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Arabia Teema & Kilta

One of the most-known dishware series in Finland is Kaj Franck’s Kilta. It was designed in the late 1940’s and later redesigned as Teema. The main principles in its design were practicality, versatility, affordability and minimal form.

Colourful glazing was all that was needed as decoration, which in the end became a specialty of Arabia. The series was a classic already at birth - known as Finland’s most popular series.
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Kilta design was titled by the press as “a revolution on the dinner table.” It was now possible for the first time to pick and collect your own set instead of buying a traditional service with predefined dishes. The Arabia Kilta series became internationally popular because of it’s multifunctionality: the same items could be used for cooking and serving, from oven to table and refrigerator.

Kilta production was partly stamped on top of the glazing, which was prone to wear away. Therefore there are some Kilta items with no stamps on them. With these you should be careful with the quality, as the 2nd class production was not stamped at all.

After selling over 25 million pieces, the production of Kilta was discontinued at the Arabia factory in 1974 as the production of faience ended. This made Finnish customers terribly upset. A team of Finnish designers, led by Kaj Franck, stepped up to answer their concerns, and in 1981 the Teema series was launched. In fact, even the series name Teema referred to the word ‘team”.

Teema had renewed forms and less dishes altogether. Teema dishes were more angular, stackable, and larger than their predecessors. Teema can also better handle rapid temperature changes in the microwave, freezer, and dishwasher thanks to their newer material, vitro porcelain.

Teema was produced until 2002 under the Arabia brand and after that under the Iittala brand. The first colours of the Teema series were Kilta’s original white, blue, dark green, black, and yellow. Teema’s colour tones were stronger and darker than Kilta’s. From the original colours only the black and white are still in production. For example, the original yellow colour was discontinued in 2008, although some small batches were also produced after that. Later on Arabia has manufactured Teema in numerous different colours.

In 2006, Teema was redesigned once more: some old pieces were discontinued, and instead new size variations were added to the plates, cups, bowls, and platters. Kaj Franck had passed away in 1989, but nevertheless the 2006 Teema series was redesigned with respect to his original ideas by his former team members Oiva Toikka and Heikki Orvola.

The production of the Teema dishes gradually moved to for example Thailand and Romania, completely by 2016. Did you know, Arabia’s popular Moomin mugs are also Teema!

Astialiisa Online sells the original Finnish production of Teema and Kilta.

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