clearlytangled is a blogger, traveler, crafter and fabric designer with an etsy shop as well (read her etsy intro to learn more about how she doesn’t like bad food and if she really wears a mumu at home). she has also been a reader here at i made it so since nearly the beginning. i noticed that marimekko had a way of sneaking into her own blog posts over the months, so i was thrilled when she offered to share how she first came to know of marimekko, and how it has inspired her own projects…
marimekko store front in helsinki — note this store has since moved a couple doors down
i was first introduced to marimekko by my husband nearly a decade ago, when he bought me a set of very pink and red unikko towels while we were still in the beginning months of our relationship. it seems odd that a man would be the one to open up a whole new world of interior design to me, but somehow this is how it played out in my life. i was newly in love with my foreign, and very finnish boyfriend, and when i received these towels, several thoughts ran through my head.
1. towels do not exactly scream romance
2. what on earth is marimekko and why is it so expensive?
3. i love these towels… they are so… LOUD.
since then, as i have become more and more entrenched in finnish culture and design, i have also found marimekko seeping more and more into my everyday material and sewing world. what i love about marimekko is the versatility of their patterns. for example, i have made a skirt and wall panels out of the same samovaari fabric. i have the bedsheets too. in fact, i also have the same pattern in my hand towels and in my shower curtain. tucked away in my buffet, i have samovaari napkins, too. why? because it’s pretty. on all those things. and because marimekko produces different color ways of the same patterns, cycling them in and out, temporarily retiring some while bringing back others, the products are continually getting slight makeovers.
skirt i made of unikko fabric
before you start imagining my home spewing with bright colors and bold patterns, let it be known that my taste is actually pretty minimalistic. because of the wide availability of products, a person can subtly infuse marimekko into their design world without an obnoxious overkill of bright colors and patterns (although there are certainly those that do so). the prints are splashed in random places: tea towels, umbrellas, cosmetic bags, coffee mugs, skirts, bags, curtains, notebooks, bedding. even more delightful for a crafter is that their fabrics are also available for people’s own creations (albeit at a hefty price). i have sewn bags, pillow cases, made wall art, clothing, and electronic cases out of various patterns.
bag i made out of kioto fabric
pillowcase i made out of lumimarja fabric
if you are new to the world of marimekko, you certainly may be skeptical of sporting bright red poppy curtains in your living room (and quite frankly, so am i). naturally, i don’t love all their patterns or their products, but i have found them to be fun addition to my aesthetic world. sometimes just one small object can make a huge difference. a good friend of mine once bought me a unikko mug, and every day i used it at work, it brightened my day just a little bit. so if you haven’t explored the marimekko world before, i invite you to start with something small… an umbrella? a pencil case? or, perhaps a set of towels?