|Final Mongolian prints in Jade colourway on Kona cotton.|
These days, almost any design can be printed on fabric – photographs, detailed montages and illustrations, or plain linework. Just as in the paper printing world, where digital printing is increasingly the print method of choice, and the output getting better and better in terms of quality, so it will be with textile printing. The colour range isn't always excellent just yet, but depending on what fabric you choose to print on, the results can be wonderful. Digital printing also means anyone can produce a printed fabric. There's no minimum print run and the costs are really reasonable.
So how do you go about doing this? I'll admit it's a bit easier if you know your way around Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, but hand drawn art and a good scanner would also work. All the courses I've done have started by sketching things you might want to turn into a fabric design. From the sketches, you simplify until you have a motif that you can turn into a repeat pattern. I uploaded this photo last post, but it's a good example of the process.
|Half drop repeat – this is the one I used for the finished design.|
|Half brick repeat|
While Spoonflower gives me this kind of control, it's well priced and I'm generally really happy with the results – I'm also going to try sending a few more files to local company Frankie and Swiss. I can get a much more personalised service there and the turnaround time for finished product will certainly be faster (as they won't have to post from the US). At the moment Frankie and Swiss are trialling the print from my classes on a new bamboo fabric – so I'll give you more details on them – and show you the results – in a subsequent post.
Have any of you tried Spoonflower or been tempted to design your own fabrics?
How did it work out?