More than a hundred years ago, the great-grandfather of Jaana Hjelt’s husband, Esko, opened a wool and felt boot factory in Lankilankoski, Finland, where the Ostrobothnian winters are freezing cold.
Still in family hands, Lapuan Kankurit today values responsible and environment-friendly processes and pure natural materials. Multifunctionality of their products is important to owners and forth-generation weavers Jaana and Esko Hjelt. In their book, blankets can also be tablecloths or space dividers. Their high-quality textiles are made to bring beauty and happiness into a family’s everyday life for generations.
Lapuan Kankurit’s fine wool products weave together the story of Finnish handicraft traditions, innovative techniques, and the artwork of top Scandinavian designers. And so the legend continues.
A Conversation with Jaana Hjelt
Born: 1968 in Lapua, Finland.
Lives: After studying and working in other cities for ten years, I came back to Lapua.
Work: I do what I love. I run a weaving mill—Lapuan Kankurit (“Weavers of Lapua”)—with my husband, Esko.
Fun: I love to just stay at home with the children, to spend time without any timetables. But we all also love to travel and meet new people. That’s what I do for fun and for work!
Working on right now: Now it’s the “exhibition season,” which means traveling around Europe and attending fairs. It’s great to show our latest collection and hear the feedback.
Favorite place in the world: Home. This may sound boring, but because of my busy life as an entrepreneur, weekends at home are the best. Saturday evenings at home with family: good food, sauna, sitting, and talking with the kids about all the joys and sorrows of the past week.
Motto: Now it’s a perfect moment.
Inspiration: My husband, Esko. It’s great to have someone next to you who is seeking innovations. He always gets ideas for textiles, and we share the same passion to create something new and beautiful for homes. Together with our designers, we make a great team.
Treasured possession: My grandmother’s handcrafted textiles.
Never leaves the house without: A smile. What else do you need?
What’s next for Lapuan Kankurit: We also would like to expand a bit more from home textiles towards apparel . . . Our designers have already made some great bags. I just love them and can’t wait for production to start.