Magical Patterns


Have you ever thought about how textile colours and patterns have the ability to magically transform our impression of a room? This exhibition offers a close-up look at how IKEA enabled more people to change their rooms using an increasingly well-considered range of textiles. And in our studio, surrounded by our rich textile history, you can explore your own creativity!

Strong women

In the early 1960s, demand for textile had increased so much at IKEA that Ingvar Kamprad realised he needed help. Not a textile expert himself, he needed someone who could bring a holistic approach to colour and home furnishing. So in 1962, Danish textile artist Bitten Højmark was employed, and a bit later Inger Nilsson – women who introduced new technology and bold patterns, in an age when textiles mostly came in shades of grey. This was the beginning of what has been called the golden age by textile fans – a period at IKEA marked by strong women driving developments forward.

Colourful memories

The exhibition takes you on a journey of winding patterns, explosive colours and bold combinations. You can weave your way through some old friends, and quite literally get a feel for the fabric of history. How many of us have not woken up on a bright summer’s morning, with light shining through curtains made of SOLREGN fabric, designed by Inez Svensson of 10-gruppen? Or tried to straighten up our interiors with the striped classics STRIX and STRAX? They even appeared on the cover of the 1972 catalogue, a true honour in the world of IKEA.

You’re a creative!

In our studio, you can play around and create your own pattern combinations, in all kinds of colours. Who knows, maybe you’re the next Ida Pettersson Preutz? Ida’s first and perhaps best-known pattern for IKEA is ANNIKEN, which we have used to represent the exhibition. The popular pattern is 10 years old this year, so we’ll let her have the last word:

– Patterns on fabrics are magical, in the sense that they can be turned into all kinds of things through sewing. People also interpret patterns differently. I think Magical Patterns is a great title, as I use patchwork technique and optical patterns, where magical things actually happen as you’re looking at them.