Helbe Pajari has deep roots in Finnish textile traditions. She studied textile design for six years at the former Fredrika Wetterhoff Institute, now part of the Hämeenlinna University of Applied Sciences and spent a further six years at the University of Jyväskylä studying Cultural Anthropology, Art Education, Art History and Cultural Management. She worked as textile designer in Finnish industry from 1981 to 1984 and as a teacher for over 20 years.

Textile Art

Photo: Frank Hellgren

Her teaching career spanned training artisans at the Art and Craft School in Mikkeli (1984-1987), teaching at the Rovaniemi Institute for Art and Craft (1987 – 1996) and lecturing on textile design in the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Lapland (1996 – 2001) and at the Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences (2001-2003), where her work included the guidance and supervision of bachelor’s theses.

Scandinavian design and folk tradition figure prominently in Helbe’s designs. The rich Nordic variety of textiles, wealth of techniques and innovative materials have inspired her textiles. She grew up in her parents’ tailor’s studio and carries the touch of fabrics in her heart. Fashioning crafts using traditional Scandinavian techniques has guided her to search for and experiment with a range of colours, materials and designs. From years of experience she has developed a strong sense of colour and a real feel for cloth. Helbe opened her own atelier - Vernum - in September 2006. The Slow City movement provides the ideal example of working with this “softer side” of production. Individual expression that is intellectually motivated offers a fusion of hand and heart, brain and ego. Centuries-old craft traditions provide inspiration while at the same time new patterns of thinking arise and blend with associations, impulses and expressions from our multicultural world. When we encounter and experience something authentic, the memory of each original object is reinforced and lives on in our visual mind.


Lasting Values

As a designer and craftsperson, Helbe cherishes lasting values. Longevity is the enduring value and the principal quality of any of her designs. The content  and sustainability of designed objects will become all the more important in the future. Designers and craftspeople have to rise to the challenges in production, create sustainable objects and contribute to solving questions of material consumption. Vernum’s production started with Helbe’s ideas and visions of ceremonial vestments and textiles. Paradise Gowns was the first collection whose designs were informed by strong cultural, social and humanitarian values. The Linteum collection, which includes Paradise Gowns, features hand-crafted garments with excellence in quality. All of the designs are created in her studio, located in the archipelago between Finland and Sweden.

Sustainable Luxury

If we are to consume less, we need to make objects that will last – in the physical, emotional and psychological sense. Designing and making things has to have a real-world purpose. Designs can be justified with reference to their humanitarian, symbolic and functional meanings.

Nature in the Nordic countries, with its four seasons, and the Scandinavian lifestyle have influenced Helbe’s mode of perception, experience, and creative processes. The importance of access to historical and cultural sources can not be overstated as an influence on the development of designs.  In the Vernum atelier, she has several special handlooms that give her extensive possibilities to design samples for industrial production and to create unique textiles, for example, church textiles and clergy vestments for sacred interiors. Sacred textiles and custom-made vestments are available by special order.

Our products are made for durability and endeavour to contribute to a sustainable society. Humanitarian values such as beauty, honest use of materials, harmony and practicality in textiles and clothes are united with lifestyle and a stylish luxury.  In Helbe’s designs each product offers alternatives beyond the transitory cycles of fashion, embodying lasting values and authenticity. It is her hope that the excellent products she creates offer her customers a new philosophical concept that has strong associations with Nordic culture and Christian values.

We are spiritual beings going through a temporary human experience


Photo: Anneli Hemmilä-Nurmi