The town of Forssa was born from textile industry. The Swedish Axel Wahren (1814-1885) founded the Forssa cotton spinning mill on the edge of the Kuhala rapids in 1847. It was soon followed by a weaving mill, a yarn dyeing plant, and in 1861 Finland's first and for 60 years the only fabric printing plant. Initially, pattern designs and printing rolls were imported from other parts of Europe. The own design work began in the 1930s, and the studio department started at the factory in 1951. From 1934, the Forssa mills were part of Finland's largest textile factory, Finlayson. Finlayson fabrics were designed and printed in Forssa. During the 1950s and 1990s, hundreds of thousands of different patterns were produced. As the industry gradually waned, the factory properties were converted to other uses and the extensive archives were transferred to the museum.
The main exhibition of the Forssa Museum, the City of Colourful Cloth, tells the story of Forssa community. Museum Gallery Moletti, an atmospheric little gallery, focuses on contemporary and textile art. Forssa Museum was the Museum of the Year 2014 in Finland and a nominee for the Emya prize in 2015. In 2021, the museum opens a new site Pattern Centre, dedicated to printed fabric design. The large collection of industrial textiles includes fabric samples and original design drawings from more than 130 designers with emphasis on the 1950s-1980s Finnish and Finlayson design. The museum is located on the Spinning Mill Area, which is a combination of 19th century factory architecture and historic parks, and a part of the Forssa National Urban Park.
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Tuesday - Friday 10am-4pm
Saturday 10am-2pm (in summer 12pm-4pm)