Mid-Century Textile Design
Among the vintage interior design trends, the mid-century modern designs of the 1950s are holding fast. TV shows like “Mad Men” seem to have struck a chord with many yearning for the days of simple style, cleaner lines and just a hint of frivolity. While many think of the 1950s as the “good ole days,” times were not as simple as the designs which would come out of this “atomic” era.
The 1950s saw the rise of American pop culture amongst the backdrop of economic expansion, nuclear anxiety and social conservatism. With the restraints of the new conservative nature of the times, furniture and textile designers were taking their cues from the uprising of the younger generation who were participating in a rebellion of their own. The designers were working hard to create a new home which gave its owners simplicity in every form but amongst a dynamic-hued palette. The modern design schemes came in the form of space-age colors such as bright red and gold, blue and green, Scandinavian harvest gold and avocado green and also soft pastels of pink, light yellow, sky blue and turquoise. Black and white checkerboard floors and white or brightly colored walls were a popular backdrop to show off the new colors.
The Korean crisis stepped up military requirements while the new designs upped civilian requirements for textiles and sent the volume in American cloth production to booming proportions in 1950. The New York Times reported wool prices reached peak numbers, cotton goods had the biggest output since 1943 and rayons were in more demand than ever before. Out of this came a textile revolution. Textile manufacturers flooded the market with new colorful, organic textile designs of the 50s in bold barkcloth patterns, simple gingham prints and popular kitchen prints.
Interested in modern textiles? Check out Dwell's Made in the Shade design competition!