Upholstered Stool 60, Alvar / Aino Aalto, Artek, Finland, c. 1940
The classic Stool 60 from Alvar Aalto, upholstered in a fabric that at first glance seems to be corduroy. A closer look reveals a heavier weight weft yarn has been used to create the raised stripe. It is suggested by Leena Svinhufvud in their chapter, Functionalism and Exoticism in Artek Textiles (Artek and The Aaltos, BGC Yale, New York, 2016) that this is the “ART II” textile designed by Aino Marsio-Aalto and produced by Porin Puuvillatehdas.
As well as furniture, especially when Marsio-Aalto was creative director (1930s-40s), Artek sold textiles – industrially produced as well as those by independent weavers. The textiles were retailed and displayed in shops to “create atmosphere and colour in Artek interiors or to vary the established ‘standard’ bentwood furniture line.” (Svinhufvud)
Under the seat of the stool, translated from a Finnish squiggle, reads: “I-Stool colour 54”. One can only presume that the 54 refers to the teal/green/blue that would once have been in the textile catalogue.