Nikari Oy

Nikari Oy, founded in 1967, is a manufacturer of sustainable wood design products of exquisite quality. We produce wooden furniture and custom-made furnishings of the local certified wood to public premises as well as private homes. Our founder - master cabinet maker, designer Kari Virtanen has worked with the greatest Finnish architects and designers such as Alvar Aalto and Kaj Franck. Through decades his determination to concentrate on wood and its ecological benefits has gained us great knowledge about Finnish wood and surface treatment materials like oils, waxes and soaps.

The Nikari studio is located in the beautiful, unique Fiskars village in south-west Finland, in the oldest machinery workshop of the country.

History
Quality
Environment

HISTORY - Years

  • 1967 Nikari is founded in Osthrobothnia by cabinet maker Kari Virtanen
  • 1987 Kari Virtanen receives the Scandinavian Bruno Mathsson Award
  • 1993 Nikari moves to Fiskars village, center for Finnish art and design
  • 1993 Kari Virtanen receives the SIO (Finnish association of interior architects) Furniture Designer of the Year award
  • 1993 The Fruit Bowl designed by Kari Virtanen is chosen into the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art New York
  • 1996 The co-operation between Rudi Merz and Kari Virtanen begins
  • 1998 Steven Holl chooses the KVT2 to be the visitors’ chair of Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art Helsinki
  • 2005 Kari Virtanen receives the State Prize for Design
  • 2006 Rudi Merz receives the annual award of Finnish Association of Artists and Designers
  • 2007 Nikari celebrates its 40 years
  • 2009 Kari Virtanen receives the Pro Finlandia medal from The President of Finland
  • 2010 License manufacturing of Nikari products is begun in Kyoto, Japan

Environment

Wooden products are part of the cycle of nature. Wood is the only renewable raw material utilised on a large scale by the construction and furniture industries.

The wood Nikari uses is mainly supplied by a sawmill next door in Fiskars. Most of the timber comes from nearby forests tended with the principles of sustainability and biodiversity. The collection products are mostly made of solid wood, upholstery materials and fabric, joints adhesives and surface treatment materials. We have carefully searched for as high quality and ecological materials as possible. In order to maintain the products’ long lifecycle, the upholstery parts can be changed. That is why they are usually attached to wood by metal screws. We also prefer ecological and natural surface treatment materials, such as oil, waxes and soap.

Wooden furniture treated with natural substances ages with dignity, retaining its attractive look and feel.

Manufacturing processes and methods are safe and pleasant for both end users and employees.

Recycling and disposal: the aim of our design is to make timeless high quality furniture. The joints we make have been used and tested for centuries. When necessary, the upholstery parts can be removed from the product and recycled. Wooden parts can be burned or recycled.

Tree species: we use tree species which have been cultivated in accordance with the sustainable development policy, e.g. birch, oak, ash, elm, black alder, spruce and pine

Upholstery materials: certified wool and blended fabrics, felt, alcantara, naturally handled leather, reindeer leather

Metal parts: certified metal screws and glides

Upholstery: certified domestic polyurethane foams, futon materials

Adhesives:  no harmful agents dissolve into the environment from the PVAc, urea and phenolic adhesives that are used in minimal amounts in the product joints, and their formaldehyde content is very low (E1).

Packages: whenever possible, we deliver the products without packages to the customers. All the packaging materials wood, cardboard and plastic are recyclable. The plastic pads of the packages are made of polyethylene which converts into water when incinerated.

Transport: we avoid peak hours and aim to plan the most time-saving routes for the transports. We usually reach several customers within one transport journey and on the return trip the empty cargo space can be loaded with components from our subcontractors. We also use local transport companies, whose principles about quality and environmental issues meet ours.

Surface treatment: we use certified natural oil mixtures, waxes and soaps as surface treatment materials. When necessary, we can also use the latest water-based lacquers for solid wood surfaces.

Quality

The exquisite quality of our furniture means the best possible wood material choices, well thought functional forms, carefully designed joints and details as well as very precise woodwork.

Strong woodworking competence is the result of studying traditional furniture, and over the years Nikari cabinet makers have garnered a vast tacit knowledge of raw materials. Yet their design approach is contemporary, including the skill to select the best method, whether it means traditional handicraft or state-of-the-art technology.

Well-made wooden furniture lasts years and ages with grace. Raw material management is Nikari's core competence. Nikari cabinetmakers work in close collaboration with local wood suppliers and participate in the selection of timber in nearby forests. The timber is sawn, dried and stored under the supervision of Nikari. Over the years, Nikari has collected a large assortment of high-quality materials unique in Finland. Each project can be provided with the wood having the qualities best suited to the use.