Arabia began producing ceramics in 1874. The pottery was started in Helsinki, Finland, by Rorstrand, a Swedish pottery that wanted to export porcelain, earthenware, and other pottery from Finland to Russia. Most of the early workers at Arabia were Swedish. Arabia started producing its own models of tiled stoves, vases, and tableware about 1900. Rorstrand sold its interest in Arabia in 1916. By the late 1930s, Arabia was the largest producer of porcelain in Europe. Most of its products were exported. Arabia hired designer Kaj Franck in 1945 to produce mix-and-match sets of dishes with simple shapes and sparse decorations, continuing its tradition of making ceramics in the conservative style of the time. A line of stoneware was introduced in the 1960s. Arabia worked in cooperation with Rörstrand from 1975 to 1977. Arabia is now a brand owned by Iittala Group.