Reason for being made in Thailand:
ARABIA is a leading Finnish ceramics brand founded in 1873, and its beautiful designs and high quality are highly praised all over the world. Since 2016, ARABIA products have been manufactured in contract factories in Thailand and Romania while retaining the Finnish design.
(Photo: Production scene at Thai factory)
In 2014, ARABIA was acquired by the Iittala Group, which has had a major impact on the Finnish tableware industry. The Iittala Group is Finland's leading tableware manufacturer, and with the acquisition of ARABIA, it has further strengthened its share in the Nordic tableware market.
Since the late 2000s, competition with tableware manufacturers from emerging countries such as China has intensified, and as a result, ARABIA chose to be acquired by the Iittala Group.
ARABIA's brand development, design and portfolio management continues to take place in Helsinki, even after product manufacturing has been moved to Thailand and Romania. In 2016, the new Iittala and ARABIA Design Center opened in the former Design Museum space. This maintains control over the brand's design and quality.
What is the difference between the two? :
The main difference between Finnish and Thai made ARABIA tableware is the price. Tableware manufactured in Finland has many parts that are handmade, and because of its limited edition and collectability, prices are set high. On the other hand, tableware made in Thailand is produced in large quantities, so prices are relatively low. The difference in the number of processes and wages between the two countries is directly reflected in the price, and to put it simply, products made in Thailand are cheaper and products made in Finland are more expensive .
Differences in performance as tableware:
There are differences in the quality of products from both countries. In particular , products made in Thailand and Romania are superior to those made in Finland in terms of sophistication, precision, lack of penetration and distortion, and presence of sunspots.
To avoid any mistakes, I repeat that outsourced products made in Thailand and Romania are better made.
The problem is what we mean by "well done."
Comparison with vintage tableware:
ARABIA products made in Finland in the mid-20th century had a lenient inspection system, and products were shipped even if they had distortions, penetrations, or slightly larger or smaller sizes that would be unthinkable by modern standards. .
Firing in a kiln reduces the size of pottery by about 10%, but at the time it was common for the same plate to have a difference of a few millimeters.
It is common for vintage tableware to not stack neatly when stacked. Inevitably, when tableware is stacked, they do not mesh well, so scratches caused by stacking are often seen as scratches unique to vintage tableware.
Furthermore, the kiln temperatures at that time were not as high as they are now, so they were not as hard and easily scratched.
In the 21st century, the quality control of Finnish-made ARABIA products has improved, and the quality of the workmanship is no longer a concern, but there are still some products with misaligned prints.
(Photo: At that time, even plates with such penetrations were shipped as a matter of course.)
The beauty of vintage:
On the other hand, the quality of Finnish-era products, which also have some drawbacks, lies in their color and luster. In particular, vintage items are characterized by deeper colors than modern items and a beautiful luster that does not change over time.
This is where personal preference and understanding of tableware differ greatly.
The old ones are 100% done by hand.
(Painting scene of the ARABIA factory in the 1950s)
Hand-colored works from the era were done by painters with basic knowledge. The painter's sense of color was also excellent.
Made in Finland also has some differences:
(Photo: On the left is the earliest Paratissi made in 1968 , on the right is a reprinted version of Paratissi made in 1988. Both are made in Finland, but the color and line thickness are different.)
By the way, even if it is made in Finland, the quality of the workmanship varies depending on the time of year. Looking at the Paratissi series above, the one on the right is the one made in 1988 that is hard and unbreakable and has a long life as tableware, but the oval plate made in 1968 is superior in terms of color luster and artistry.
Although the pottery technology was immature at the time, the exquisiteness of the glaze mixture and the high level of painting techniques more than made up for it, giving vintage tableware a unique charm.
The ARABIA products we sell are basically vintage items manufactured up to the 1970s. With that era as a turning point, even if ARABIA products are made in Finland, there are big differences in terms of artistry and color gloss.