Marimekko Memory Cards
Familiar with my passion for textile prints, my friend Inma Martinez kindly loaned me a Marimekko memory card deck on which are printed some of their most memorable prints.
The cards, all featuring vivid and strong prints, start in the 1950s and run through to 2004.
Each card includes the designer’s name and the year. It is interesting to see what subsequent work they have done, search for Maija Isola, for example to see more of her amazing prints.
Marimekko needs no introduction to anyone with a trendy mother or grandmother who sewed a dress or a pair of curtains with their fabric.
For those who don’t know, Marimekko is the avant-gardiste Finnish textile brand founded by Armi and Viljo Ratia in 1951. The couple started by asking graphic designer friends to contribute designs which they could print on textile. The company became an instant success, offering miles of funky textiles for any creative mind to sew or create.
They later moved into making dresses, tablecloths and linens to show how fabric could be used in the house. Jackie Kennedy, one of their most famous fans, wore Marimekko dresses during the 1960s presidential campaign.
From the series shown above, which print would you think is from the 1950s? (Answer below)
An interesting sidenote from a Japanese friend in Tokyo, is that Marimekko never created the buzz you would expect from a country with a keen eye for textiles. My guess is that Marimekko competes against Japan’s long tradition of minimalist textile design. Marimekko’s bold and flashy designs may not appeal to Japanese sensibilities, in which prints are inspired by natural elements.
Answer: All prints were 1960s or later, apart from the fuschia-black citrus pattern (below the S squiggle), which was created in 1950 by Maija Isola.
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Tags: Japan, marimekko, textile prints