Bødtker-Næss was born in 1942. Næss was raised by her Danish mother and Norewegian father with her three siblings. Later her parents divorced and her mother re-married a wealthy man from Denmark. Næss attended School in Tarbaek north of Copenhagen. After which she trained at the School of Applied Arts in Copenhagen, during this period she developed a serious mental illness and she was incarcerated for the first time. Despite the long swathes of depression that were caused by her illness she managed to complete her education and graduated in 1967. She later returned to the School of Applied Arts where she taught. In 1964 she established her own workshop which she opened up to young art students and gave them the opportunity to learn textile art. Bødtker-Næss drew both printed and woven textiles for C. Olesen and Georg Jensen Damask. A spearhead of 1970s Danish textile design, Bødtker-Næss experimented with contrast in her weaving: open and closed sections of weaves, matte and glossy surfaces, soft and hard materials and light and shadow were all characteristics of her designs.