Unique collection of 180 fabrics and patterns in new exhibition 

Published 15 April 2024

Bright green broccoli on a background of wavy neon pink stripes. The textile pattern ANNIKEN by artist Ida Pettersson Preutz is one of the first things you see at IKEA Museum in Älmhult, Sweden, where the Magical Patterns exhibition opens on 25 April. And it provides a clue to the creativity and playfulness inside, where guests can see 180 textiles that have adorned many Swedish homes over the past 60 years.

The Magical Patterns exhibition by IKEA Museum is unique in scope, and is premiering at the home of IKEA in Älmhult before embarking on a worldwide tour. First up is the renowned Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The exhibition showcases the rich history of IKEA and its textile department. Ever since the 1960s, IKEA has been a nursery for experimental artists and designers, especially when it comes to fabrics and pattern design.

Thanks to a close collaboration with 10-gruppen – Ten Swedish Designers, founded in 1971 – IKEA put both its own design and Swedish design generally on the map, both at home and abroad. With members including Carl Johan de Geer, Inez Svensson, Britt-Marie Christoffersson, Birgitta Hahn, Tom Hedqvist, Lotta Hagerman and Ingela Håkansson-Lamm, the group went against the small-flowered textile design norms of the early Seventies in favour of bright colours and distinctive patterns. The collaboration came to define textiles at IKEA, but the patterns were not always immediately appreciated in-house.

“The textile team at IKEA were a bold lot who believed in themselves and the designs, and dared to be different. Sometimes I think they had to push extra hard to succeed. The stripy banana pattern RANDIG BANAN, for example, was initially hidden away under a table at the stores’ textile departments, but then it became a big hit. They were prepared to take risks, and it paid off. And in retrospect we can see that those risks were worth it, as several patterns have become incredibly popular, or even trend-setting, with time,” says Anna Sandberg Falk, Curator at IKEA Museum.

The exhibition shows off historical and contemporary expressions, as well as classics and hidden gems – all sorted by the type of motif. In addition to 10-gruppen, we see artists and designers such as Nina Jobs, Cilla Ramnek, Anna Efverlund, Lotta Kühlhorn, Synnöve Mork and Anna-Lena Emdén, to name but a few.

“Browsing through all the fabrics, it quickly becomes clear how many well-known artists are involved, which may come as a surprise to many people. We believe the patterns will arouse a lot of memories and emotions, and we hope that people will enjoy exploring the exhibition,” says Anna Sandberg Falk.

Is it possible to talk about a ‘typical’ IKEA pattern? Playfulness, bold expressions and bright colours are recurring elements, and the designs often also reflect the zeitgeist of their time.

“The exhibition reveals some of the creative process behind pattern creation, and also inspires visitors as to how they can use textiles, colours and patterns in their homes. We hope to inspire people to be bold and try different colours and patterns, but also to see patterns in things around us: a fork, a banana or a flower,” Anna Sandberg Falk concludes.

For interviews and further questions, please contact:

Media Relations
Mobile: +46 (0)732-32 13 00
Email: media.relations@inter.ikea.com 
Web: IKEAmuseum.com 


Images by © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. may be cropped. When publishing, please include ‘© Inter IKEA Systems B.V.’ plus the year of publication.

© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2024
© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2024
© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2024
© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2024
© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2024