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03.08.2020

Finlayson, Tampere

Finlayson is a Finnish textile company founded in 1820, which develops interior textiles under the Finlayson brand. Finlayson has a total of 22 stores of its own, factory shops and shops in Finland and Sweden, as well as an online shop.  Jukka Kurttila has been CEO of Finlayson since June 2014.

At the end of 2016, the company employed 87 people and generated a turnover of around 35 million euros.  The company's headquarters are in Salmisaari, Helsinki. Finlayson products are developed in Finland and manufactured mainly in Europe. For example, Finlayson Elephant cotton sheets are developed in Finland and manufactured in Turkey . 

Finlayson originated from the mechanical workshop and foundry in Tampere, founded in 1820 by Scottish James Finlayson. At that time, the factory produced carding and spinning machines for spinning wool and linen. However, the company did badly because the machines were not sold. Finlayson moved from mechanical engineering to cotton wool spinning and weaving. The beginning of the Finnish cotton industry is considered the year 1828, when Finlayson became a cotton factory. Already in 1831, the sale of cotton yarn spread throughout Finland. The cotton mill became the largest in Finland in the 1840s and the largest in the Nordic countries from the 1850s to the 1920s. The first electric lights in the Nordic countries appeared at Finlayson's plant in 1882. By the end of the 20th century Finlayson employed about 3300 people. The company also expanded its activities in the plastics and sawmill industries through acquisitions.

In 1836, the elderly James Finlayson sold his factory to Carl Samuel Nottbeck, a businessman from Riavel (now Tallinn), and George Adolf Rauch, a court counselor, and worked for several years as a counselor before returning to his homeland. The factory had a good reputation, and Finlayson demanded that the buyers keep his name on behalf of the company. The new name was Finlayson & Co.

Finlayson Factory Square in Tampere became a significant concentration, where housing, its own school, hospital, health insurance fund, library and church were built and built. The factory opened the first savings bank and cooperative in Tampere.

In 1934 Finlayson bought 50.1% of Osakeyhtiö Forssa shares from Isak Julin. Founded in 1857, the company had a cotton spinning mill, weaving mill and sawmill in Forssa. Forssa Limited Liability Company was merged with Finlayson in the same year and the new company was named Oy Finlayson-Forssa Ab .

In 1964, Vaasan Puuvilla Oy was merged into the company . Vaasan Puuvilla, founded in 1856, owned a cotton spinning mill, weaving mill, dyeing factory, sewing thread factory and finishing plant in Vaasa . Porin Puuvilla Oy was last merged with Finlayson in 1973. Founded in 1898, the company had a cotton spinning mill, weaving mill and dyeing factory in Pori, Isosanta district on the north bank of the Kokemäenjoki River. Due to the merger in 1973, the company name was changed from Oy Finlayson-Forssa Ab to Oy Finlayson Ab.

Finlayson operations declined significantly during the 1980s. In 1986, Asko Oy acquired a controlling interest in Finlayson and in December 1988 the company was merged with Asko. In April 1998, Finlayson's business was sold to Norwegian Sagatex ASA, which in turn sold the interior textile business of Espe Group Oy to CapMan in November 2000. In 2005, the Espe Group changed its name to Finlayson & Co Oy, a subsidiary of which the new Finlayson Oy owns. The weaving mill Ikaalinen, the clothing factory Forssa and the plastics factory Forssa remained in 2001 in the new branch of Sagatex ASA Finlayson Forssa Oy. 

In November 2008 Finlayson Forssa Oy declared bankruptcy. The work at the factory ended on behalf of bankruptcy on 23 January 2009. The company, which produces fabrics for workwear, did not receive enough orders when its former main customer, the Defence Forces, ordered uniforms from the Far East. In connection with the bankruptcy, Finlayson Oy assured that the bankruptcy of Finlayson Forssa would not affect the operations of Finlayson Oy, which produces interior textiles. However, in January 2009 the company announced the beginning of negotiations on cooperation for all personnel, and in March it announced the closure of Forssa production. Production was stopped in September 2009, but the company's model department and logistics centre were still in town.

In June 2014, the owner of Capman sold the Finlayson home textiles business to the founders of the advertising agency Bob the Robot, Jukka Kurttila and Petri Pesonen, and Risto Voutilainen, who worked in the financial sector. Jukka Kurttila became CEO of Finlayson. Familon was at the same time sold to Risto Voutilainen.

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