20 years of voyages with Normandie

Johanna Gullichsen has renewed the world of woven fabrics and brought Nordic textile tradition into the present day. One of Gullichsen’s most beloved fabric collections, Normandie, reaches its 20-year anniversary this year. To celebrate, the Normandie collection gets a new family member.


Oceanide patterns round shape is just perfect for placemats.

Stay tuned for upcoming events

Paris Design Week. September 8th to 16th. Habitare Helsinki. September 13th to 17th. Decorex London. September 17th to 20th Tokyo. October 21st to November 5th      

Normandie Exhibition in Artek, Helsinki

Normandie collection’s celebration starts! Welcome to Normandie 20th anniversary exhibition at Artek Helsinki, May 8th to June 10th.

Oceanide is here!

Oceanide fabric combines themes from three existing patterns, Tithonus, Nereus and Doris.

The new design, Oceanide, combines themes from three existing patterns: Doris, Nereus, and Tithonus. The circular forms of the design play with the shape and size of Alvar Aalto stools. The fabric will first be launched at a 20-year anniversary exhibition opening at Artek, Helsinki on 8 May 2017. The celebratory year will include events and exhibitions both in Finland and internationally.

SS Normandie as an inspiration for the collection. “The Normandie collection is inspired by the era of luxury ocean liners with their colourful deck chairs. The patterns in the fabrics are also reminiscent of urban cities and Nordic artisanal traditions”, Johanna Gullichsen says. Many feel a certain familiarity with the Normandie patterns. The secret of success has been a timelessness mixed with a flexible suitability for spaces from different eras and serving different purposes. Over the years, Normandie designs have turned into rugs, curtains, sofas, cushions, bags as well as architectural elements such as patterns on concrete walls

An international success story.  International success came to the Normandie collection from the start. The fabrics were designed in 1996 and production started in 1997. At the same time, Gullichsen opened her store in Paris. France had been close to Gullichsen’s heart since childhood through attending a French speaking school, having relations in France and travelling to the country often with family. Today, the Normandie collection is sold in over 10 countries, out of which Japan has been an especially important market. Many significant public spaces from embassies to hotels, as well as private homes in Finland and abroad, have found the comfort, style and durability of Normandie fabrics.

Handweaving as a design tool. To start, Johanna Gullichsen began by hand-weaving a great number of variations out of which six made it into production. The collection was manufactured by weaving mill Lapuan Kankurit, and the fabric is still made there in Finland today. The first colours were a sea blue and sun yellow. Later the collection was complemented by more colours. The most popular of the designs is Doris with graphic lines that bring character into spaces and homes.

Woven to last – fabrics for a lifetime. Gullichsen is fascinated by the technical aspect of design work and hand-weaving is an essential part of developing a collection. “Textiles are an easy way to bring comfort and a sensation of something new to the home,” she says. “You don’t have to change everything or buy new furniture. It might well be enough to renew the upholstery of a sofa or get new cushions or new curtains for the living room.”

The fabrics are always designed for the longest lifecycle possible. Production is a careful process using only the best of materials. Gullichsen’s fabrics are – as the label says – woven to last.

The celebration starts with an exhibition at Artek 8.5-10.6.2017. The 20-year anniversary of Johanna Gullichsen’s Normandie is kicked off by an exhibition highlighting Gullichsen’s designs held at Artek 8th May – 10th June 2017. It was at Artek where Normandie’s launch exhibition took place in 1997. The new Normandie design, Oceanide, will be sold at the Artek and Johanna Gullichsen stores from 8th May onwards. The celebratory year includes several events, exhibitions and collaborations in Finland and internationally.

Johanna Gullichsen was born in 1958 in Somero, Finland. Art, design and handcraft skills were strongly present in her family. Her grandmother Maire Gullichsen was a design-influencer and patron, and her other grandmother Anna Ramsay enjoyed weaving.

The first Johanna Gullichsen fabrics were hand-made, but at the end of the ‘80s, Gullichsen started producing her designs at industrial mills. A career breakthrough was table linen created for the restaurant Savoy, also carrying the same name. The design became an instant classic and is still in production.

The ‘90s saw the start of a collaboration with weavers Lapuan Kankurit leading to the Normandie collection in 1997.

The fabrics are all designed to last and are made from only the best materials. The Johanna Gullichsen flagship store is located at Fredrikinkatu 18 in Helsinki. The online store at www.johannagullichsen.com also hosts the whole spectrum of Johanna Gullichsen designs.