Over a short period in the 1800s Finlayson became the largest industrial enterprise in Scandinavia. This growth was based on unique courage and open-mindedness. The company’s weaving hall had the honour of switching on the first electric lights in the Nordic. The company had its own hospital, daycare centre, school, fire brigade, pharmacy and nursing home. The company even its own social security system at a time when no one had yet heard of such a thing. More significantly, Finlayson was the first company in Finland to offer women an opportunity to an independent life: an apartment and livelihood. Women’s status in Finnish society is evident in the fact that in 1906 Finland became the first country in Europe to grant women the right to vote.

Historical milestones


Scottish engineer James Finlayson establishes a cotton factory by the Tammerkoski rapids in the city of Tampere.


The Russian Emperor’s court physician Georg Adolf Rauch and businessman Carl Samuel Nottbeck from St Petersburg purchase the factory. This initiates a period of rapid growth and the company becomes the biggest industrial enterprise in Scandinavia. The company has its own school, daycare, hospital, library and church.


After the Crimean war paper money has lost its value and Finlayson issues its own in 1855. The company pays wages in the currency, which is accepted by all shops in Tampere.


Our story
The Nordic’s first electric light is switched on in the Nordic’s biggest weaving hall. Some workers stop showing up because they think the invention is the work of the devil.


Finlayson perustaa ateljeen Forssaan, jonka luovassa ja inspiroivassa ilmapiirissä syntyy tuhansia kuoseja, jotka edelleen herättävät muistoja lähes kaikissa suomalaisissa.


Finlayson decorates its ready-made sheets with embroidery, printed designs or woven borders. The first duvet cover is made, earning the appellation ’cover bag’ or ’sleeping bag’ in Finnish.


Finlayson is Finland’s biggest employer: 11 factories and 6,500 employees.


Finlayson gets new owners who blow new life into the company. The Tom of Finland collection is launched.


Finlayson starts to recycle household textiles at its stores and establishes the Finlayson lab for young designers. The company is back in the limelight and is voted brand builder of the year in Finland.


Finlayson continues to grow strongly in Finland and opens its first store in Sweden.

Finlayson today

Finlayson is still the most popular and loved textile manufacturer in Finland. The new owners have rejuvenated the company and brought back its old values – courage, creativity and open-mindedness. Once again we’re a company that people talk about.