Iittala is one of the most well-known and oldest design dinnerware brands in Finland, tracing its humble beginnings as a glass factory in 1881 in the village of Iittala in Southern Finland. Initially, they produced blown glass using continental methods with the goal to fill function. During the early years of the 20th century, Iittala began to place more emphasis on aesthetically pleasing creations based on progressive Scandinavian designs. It was during the 1930s and 40s that modernism and functionalism were really brought home to Iittala by artists such as Aino Aalto and Kaj Franck whose core beliefs were that objects should be designed to make them available to everyone and that beauty could be combined with function to give people design ware that would last a lifetime. Aalto and his wife Aino along with Franck and Goran Hongell would go on to win awards across Europe for their designs and would build the foundation for Iittala products that has lasted more than 80 years!
Kaj Franck, Timo Sarpaneva and Tapio Wirkkala continued to push the boundaries of Iittala glassware design during the 50s and 60s with simple, modern designs incorporating a different style of aesthetics and functionality. Due to the influences of its first generation of artists, Iittala’s core beliefs began centering heavily on creating visually pleasing pieces that were durable and functional, pieces that could be combined across a series of products but would still fit in with a home’s existing designs. Iittala believes that people have the right to expect that the objects they buy should last a lifetime and that if the piece is of a high quality, it will never go out of style. This philosophy holds true for Iittala as so many of their pieces from as far back as the 30s and 40s are still in use and in high demand!
Despite the simple appearance of Iittala’s designs, their creation still requires a highly skilled team of glassblowers, designers, and other professionals to produce their timeless pieces. Some pieces require as many as 6 artisans working together to create a single piece! Iittala continues to collaborate with their legendary designers while incorporating the talents of contemporary artists who are ensuring the continuity of Iittala’s heritage is carried into its future creations!
Iittala offers a full line of dinnerware products including glasses, mugs, plates and bowls, cutlery, cookware, and textiles. Among the more popular Iittala glassware design series, you will find Thule, Aarne, Gaissa, Kastehelmi, Aino Aalto and Kartio. Specialty glassware for wine and beer features the elegant Essence series. Plates and bowls from Teema, Taika and Sarjaton are the mainstays for Iittala with many beautiful decorative vases and candle holders from Aalto Collection.
Visit our shop to see our full selection of Iittala glassware and other Scandinavian design tableware. Shop the Iittala collection >