Rosa Bertoli | 23 Aug 2021
Kvadrat: the Danish textile authority loved by designers and artists
The go-to textile brand for designers and architects worldwide, Danish company Kvadrat is rooted in Scandinavian design tradition and regularly collaborates with some of the world’s most exciting creatives.
Kvadrat history: from the start
The history of Kvadrat started in in the early 1960 with a small interior design shop in Aarhus, founded by Poul Byriel and Erling Rasmussen. The brand started a few years later, thanks to a colourful fabric collection by Nanna Ditzel called Hallingdaal, acquired by Byriel and launched in 1968 under the company name Kvadrat (meaning ‘square’ in Danish). The rest, as they say, is design history.
Kvadrat’s art and design collaborations
Pushing the boundaries of textile design from the very start, Kvadrat’s upholstery textiles are created by some of the world’s most celebrated talents (or, as they like to say, an ‘extended family’). Byriel and Rasmussen’s heirs continue to run the company with a passionate take on design and creativity.
Some of the company’s most notable collaborations include a range of textiles and home accessories by Raf Simons (launched under the Kvadrat x Raf Simons brand name), a series of textile-based products by long-term collaborators Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, as well as fruitful textile collaborations with designers like Patricia Urquiola, Doshi Levien and Giulio Ridolfo.
Kvadrat textiles are regularly part of artists’ installations in art museums and galleries across the globe, from Dahn Vo and Olafur Eliasson to Pipilotti Rist and Sarah Lucas.
Textiles and beyond: a family of dynamic design brands
The world of Kvadrat doesn’t end with one brand. Over the years, the company has expanded its reach by launching and acquiring like-minded brands to create a harmonious textile family.
This network includes Kvadrat/Raf Simons as well as Kinnasand, a brand that for over two centuries has specialized in subtle nordic textile designs for the home, and Sahco, a company producing home textiles with classical aesthetic references. In 2017, Kvadrat also launched Really, a company making boards out of textile waste, that can be used for furniture and which debuted with a collection by Max Lamb.
Respect for the environment is at the core of everything Kvadrat does. Sustainability has been a part of the company’s philosophy since its founding in 1968, and in 2013 Kvadrat has joined the United Nations Global Compact (the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative). Textiles are made to last to ensure their quality and longevity, production processes are continually innovated and fine-tuned to reduce environmental impact and waste, while pioneering techniques are developed to reuse leftover materials and recycle consumer materials.
This approach, as well as its strong design ethos, has helped make Kvadrat one of the most well-respected design brands in the world today.