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5 Influential Textile Designers of the Last Century and why it’s important for artists today to learn about them

July 9, 2023 - Tag: Industry Trends

Studying the top textile designers from the last century provides valuable inspiration and insights for today's surface pattern designers. By exploring their work, designers can understand different design aesthetics and gain insights into color schemes, pattern compositions, and artistic techniques that have stood the test of time. We can also learn about the historical context in which these designers operated, uncovering the influences of design movements and cultural shifts on textile design. This knowledge helps designers appreciate craftsmanship, attention to detail, and innovative approaches to materials and techniques. It also enables them to anticipate emerging trends and create contemporary surface patterns that resonate with audiences. Ultimately, examining the work of influential textile designers serves as a valuable resource for today's designers, guiding them to create visually captivating and culturally relevant designs.

Let’s dive in!

art of william

William Morris (1834-1896)

William Morris was an influential figure in the Arts and Crafts movement, which aimed to restore craftsmanship and emphasize the beauty of handmade goods during the Industrial Revolution. Morris believed in the value of traditional craftsmanship and sought to create designs that showcased the natural world. His textile designs often featured intricate patterns inspired by flora and fauna, with a focus on organic shapes and earthy color palettes. Morris' works included wallpapers, fabrics, tapestries, and printed textiles, and his designs continue to be celebrated for their enduring beauty.

art of marimekko


Marimekko is a Finnish design house founded in 1951 by Armi Ratia. It gained international recognition in the 1960s for its bold and vibrant textile designs. Marimekko's iconic patterns, such as the Unikko (poppy) design by Maija Isola, became symbols of Finnish design. Marimekko's designs often feature large-scale, abstract patterns with a focus on bold colors and simple shapes. The company's commitment to sustainability and its integration of art and design have solidified its reputation as a leading textile design brand.

art of anni

Anni Albers (1899-1994)

Anni Albers was a German-born American textile artist, printmaker, and educator. She was one of the pioneering figures of the Bauhaus movement, a renowned art school that operated in Germany from 1919 to 1933. Albers explored the potential of weaving as an art form and experimented with innovative materials and techniques. She created geometric, abstract designs with a focus on texture, color, and composition. Albers' work pushed the boundaries of traditional textile art, and she played a crucial role in elevating weaving to a respected art form.

art of sonia

Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979)

Sonia Delaunay was a Ukrainian-born French artist who made significant contributions to the development of abstract art and textile design. She was a key figure in the Orphism movement, which aimed to merge color and form to create dynamic compositions. Delaunay's textile designs were characterized by bold, geometric shapes and vibrant colors. She experimented with overlapping and intersecting forms, creating visually stimulating patterns. Delaunay's work extended beyond textiles to encompass fashion, interior design, and even theater costumes, making her a multidisciplinary artist.

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art of jack

Jack Lenor Larsen (1927-2020)

Jack Lenor Larsen was an American textile designer and author who made substantial contributions to the field of textile design. He founded Larsen Fabrics in 1952, introducing innovative and contemporary designs to the American market. Larsen drew inspiration from various cultures and incorporated their aesthetics into his designs. He explored different materials, textures, and weaving techniques, collaborating with artisans and manufacturers worldwide. Larsen's work ranged from luxurious fabrics for interiors to public art installations, showcasing his versatility and artistic vision.

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These textile design artists have left a lasting impact in the industry, through their exploration of nature-inspired patterns, bold colors and shapes, innovative techniques, or their ability to bring art and design together. Their contributions have influenced the next generation of textile designers and continue to inspire creativity for the textile industry. If you are a buyer looking for designs from our artists, please make sure you are signed up as a buyer to get exclusive access to thousands of designs. If you are new to Patternfield, sign up now to experience our platform, the place to connect buyers and artists around the world!