The roots of Iittala date back to 1881 when a glass factory was established in a small village by the name of Iittala in southern Finland. From the very beginning Iittala was a modern industrial plant. The first glassblowers came from Sweden, and later professionals were also hired from Belgium and Germany.
Iittala's breakthrough occurred in the early years of modernism and functionalism in the 1920s and 30s. It was among the first companies to make the transition from creating decorative settings and dinner sets to progressive Scandinavian design.