Arabia was founded in 1873 by a Swedish porcelain company, Rorstrand. In 1916 Rorstand sold Arabia, after which Arabia became fully owned by Finnish people.

Ever since the late 1920s and early 1930s, Arabia`s production was divided into the art division and the daily ware division. The art department hosted many famous artists, including Birger Kaipiainen, all of whom made Finnish design and art known all over the world with their unique pieces. Arabia factory`s strength was that artists were working at the factory premises. In addition to their individual art, the artists were also deeply involved in developing mass production, which gave Arabia a great advantage over other porcelain companies.

In 1930s, Arabia`s daily ware division was strongly influenced by functionalism, which created the Arabia core values that have been carried until today. Usability was the number one value – both bowls and glasses need to be stackable, and all items must fit into small kitchen cabinets (there were no space in kitchens of that time). All items must be reasonably priced as well, so that everyone can afford a little bit of “beautiful every day life”.

In 1930s, Arabia`s factory was pioneering in developing advanced production methods, well ahead of other porcelain factories in Europe. When the world war two started, Arabia was Europe`s biggest porcelain factory, and right after the war Arabia`s factory employed more than 2000 people.

In 1940s, Kaj Franck was assigned as a head designer of Arabia, and a bit later Olga Osol was chosen to lead the Arabia art division. In 1940s, many famous designers, such as Ulla ProcopeRaija Uosikkinen and Esteri Tomula joined Arabia. These resulted in countless Arabia classics including Kaj Franck`s Kilta and Ulla Procope`s Ruska series.

In 1990s Arabia started to use more and more freelance designers, which resulted in series such as Stefan Lindfors` Ego series. 1990s was also a start of the Moomin boom at Arabia, as Moomin products really took off. Today Arabia is a part of the Iittala Group.

Sources: Arabia: Keramiikka, Taide, Teollisuus. (Designmuseo)