ARABIA(アラビア)のフィンランド製とタイ製の違い - 北欧食器Tacksamycket

The difference between ARABIA products made in Finland and Thailand

Made in Thailand Reason:

Founded in 1873, ARABIA is one of Finland's leading porcelain brands, and its beautiful designs and high quality are highly acclaimed around the world. Since 2016, ARABIA products have been manufactured in contract factories in Thailand and Romania while retaining Finnish design.

Production scene at the Thailand factory

(Photo: Production scene at the Thai factory)

In 2014, ARABIA was acquired by the Iittala Group, which had a major impact on the Finnish tableware industry. The Iittala Group is Finland's leading tableware manufacturer and has further strengthened its share in the Nordic tableware market through the acquisition of ARABIA.

Since the late 2000s, competition with tableware manufacturers in China and other emerging countries has intensified, and as a result, Arabia chose to be acquired by the Iittala Group.

ARABIA's brand development, design and portfolio management continues in Helsinki, even after product manufacturing has moved to Thailand and Romania. In 2016, the new Iittala and ARABIA Design Center opened in the space of the former Design Museum. This keeps the brand's design and quality under control.

What's the difference? :

The main difference between Finnish and Thai ARABIA tableware is the price. Finnish-manufactured tableware is often hand-made, and its price is set high due to its limited and collectible nature. On the other hand, tableware made in Thailand is mass-produced, so the price is set relatively low. In short, it can be said that the price reflects the amount of work and the difference in wages between the two countries .

Difference in workmanship as tableware:

There is a difference in performance between the products of the two countries. In particular, Thai and Romanian products are superior to Finnish products in terms of sophistication and precision, no penetration or distortion, and no black spots.

The problem is what this "well done" means.

Comparison with vintage tableware:

Arabian products made in Finland in the middle of the 20th century have a lax inspection system, and even products with distortions that are unthinkable by modern standards, intrusions, and slightly larger or smaller sizes are shipped. .

Firing in a kiln reduces the size of pottery by about 10%, but it was common at the time that even the same plate would have a margin of error of a few millimeters.

It's common for vintage dinnerware to not stack neatly when stacked. Inevitably, when tableware is stacked, the meshing is poor, so scratches due to stacking are often seen as scratches peculiar to vintage tableware.

In addition, the kiln temperature at that time was not as high as it is now, so it was not hard and easily scratched.

In the 21st century, the quality control of Finnish-made ARABIA products has improved, and although we no longer care about the workmanship, there are some cases where the print is out of alignment.


(Photo: At that time, plates with such intrusions were shipped as a matter of course.)

Good things about vintage:

On the other hand, when it comes to the goodness of products from the Finnish era, which also have some drawbacks, it is the color and luster. In particular, vintage items are characterized by deeper colors than modern ones and a beautiful luster that does not change over time.

This is where personal taste and understanding of tableware diverge.

The old ones are 100% hand-made.

(Painting scenery of the ARABIA factory in the 1950s sisällön kuvaus/ Keraamiset astiat valmistuvat Arabian tehtailla 2.4.1957)

Hand-colored paintings were done by painters with basic skills. The painter's sense of color was also excellent.

Made in Finland is also different:

Old and Replicated Paratiisi

(Photo: On the left is the earliest Paratiisi made in 1968 , and on the right is a reprinted version of Paratiisi 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, there is a difference in the workmanship depending on the time. Looking at the Paratiisi series above, the 1988 product on the right is hard and durable as tableware, but the 1968 oval plate is superior in terms of color and luster and artistry.

At that time, the pottery making technology was immature, but the high level of production technology more than compensated for it, so vintage tableware has a unique charm.

The ARABIA products we handle in our shop are basically vintage items manufactured by the 1970s. Taking that era as a boundary, even if ARABIA products are made in Finland, there is a big difference in terms of artistry and color luster.

Check out our ARABIA collection here!

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