Designing Patterned Fabric? 3 Things To Consider First

Posted on: 16 April 2019


If you are a budding fashion designer, having the chance to design custom fabric can give you another level of freedom. In addition to giving you more control over how the clothing item will come out, being able to draw or piece together a new fabric pattern can be a rewarding process. However, fabric pattern design is more complex than most people realize, which is why taking these three things into consideration first is important.  

1.    Subject Matter Before you start working with fashion software to create your own patterned fabric, think carefully about what you want covering that material. Are you looking for a geometric print, abstract swirls, or pictures of specific objects with a common theme? 

Before selecting a subject matter for your fabric, think about how it might come across to other people, and whether or not it would appeal to the general public. For instance, while a quaint, light green repeating cactus might be perfect for a poplin shirt during the warmer months, a larger print of a politically charged meme might rub people the wrong way. 

2.    Color In addition to selecting colors for the items printed onto the fabric, also think about the background color and the overarching color scheme of the entire fabric piece. If you are thinking about pairing the fabric with another material, try to create an anchor color in the fabric. 

For instance, if you like the idea of creating a top that has different patterned sleeves than the trunk of the shirt, adding a black background to one fabric with heavily outlined black items in another fabric can help to tie the patterns together. 

3.    Scale Scale is important to think about when you design fabric since it can dictate whether or not people are capable of making out the subject matter. While too small of a design scale could make the entire pattern blend together from a distance, too large of a scaled pattern can make the piece noisy and difficult to pair with other items. 

Instead, think about how the clothing piece will be worn, and try to size the pattern based on what would be attractive from normal viewing distances. 

Whether you are thinking about designing your own pattern or creating a fabric all your own, using a fashion software is a great way to get started. In addition to offering new fashion designers with tips and tricks for creating great garments, many varieties of fashion software also meld well with other platforms, making it easy to get your products out into the market.