Interview with Petri Juslin, guest expert for March in The Textile Design Lab

PetriPetri Juslin is the Artwork Studio Manager for Marimekko, and we are thrilled to welcome him as our guest expert for March in The Textile Design Lab! Petri’s expertise lies in the print production process, and later this month he will be providing free training to all Textile Design Lab members on how to insure beautiful results when printing on fabrics using the wet printing process. Today we are sharing an excerpt from Petri’s full interview, in which he talks about his job as studio manager, the Marimekko printing process, his advice for designers, and more. Join The Textile Design Lab today to gain access to the rest of the interview!


Could you talk a bit about your design background? How did you become interested in textile design? What led you to your position at Marimekko?

I grew up in the 1960’s and 70’s, when in every home you could see Finnish printed textiles, made by such companies such as Marimekko, Finlayson, Tampella and Porin Puuvilla. I found fabric printing being an art form that could easily reach people and even come into their homes.

I am a self-taught. Instead of going to university, I came to work in Marimekko’s printing factory when I was 23, this was in spring 1986.

I learned a lot of screen making and printing, and soon worked in the artwork studio. From the beginning of 1989 I was pretty much responsible for making the designs printable. At that time there were no computers in this process. I learned the traditional methods, which helped a lot when starting to learn Photoshop in the 90’s.


What do you feel is the hardest step in creating a successful textile design?

You will have to impress in one second with your design. No one will look at it for a longer time, if it does not impress. It has to have power, which is a sum of a dynamic repeat and colors that make the right mood.


Who are your textile design heroes? What about them inspires you or influences your work?

I have worked closely with about 150 designers. My heroes are those of them, who can see the whole picture: customer, business, production, art and history, trends etc.

I and everyone else co-operating with designers, are inspired, when we are being trusted and respected. My advice to young designers would be: try to inspire anyone you are working with. This will help you and your career.

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