Pattern design for woven baby blanket
KELA, an independent social security institution supervised by the Finnish Parliament, provides a maternity package for all newborn babies and their parents in Finland. The history of the package dates back to 1938 when the first newborns and their mothers received aid from a governmental institution. This aid has had its role in keeping the child mortality levels very low in Finland throughout the years.
KELA updates the content of the package every year with an open tender, and over the years we have supplied several patterns for the tender for various manufacturers. It was delighting to hear that the pattern designed for Barker Textiles and its woven baby blanket was chosen for the 2022 package!
It was the first time for Barker Textiles to participate in a tender of this size. An order of 32 000 woven baby blankets, one for each newborn, is a big order for any company. As the owner of Barker Textiles Mr. Heikki Pulsa puts it: “A good team playing well together is the key. You need to have a good team of your own, and sometimes you need externals to push the team even further.”
Obviously, also the high quality of Barker Textile’s production plays an important role: besides being very safe for the baby, the blanket is also durable: it will keep its colors and shape without problems even when washed in high temperatures and according to the washing instructions.
In their mind, Heikki and his team had an image of a sleeping bear illustrated on the cover of a Finnish children’s book when they turned to us. Despite several attempts to find that book, Heikki has not managed to do so, so the name and author, as well as the illustrator, of the book, remain still a mystery.
Still, designer Ammi Lahtinen managed to capture precisely the feeling for the blanket that Barker Textile was looking for. “I heard that a customer was looking for an animal-themed pattern for a blanket. I often save my ideas first as photos, quick sketches, or even as written texts. For this project, I looked for my earlier idea of a pattern with a bear and buddies.”, says Ammi. “I drew the first sketch for this project paying attention to the scale and technique of the woven baby blanket.”
It would be nice to see how families with newborns use the baby blanket! Do you use it only during the cold season, or does the blanket follow you to the beach or picnics? Please tag your image with #patternsfromagency on Instagram, so that we can feature it in our Instagram stories!