Arabia stands as one of Finland’s most cherished and renowned brands. For more than 140 years, Arabia has been an integral part of Finnish households, enriching both everyday moments and special occasions. With designs that reflect the essence of each era while retaining a timeless appeal, Arabia pieces are not only beautiful but also practical, crafted to endure the test of time.
Originally established as a subsidiary of the Swedish porcelain producer Rörstrang on November 25, 1873, the Arabia brand has seen its fair share of changes in ownership throughout its history.
Carl-Gustaf Herlitz, who had ties to Rörstrand, assumed the role of technical director in 1881. Arabia Aktiefabrik, formed as a limited company in 1885, saw Herlitz taking on the position of managing director in 1893. Notably, Thure Öberg, recruited from Röstrand during the 1890s, served as the company’s pioneering artist until his passing in 1935.
In 1916, Arabia shifted to Finnish ownership, with Carl-Gustaf Herlitz’s son, also named Carl-Gustaf Herlitz, leading as CEO until 1947. Under his guidance, Arabia flourished, becoming the largest porcelain manufacturer in the Nordic region.
From 1947 to 1990, Wärtsilä Oy owned Arabia before it was acquired by Hackman. Today, the Arabia brand finds its home within the Iittala Group, which parted ways with Hackman and was subsequently acquired by Fiskars in 2007.
Kurt Ekholm, appointed as the artistic director of Arabia’s art department in 1932, played a pivotal role in pioneering innovative tableware designs. During its peak, Arabia boasted a workforce of over 1,500 individuals and held the title of Europe’s largest porcelain factory. Additionally, Arabia manufactured toilet seats in Helsinki’s Arabianranta and Ekenäs between 1874 and 1992. However, production at the ceramics factory in Fishers came to a halt on March 18, 2016, with operations relocating overseas.