An apron – one of the chosen textiles for Project 1

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Part one - Project 1

So another one of my chosen textiles is an apron. And not any apron – a Marimekko apron, a design Company known for its bold prints.

Marimekko is founded in 1951 by a women, Armi Ratia, modern, chic and sophisticated design for women.

Marimekko actually means “Mary-dress”.

I bought the apron in Helsinki in the summer of 2011 while on a brief vacation. I have had various Marimekko items over the years, the bright colours and distinct design has always had an appeal to me.

The Company have a good focus on values and sustainability, in their own words here.

Their website is good and informative, here is a bit about their design philosophy.

Substance / description

The apron is rather short, having a length of 81 cm. It is made of cotton with print. It ties around the waist with a knot. According to Marimekko the printing of fabric takes place in Helsinki on their own factory.

The prints are bold circles in roughly the same sizes, a diameter of 16 cm, but very different in their composition and choices of colours. The circles have little handles attached to them, they remind me of either a dishcloth or oven mittens, something everyday hanging on a little hook close to the cooker.

The decoration uses circles of varying thicknesses and also half-moon lines like below. The design looks handdrawn and un-even, part of the intended charm.

The apron has no lining and is machine stitched in a normal fashion, square corners and a fold to hide the threads.

Use of colour

The background colour is a rich chestnut Brown. I ran it through the Pantone colour app on my phone with the following result;

This snapshot also shows the weaving close in. As always fotos are not the same as reality, the apron is more dark Brown in real life.

On this background is a mix of colours, both warm and cold, mainly bright and clear so the circles stand out from the background. Nothing subdued here…

The circles have colour combinations of both complementary and more analogue schemes.

An essential part of an apron is the pocket, often placed in the middle of the apron . A big oblong piece of cloth randomly placed on top of the printed fabric – gives a good break in the circular impression of the apron.

Final comment

A useful piece of textile in a classical design but with bold forms and colour choices – very good branding – you know it is Marimekko.

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