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Kurikan Lakkitehdas hat factory

The Kurikan Lakkitehdas and village of Panttila have been classified as nationally significant built cultural environments. The factory consists of three buildings, the most significant of which is the newest building, built in 1938 and designed by architect Aarne Ervi. The oldest building, a log factory building dating back to 1913, is protected by decree of the National Board of Antiquities and it is thought to be Kurikka’s oldest industrial building. In 2022, a large, 550-m2 banquet hall, a 170 m2 brewery restaurant, a brewery, a shop and a museum were built in the newest factory building. The beautiful and airy third-floor banquet hall makes an ideal setting for company Christmas parties, weddings, corporate events, birthday parties and other celebrations with up to 180 guests. The hall is open by request. The brewery restaurant seats 170 guests. The shop sells the brewery’s products and gifts. Offering an introduction to the hat factory’s history, the museum showcases numerous items and photographs that have been donated to it.

The brewery restaurant seats 170 guests. See opening hours on the restaurant’s website.
See the opening hours for the shop on its website.
The banquet hall has space for 180 guests, open as agreed.

For more information, visit the Kurikan Lakkitehdas Facebook page.

The region’s history

The Kurikan Lakkitehdas was established in 1899. Its operations were transferred to Koivistonkylä, or Panttila, in 1906 when Iisakki and Maria Luhtala, the founders of the hat factory, bought land from the Iso-Koivisto farm with businessman and factory owner F. I. Kurikka. The factory milieu of today was built over time when its three buildings were completed in 1913, 1924 and 1938. All three buildings still remain and are relatively well preserved. The oldest of the buildings, completed in 1913, is thought to be Kurikka’s oldest industrial building and it is protected by the National Board of Antiquities. The factory building designed by construction master Juho Kukkula and built in 1924 originally housed glove-making operations. The magnificent factory building, designed by architect Aarne Ervi as the first work he produced under his own design company, dates back to 1938 and represents Functionalism. The hat factory is located in a beautiful spot along the Nenättömänluomajoki which originates in Kalajaisjärvi.

History of the factory

The Kurikan Lakkitehdas used to be one of the largest clothing industry companies in Finland, employing 330 people. It offered employment particularly to women, with grandmothers, mothers and daughters alike working at the factory. Because the factory was a major employer in the region, people built their houses in the areas surrounding it and started families there. Many people also found their future spouse at the hat factory. The hat factory was the centre of life in Panttila.

Because of changes in global trade, the factory hit hard times, and in 1975 its operations were transferred to a competing company, Isohella. In 1977, the hat factory merged with Isohella and the name Kurikka Lakkitehdas was confined to the history books
until 2022, when the property was acquired by a new owner that wanted to give it a new lease on life.

The present day

The buildings completed in 1913 and 1924 are not heated and have yet to be renovated. Uses for the buildings have been considered, and  the goal is open them to the public in the future. However, the building designed by Aarne Ervi has been brought back to life through renovation. A small museum was built by the ground floor entrance which displays donations of  hand tools and products made at the factory. The display also showcases pictures of people who shaped the history of the hat factory. The building’s second floor houses the new Kurikan Lakkitehdas brewery and brewery restaurant. On the third floor (top floor), you will find a beautiful hall adorned by windows on three sides, creating a stunning feeling of space and letting in abundant natural light.

The building was renovated in keeping with its long history, maintaining the building’s industrial roots. For example, the toilet facilities are still equipped with their original basins. History has a strong presence in the area, and in combination with the architecturally magnificent building, it gives rise to a unique setting.

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