A feeling of hovering among the clouds – that’s what you could experience if you climbed into bed and got under the SKYAR duvet cover. The print was a lifelike blue sky with white fluffy clouds.
The duvet cover, designed by Sven Fristedt, was originally called MOLN – one of the first ever duvet covers to be launched at IKEA, back in 1973. Since then, they have been an important part of the textiles range at IKEA.
From the beginning, duvet covers were seen by many as a luxury, inspired by hotel nights at exotic destinations. But they quickly became popular everyday products, making bed-making and laundry easier. This is how the novelty was presented in the 1973 catalogue: “Fine, colourful qualities which provide us with as much of a textile environment as the duvets! Easier to make the bed, easier to wash. Stuff the duvet into the cover, and use a bottom sheet as usual. Practical at home, and practical when you stay overnight and borrow a duvet. … duvet cover and bedspread in one! A new way of bed-making! More colour, and more convenience in the everyday!”
The MOLN duvet cover was printed with screen printing, which made it possible to produce in small numbers so as not to buy too much stock. But screen printing was also expensive. When IKEA realised that MOLN could be a best seller, designer Sven Fristedt modified the pattern so it could be printed by rotary printing, which enabled larger production at a far lower cost.
In the 1981 IKEA catalogue, SKYAR was launched as duvet cover, fabric and wallpaper. It was an immediate success.