The Repeat Downbeat: Fabric Yardage
This week’s Repeat Downbeat is inspired by the final product that so many of us textile and surface pattern designer’s spend hours envisioning—fabric yardage. As we design our patterns it is hard not to envision the yards and yards of printed fabrics that will someday be turned into a beautiful product that will bring joy to someone’s life, inspire, or delight.
I love seeing yards and yards of patterns. By this time, there has already been endless time and energy invested into the design by the textile designer and printer, but there are still questions about what will become of the yardage. Will it be a dress that’s worn on the first day of school? Or maybe a quilt that gets passed down for generations?
This week I am excited to share a few photographs of fabric yardage that were recently shared in our #patternobserver Instagram feed. What future products or uses do you see for these fabrics? I see endless potential!
The first photo to catch my eye was this collection by designer Sophia Frances. Sophia is a London-based surface pattern designer who designs bold and colorful fabric collections and stylish homeware products. Sophia’s painterly designs are created using watercolors and inks. Her signature style is colorful, confident, and has intricate kaleidoscopic details. When I saw this collection I was struck by the simple motifs paired with the sophisticated use of texture and color. Each pattern is simply stunning and I can see these patterns being used in a variety of home decor products.
I was then delighted to find this amazing collection by Krista Engler. Krista Engler is a designer and artist living and working in Charleston, SC. I love the powerful story that this collection tells, despite the fact that they all appear to be two color patterns. It’s tempting to keep adding more and more colors to our work, but I think this is a great example of a strong collection that uses colors in a minimal way. Krista will soon be selling this collection on fabric by the yard, pillows, towels, and more so keep an eye for more to come!
This magical piece is by Artist Sue Henry. Sue opened her first home goods business after years of working as a ceramic artist building life-size (and larger) figurative work and fountains in California. I was drawn to the rich and regal color palette used in the pattern, which has been sewn into a pillow. The combination of the stamped texture with the thick and textural embroidery make me want to scoop up yards and yards of this fabric and run away to create a magical space in my home.
If you are a fan of hand crafted textiles in yummy colorways, I highly recommend following Yetunde Rodriguez.
Yetunde is a prolific designer who creates a seemingly never-ending supply of prints, patterns, and printed accessories. And I love them all! Her work has such a wonderful energy and rhythm to it and it is uplifting in a subtle and gentle way.
Thanks to all of these designers for sharing their work and process with us on Instagram. I’m curious, do you think about the final product as you are designing your patterns? In the Textile Design Lab we try to think about the final product when we feel overwhelmed by too many design ideas, or when we are lacking direction and don’t know how to get started. It’s a great way to break out of design overwhelm and get inspired. I look forward to reading what you envision as you are working through the design process in the comments below.