Lillo Wikstrand (1911-95) was born in Stockholm, but spent her first nine years in India, where her parents worked as missionaries. Lillo’s mother, Gertrud, loved handicrafts and Lillo grew up surrounded by embroidery. Thread yarn was sent from India to Lillo’s aunt, Elisabet Wisén-Jobs, who was famous in Sweden for her flower embroideries. The meadow flowers of Sweden were particularly close to Lillo’s heart. She trained as a physiotherapist, but her passion was embroidery.
One of Lillo’s special talents was the creation of patterns for the ladies’ magazine Svensk Damtidning and the supermarket journal ICA Kuriren. Readers could order “embroidery of the month”, a piece of embroidery started by Lillo and which was sent out along with the required silk, wool or linen yarn and a photo of the finished product. Her creativity grew over the years, with Lillo’s childhood in India giving her a special understanding of colour. Her great interest and expertise in colour resulted in Lillo teaching chromatics, the science of colour. Lillo also wove rag rugs, dying each piece of fabric herself to get exactly the right shade. She created patchwork quilts, exquisite compositions which shone with colour.
Lillo Wikstrand worked on colour schemes for linoleum flooring made by Forshaga, and was also commissioned to create colour schemes for public premises.
Juniflora - Juniflora, from 1946, was the first piece of embroidery designed by Lillo for Svensk Damtidning – a pattern which brings to mind a summer’s day with buttercups, lily-of-the-valley, violets, bluebells and clover. Lillo prepared 30 orders, but received orders for 500. The pattern was later printed as fabric and sold by the meter.
Klöveräng - The Swedish clover meadow inspired one of the once-a-month patterns published by Svensk Damtidning, with flowers in natural colours shining against a background of pale grey or pale green wool fabric and intended for napkins, placemats and cushions. The surface printed interpretation of the embroidery embraces the room in gentle colours
The superb styling to the Signatur collection is made by