire effect on the Immonen-Rasinmäki family (and many others).
Interesting enough, an Indian skilled manufacturer had invited Eija numerous times to design and work together after seeing her work at different fairs and exhibitions. It seemed like a miracle – soon after the shut down in Porto, Eija and Erkki were embarking on a new journey to India. They started developing, training and teaching the weavers in Sitapur, spreading the knowhow and intricacies of Finnish cotton rugs and Eija’s designs. This early collaboration grew into a life-long exchange of ideas and inspiration — about everything from manual weaving techniques to novel, reusable materials — to the point where these selfsame rug makers are still Finarte’s main production partners.
Meanwhile the kids were growing up, life went on as usual. By the time their daughters were teenagers, Erkki and Eija had already travelled back-and-forth to India countless times, both with kids and without. Enchanted by the diverse culture and work in India, the youngest daughter Larissa and Eija went on to move there more permanently. While Larissa studied in a local high school and lived at the boarding school on the outskirts of Delhi, Eija spent her weeks at the factory in Biswan designing and teaching.
After some years, life went back to normal – Eija and Larissa returned to Finland, frequent travels to India continuing. The daughters went on to study their traits (which had nothing to do with rug business), while Erkki managed Finarte and Eija continued designing. In early 2010, the world was changing – globalisation was real, internet and online shopping were becoming the place to be. It seemed that it wasn’t anymore “business as usual” – one had to keep up with the time more than ever, otherwise you’d be left behind. While their older daughter moved to the US to pursue her career, younger daughter Larissa (who lived with Eija in India earlier), was finishing her economics degree and had an epiphany during her internship at UN in New York – there in Kotka, some 7000 km away, a table had been laid for her. A table with sturdy legs but a table that needed some little fixes to work again. Combining her dream to work in development and sustainability, the family business suddenly was revealed to be what she was wanted – and was meant to do – in her life.
Six years passing, led by the founders’ daughter Larissa Immonen, Finarte continues to produce rugs that reflect a careful balance of heritage and creativity, tradition and modernity, innovative design and reusable materials, east and west, a balance that can be seen in the textures, colors, shapes and forms found throughout our product lines.
The family-owned company has grown out of love – the love for handmade, well designed rugs and the love between two souls. Now a lifelong commitment in two-generations, Finarte carries on the same ethos with the same passion as over thirty years ago.