Resources for fabric design

Pursuing my goal to have more fun and take more risks with my creativity this year, and inspired by working with the lovely people at Prinfab (custom print your own fabric in the UK, yay!), I’ve decided to have some adventures in designing my own fabric. I had a go last year, when I created some Spode china pattern names-inspired fabric:


Working with the text was pretty straightforward, and I loved the unique-to-me results, but I’d really like to take it further, and learn how to turn artwork into fabric, how to make pattern repeats successfully, learn more about vector graphics and lots more.

My first step has to been to sign up to the Creative Bug and use the free 2 week trial (although am so impressed will probably move on to paid membership!) to take this awesome course How to Design Fabric taught by Denyse Schmidt, Heather Ross and Lizzie House (three of my design heroes – how could I resist?). I’ve watched the first couple of parts now, and it’s so interesting and inspiring (and I am a little bit in love with Lizzie House who has just such a brilliant approach to creativity – she says she wants to give us ‘permission to fail’ because then we can work out how to fix it – brilliant!). Can’t recommend this highly enough.

I also have a reading list underway:

Digital Textile Design by Melanie Bowles and Ceri Isaac
Digital Textile Design by Melanie Bowles

The Complete Guide to Designing and Printing Fabric by Laurie Wisbrun
The Complete Guide to Designing and Printing Fabric by Laurie Wisbrun

A Field Guide to Fabric Design by Kim Knight
A Field Guide to Fabric Design by Kim Knight

Color + Pattern by Khristian Howell
Color + Pattern by Khristian Howell

(Book links are to Wordery with whom I have an affiliate link – buying from Wordery supports my work here at Very Berry)

I’ve also been collecting some great web resources  to give me inspiration and information:

And that’s just for starters… So many ideas whizzing round my head right now. Hope you’re feeling inspired too! It’s nearly the weekend….!

7 thoughts on “Resources for fabric design

  1. Sounds like a fun journey! I have often thought about this since hearing about Spoonflower oh so many years ago and still haven’t done any. I may just take a peek at some of your links and hopefully get myself motivated to have a go aswell!

  2. This is great. I’ve tried to design fabric before but found it sonhard to get a clean crisp design. I like to paint and draw an idea but have no idea how to turn that into a digital design. Thanks for sharing these resources! I’m really looking forward to seeing what you design.

  3. That sounds like great fun! I have thought about doing something with spoonflower, but figuring how to get the patterns to line up at all edges has me baffled. Maybe i will check out some of these books and links to learn more. 😀

  4. Ooh, have fun with that 🙂 Continuing professional development is awesome great fun to watch, I look forward to seeing the results (can you tell I’ve been writing a CV. Buzzwords abound!)

  5. Hi Ali I am inspired-thank you. Thanks to you I have been using Prinfab myself only using personal photographs to make little purses and bags for family/friends which have been a huge hit. My next step this year is to try and design a very simple design of my own. It will have to be simple as I have zero talent or expertise when it comes to artworks ! Your suggestions are incredibly helpful and interesting to me so a huge thank you Ali. You are a very generous and thoughtful person Ali, always ready to share with everyone else which is so refreshing in a world when people sometimes want to keep everything for themselves.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Dorothy xx

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