You love fabric but you just can’t find the ONE you’re looking for? You’ve heard there are places you can print your own fabric so you’re ready to get started! I’ve gathered tons of online resources to take you from design to completion. You’ll be designing your own fabric and maybe even on your way to learning how to become a fabric designer!
First: Learn how to design fabric:
Many fabric designers work in a vector based program. Designing with vectors is great because you can make an image larger or smaller without it becoming pixelated or blurry. The most popular vector program available is Adobe Illustrator. You can purchase this in a cloud format for a monthly subscription fee. Inkscape is a free online vector program. Both have a significant learning curve if you’ve never used a vector based drawing program but thankfully youtube is full of helpful videos! Alternatively, you can design by hand and use a program such as Adobe Photoshop to create your digital designs.
Pattern design classes:
Here are 3 class options ranging from FREE to $35 for the entire class. These are really great and affordable. Alternatively, check out your local colleges for what class offerings they have.
FREE! 19 video lessons
My name is Jenna. I teach, I make stuff, I talk about teaching and making stuff. I’m a very proud member of the full time Foundation Faculty at MICA where I’m lucky enough to get paid to work with some of the most magical and talented artists in this entire world.
About The Class
Oh, patterns! Beautiful, inscrutable, mesmerizing patterns, I love them so, and as a quick jaunt around the internet will prove, I am not alone in this love. Great pattern design is at once logical and whimsical, repetitive but surprising, intricate and simple. When a beautiful pattern is applied to the right surface it has the power to delight and amaze. Equally so, an unresolved pattern, or poor application, has the power to drive our visual senses to madness. And that’s all before trying to make a pattern work well with another pattern–Amirite?!
What You’ll Learn
- Pattern essentials. The fundamentals of pattern recognition, design and application.
- Personal style/brand. We’ll focus on creating our own thematic collections of 3 patterns that will mix, match and apply beautifully on a number of surfaces.
- Expression. Pattern collections are very personal style statements and fabulous opportunities for self-expression.
What You’ll Do Design and work with multiple patterns that will be intoxicating, and potentially bring unique visual interest to a project. You’ll create pattern designs that hits all the major principles and elements of design with contrast, balance, scale and color being among the chief operating officers. Who This Class is ForThis is a fantastic course for beginning and established designers looking to develop their skills with color, texture and personal style. Artists/designers/makers/crafters will all find useful and practical suggestions for creating and mixing effective yet alluring patterns. So yeah, let’s get this pattern party started! All hands in? To complete the projects, you will need access to Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape (free).
$35 class (or sign up for skillshare membership for $9.95/month)
Kristi O’Meara is a freelance illustrator and designer, currently residing in Chicago, Illinois. She studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, where she received her B.F.A. in Painting in 2009. Since finishing her undergraduate studies, Kristi has had the opportunity to work with many inspirational companies and designers, including The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, interior designer, Bridget Cochran, of the high-end wallcovering and textile design company, Porter Teleo, and most recently, fiber artist, Nick Cave. Currently, Kristi holds the title of founder and creative director of the aritst organization, The PatternBase, which serves as a resource and place of inspiration for designers and pattern lovers around the globe. She is focused on completing her first publication, PatternBase: A Collection of Contemporary Textile + Surface Design, which is projected to be released during the summer of 2013.
This class is for pattern designers, graphic designers, illustrators, artists, crafters and anyone else who is interested in pattern design using hand-drawn techniques and Adobe Photoshop.
What You’ll Learn:
- The Manual Repeat Technique. How to prepare a hand-drawn illustration or painting for digital repeat.
- Digital Repeat Technique. How to turn a hand-drawn illustration or painting into a digitally repeating pattern using Adobe Photoshop.
- Using Photoshop Layers to Create Multiple Colorways. How to use layers in Adobe Photoshop to create multiple colorways for designs.
- Applying Completed Repeat Patterns To Product Templates. How to apply completed repeat patterns to product templates for mockups.
- The Importance of File Types, Color Modes, and Resolution. The difference between files types, resolutions, and color modes, and the importance of saving files under the correct settings for different uses.
What You’ll Make
From hand drawing to product printing, you’ll learn the essentials of pattern design. We’ll start working with analog materials then refine and muliply your basic pattern in Photoshop. By the end of this course you will have a digital repeat pattern ready for printing on a product of your choice. Apply what you learn in this class to deck out your wallpaper, iPhone, fabric, jigsaw puzzle, or more!
9 (50 minute) classes – Skillshare is $9.95/month. Work at your own pace.
Elizabeth Olwen is a Toronto-based surface designer. Inspired by pastoral beauty, nature in its most playful forms, folklore, and romance, Elizabeth’s work is driven by the desire to leave something beautiful behind with every step she takes. Her obsession with patterns began as a child when she would become mesmerized by the orange floral drapes in her mother’s kitchen. Surrounded by bold, unapologetic prints, patterns were something that she could lose herself in; a window to faraway places. Through the years, the love of patterns remained, and inspired her to start making her own.Elizabeth loves old wallpapers and vintage fabrics, cannot be forced to choose a favourite colour, and is hopelessly devoted to travel. She has a growing collection of licensed products available in the market, with clients like TeNeues Publishing, Wallpapered.com, Landor, Cloud9 Fabrics, Target and Madison Park Greetings. Explore more at ElizabethOlwen.com.
What You’ll Learn: Concept, illustrate, and design a pattern for any project. In this 50-minute class, surface designer Elizabeth Olwen shares how to use Adobe Illustrator to transform inspirations and hand-drawn motifs into a seamless, repeating pattern for use in countless projects. Her step-by-step instructions and inviting approach make this a perfect class for every designer, illustrator, and crafter looking to expand their skills into pattern design. Will you create a desktop wallpaper? iPhone case? printed fabric? stationery? Start now. The possibilities are endless!
Print your fabric
There are several online sources for printing your fabric designs.
Woven Monkey (UK only)
Print on other mediums!
Don’t stop at fabric! Print on wallpaper, t-shirts, iPhone covers and more! There are so many online digital services now you can print on just about anything you like!