Inka Oy – History
The Finnish webbing industry got its start in 1886 in the village of Killinkoski when the mining engineer P.G. Holm founded a spinning and weaving factory, Virtain Kehruu- ja Kutomotehdas. He decided to expand its operations 12 years later and he established a new factory for narrow fabrics in 1898. The shareholders in this new company Ab P.G. Holm Oy were in addition to P.G. Holm himself, his wife’s sister Edith Rönnqvist and a German engineer by the name of Carl Neu.
Ab Helsinki Sidenväfveri Oy, which initially was a competitor, but later a partner to the Killinkoski factory, was founded in 1900. In the 1920s this silk factory operating in Helsinki manufactured straps, suspenders, girths, reins, intianauha and braided shoe laces.
In 1933 P.G. Holm bought the shares in Ab Helsinki Sidenväfveri Oy. The acquisition made P.G. Holm the sovereign manufacturer of narrow fabrics in Finland until the end of 1950s. After the two companies merged in 1948, the Killinkoski factory made edging tape, suspenders, garters, hat bands, sprang and satin ribbon. The weaving operations and production of labels were concentrated to the Helsinki factory.
During the war, operations in Killinkoski continued, unlike in Helsinki, and at the end of 1939 a total of 95 % of the production was for the military; tapes for gas masks, suspenders, shoe laces, tent ropes and webbings for cartridge belts and harnesses.
Inka Oy was founded in 1967 when the company Kutomo & Punomo (Lassila & Tikanoja Oy) purchased the entire share capital of Ab P.G. Holm Oy. In connection with the merger the Helsinki factory was closed and the production was concentrated to Killinkoski and the town of Turku.
In the 1960s the narrow fabrics industry went through a significant change of direction and Inka moved “from suspenders to safety belts”. In addition to narrow fabrics, Inka started to produce heavy webbings for industrial purposes. Safety belt webbings were the first technical application.
The production of narrow fabrics for the clothing industry was concentrated to Killinkoski where new factory premises were built in 1980. The heavy technical webbings were manufactured under the name of Inka Sling Oy in Turku. In 1996 Inka Sling Oy was merged into Inka Oy and the focus was increasingly on material handling products. Inka started its own production of high tenacity polypropylene fiber, Inkafil, at Killinkoski the same year.
Weaving room in the 1930s.
The Inka indian advertised suspenders in the 1950s.
The yarn production ended in 2005 and during the same period the factory in Turku was closed. The production of webbing was now concentrated to the factory in Killinkoski. Today the focus lies increasingly on production and sales of narrow textile webbings at the factory in Killinkoski.