The Textile Museum of Sweden welcomes visitors to an inspiring experience of colour and design, in an exhibition hall filled from floor to ceiling with frenetically clashing patterns.
Today, there is a great deal of interest in printed fabrics from the mid-twentieth century. Textile patterns evoke childhood memories of the clothes we wore and the fabrics that surrounded us in our homes. This exhibition is a bustling retrospective of the modern history of printed patterns in Sweden. It showcases over 350 patterns, allowing visitors to discover both design classics created by household names and new favourites by less well-known designers.
Printed fabrics are a relatively recent addition to the Swedish textile tradition. Industrially produced fabrics with professionally designed patterns became enormously popular in the mid-twentieth century. At that time, Sweden had many factories and smaller workshops that produced high-quality printed textiles. The people who designed the patterns were trained pattern and fashion designers, illustrators, and artists. Textile design is an artistically demanding profession because the designer must have extensive knowledge of the technical constraints of the production process in addition to composing an exciting pattern.
The exhibition is based on the book Tryckta tyger för alla tillfällen (‘Printed Fabrics for All Occasions’), by the cultural historians Anna Lindqvist and Marie Odenbring Widmark. The textiles shown in the exhibition were found and collected as a result of many years of detective work, identifying many long-forgotten and mainly female textile designers who have influenced our ways of dressing in and decorating using textiles. Visitors will get to know several of these designers and see some of their patterns, designed for fashion, furnishings, and special occasions. The exhibition tells the story of the companies and events that have left their mark on the history of Swedish textile printing. It also delves into the process of developing printed fabrics, and gives information on how to recognise patterns from various points in time.