Taito Group’s history

Taito Group’s history

The first crafts associations were established in 1906 and the oldest of the Taito regional crafts associations still operating today were founded in 1907. The first issue of the Taito journal was also published in 1907 under the title ‘Käsiteollisuus’ (Handicrafts).

In 1913, a central body was founded to take care of the crafts associations and the Finnish Crafts Organization’s common affairs. The umbrella association acted as a delegation until 1934 when it was registered under the name ‘the Central Association of Finnish Domestic Crafts Organizations’ (Suomen Kotiteollisuusjärjestöjen Keskusliitto). It was not until 1945 that the association got its own premises and permanent staff when it was granted regular state aid for funding its operations. The majority of the Institutes of Crafts and Design were owned by crafts associations until the 1960s, after which their ownership was gradually transferred to municipalities and joint municipal authorities.

In 1964, the association’s name was changed to ‘the Central Association of Domestic Crafts’ (Kotiteollisuuden keskusliitto). The purpose of this change was to highlight the activities of the association as a promoter of the entire sector, not just as a central organization for its member associations. The outdated phrase “domestic crafts” was abandoned in 1991 and the association came to be known as ‘the Finnish Crafts Organization’ (Käsi- ja taideteollisuusliitto). In 2001, the word ‘taito’ (skill) was added to the name, resulting in the current name ‘the Finnish Crafts Organization Taito’ (Käsi- ja taideteollisuusliitto Taito).

Over time, there have been many changes, but right from the start the organization has acted as a promoter of the crafts culture, crafts skills and crafts as a trade. The regional crafts associations have worked tirelessly at preserving and developing the nation’s handicraft skills. This work has been performed in particular in Taito premises all over the country, where customers can hire equipment and space to work in and ask for advice. These premises are known as ‘counselling stations’ and the first permanent one was established in Joensuu in 1945. In 1988, there were a total of 205 counselling stations. Currently, we organize activities in some 140 outlets.

Founding years

  • 1904 the first crafts shop (in Kuopio, Taito Eastern Finland)
  • 1906 the first crafts association (in the Varkaus region)
  • 1907 TAITO journal (under the name Käsiteollisuus)
  • 1913 central association for crafts
  • 1944 the first crafts centre (the oldest still operating today: Joensuu Crafts Centre, Taito North Karelia)
  • 1965 Foundation for the Promotion of Finnish Crafts and Design
  • 1986 the first centre for crafts and design (Verkaranta, Taito Pirkanmaa)
  • 1989 the first children’s crafts schools (Taito South Ostrobothnia and Nylands hantverk)
  • 1997 Taitoverkko, online service for entrepreneurs
  • 2000 Taito Shop chain of stores
  • 2015 CraftCorner, nationwide outlet for the sale and exhibition of crafts