How to Price Exclusive Textile Designs

It’s not always easy to determine the right price for your latest pattern design.

You want the business to grow and to gain clients, but you also have to be mindful that you are, indeed, running a business. So the question remains: how much should you charge for your latest pattern or textile design?

Pricing Considerations

First, there are three pricing variables you need to consider, each one specific to your preferred niche:

  • The industry you are working in helps determine a competitive, appropriate price.
  • The complexity of the artwork of your pattern—exclusive and unique textile designs take time and your skills shouldn’t be undervalued.
  • The size of the artwork; how much artwork are you providing the buyer?

With those three things in mind, let’s go through a breakdown of the most popular industries for textile designers. We’ll address the pricing for exclusive patterns in the most popular industries to give you an overview of what you can expect.

Pricing by Industry

  • Apparel industry: exclusive patterns sell for between $500 – $750
  • Quilting industry: in this market, exclusive patterns sell for between $350 – $750. You’ll notice that this is a broader pricing range. The reason for this is that very small scale patterns are very popular in the quilting industry, and since they don’t require as much time to create they are sold for a lesser price.
  • Home décor industry: exclusive patterns in this industry average between $500 – $1,000. Again, it’s a broader price range. This is because large scale patterns are popular in the home décor industry, which are much more time consuming to create and are more likely to be developed in repeat. This means that a higher price is substantiated.

That’s right… In the textile design industry patterns are typically not sold in a production ready repeat. It’s important for you to understand why.

Additional Services

In the textile design industry, printing factories have a variety of requirements and limitations. Each factory is slightly different and it’s the textile designer’s job to adjust the pattern to fit the factories specifications.

Requirements can include:

  • Certain repeat sizes
  • A maximum amount of colors
  • How far apart the motifs are placed.

It’s important to note that preparing patterns for production and other services is usually requested after a pattern has been sold or a concept has been approved by a client or buyer. Put some thought into your strategies for addressing this, as it is an important part of the business process and will involve you investing your time into it. The more information you can get, the better.

You’ve learned the basics, but this process involves so much more than what the words on this page allow. Are you interested in learning what services buyers need and how much you should be charging? Download our free Pattern Observer Pricing Guide here.














  1. What is the requested size for a print design? I mean, what is the industry norm? And digital delivery or printed on (special) paper?
    Thanks in advance.


  2. I would like to published my own textile pattern design to the world to see, I have been doing design for five years now and loving it.
    But I would like to sale some of my design, what should I do?
    Also start my own business from home so others can see my Designs
    Please do help?

  3. Another great post! I used to see and buy prints a lot in the fashion industry and one of our favorite artist/vendors would always notice if he’d had two prints that were too close to sell as separate prints and offer them as a “two-for-one” as if they were coordinates. Very smart, and made you feel like he really aimed to not sell the same thing twice. There was a reason he was one of our favs.

  4. I am looking for contemporary (exclusive) designs for my bedding products. Please contact me if you are interested and kindly email me your portfolio of previous work.
    The designs must be exclusive and once we purchase them, you will not be able to sell them to anyone else – even slight variations.

  5. I am really happy I have found Pattern Observer. I have been designing prints for a while and have some first clients already for my freelance work, but still learning along in the process and lots of things its new to me.
    My question is: How different print have to really be, to be considered as a different designs? I do often design series of prints which are based one one design/technique/motif or so on. Those prints are made similar way or same artworks are used within different designs. There are literally different prints but still looks like a series of prints which follow same brief. How do I go about that? Can I sell them separate? Or perhaps they look to similar? I have attached link to my behance portfolio. Would be great to hear some feedback. Thanx a million. Joanna 🙂

  6. Hi, I have a question about exclusive designs (I have seen a similar question here but it has not yet been answered). I trained in textile design about 25 years ago but never did anything with it. However I’ve never stopped drawing for myself. My problem is that I tend to follow a particular theme and keep working with it. For example, at present I have many, many drawings all based on one particularly beautiful item that I own. All the designs are completely different in terms of style, scale and colour but they all feature this very distinctive item which is instantly obvious in every one. Another example is I have many designs featuring black and white pen drawings – all in exactly the same style but of different subjects. Could I still sell any these individually or have I been wasting my time? Many thanks, Emma

    1. Hi Emma, great questions! It might help to see a few to compare, but my thoughts are that in the first instance, with a recognizable object showing up across multiple drawings, it would be wise not to try to sell those to multiple buyers. That doesn’t mean that the drawings are a waste however, you could edit and alter them in Photoshop so that you are using most of the piece (any other motifs and background) but omitting or somehow changing that particular object? In the case of the black and white pen drawings, again it would be helpful to see a couple to see how close they are to each other, but using the same technique is not really a deterrent to including them all in your portfolio as long as the prints as a whole look different. It’s tricky, I know, but try to think about it from the buyer’s perspective and whether you would feel comfortable with another company selling a print that is very similar to the one you purchased exclusive rights to. Try to use that as your framework for whether two designs are too close, whether they could hang on the racks of two different brands in a department store and not look like they come from the same line. On the other hand, having a very specific style is ideal in the licensing world, so that might be an avenue you look into rather than selling your designs outright. Does that help at all? If you want to email me some jpgs so I have a better idea of what you’re dealing with feel free to send them to

    1. Yes, these are flat fees with the copyright to the design transferring to the buyer upon sale. If you decide to go the licensing route, this is where royalties would come into play. You can learn more about licensing in these posts:,, Hope this helps!

  7. Hi Chelsea, Thank you so much for your comprehensive reply! It has caused me to make a complete ‘mental re-shift’. I have always been good at drawing and thought that to make a design I just had to do a great drawing and then repeat it in some fashion. In spite of having done a textile design course (3 years!) it has taken 25 years and your great advice to make me see that I was wrong! Your comment about seeing it from a buyer’s perspective really helped. It is about reinterpreting, separating and recombining to form patterns. Whilst this is blindingly obvious to everyone else I have only just ‘got’ it. The brilliant thing is I find this really exciting. One day I’ll send you one of my ‘old me’ designs with one of my ‘after Chelsea’ designs. Many, many thanks.

    1. Oh I am so delighted to hear this Emma! I’m glad you found it helpful and that you are excited by the possibilities. I’m excited for you! 🙂 I’d love to hear how it goes if you ever care to share. Best wishes, Chelsea

    1. Hi Jaogerie, it depends on how you will be presenting the work. If you are attending a print show such as Surtex or Printsource, some studios will show their designs on large paper printouts and some will have fabric samples printed up. If you are interviewing for a job and need a physical portfolio I would recommend paper, but it is also a great idea to have a digital portfolio online that you can refer people to as well. Does this help?

  8. Hi…i have diploma in fashion designing but i love to design textile prints and patterns…so if i want to apply for a job in print designing, should i have a diploma/degree in textile designing??? And where can i sell my designs…which design studios or agents? Plz help as i m a beginner….thanks

    1. Hi Shweta, you do not necessarily need to have a degree in textile design to land a job in the field, especially since you have a related degree. If you join The Textile Design Lab we offer a resource guide with an extensive list of studios but to get started you could search the directories of some of the major print shows like Printsource, Surtex or Indigo. Before you reach out to agents you will want to have a portfolio set up and this is a great way to get started: Hope this helps!

  9. Hi Chelsea, I have been a designer for the last seven years and I have never sold my artwork. I like my designs and every other person who looks at them is equally impressed with them. Kindly help me to find a market for them, either through agency or directly to potential clients.

  10. Hi…I’ve got a load of prints up on Patternbank and keep adding more….but I’m finding it hard to distinguish which ones to mark as stock and which to put in their premium (i.e. exclusive) range – so far I’ve just kinda gone on gut instinct and the designs which fit more in the higher end apparel trends, but I’ve no idea if there’s more to it than this! Any advice would be great 🙂

    1. Hi Rachel, that is interesting, I actually was under the impression that Patternbank made the decision! I think you’re definitely on the right track and also taking into consideration how much time you spend on a design–if you’re putting in 8 or 10 hours on a very detailed design I would definitely make it an exclusive design. Something that is quick and more simple might be better for stock. Does this help?

  11. Chelsea, is the price range that you quote for a croquis or a full repeat pattern?
    Also, what size do you make your prints for each (croquis/repeat)?

    1. Hi Sam, this is for a croquis. We generally do not recommend creating designs in repeat since companies have different requirements and will often have to change it anyway. This saves you time and also creates an opportunity to offer your repeat services when you sell the print. We recommend at least 13×19 in. but many designers will go larger. Does this help?

  12. Chelsea, thanks so much for your recommendation! I currently sell 16″x24″croquises (what on earth is the plural of croquis?) through a rep in ny but I have a company asking for my freelance services so I am wondering how much to charge if they want a pattern in full repeat, and what size those repeats would be. (And just to be clear, my rep put them in contact with me personally :).

    1. Haha I actually think the plural is also croquis! 😉 So, a pretty standard price to sell a print (not in repeat) is $500. I would charge separately for your time to put the print into repeat, and would charge this by the hour or you might decide on a flat rate that you feel comfortable with (make sure you are being paid fairly for the amount of time you put in.) Depending on your level of experience we usually break down hourly payments as such: Assistant Textile Designers: $35-$45 an hour, Jr. Textile Designers: $45-$60 an hour, Sr. Textile Designers: $60-$80 an hour. Hope this helps!

    2. As for repeat size, this is something you would need to check with the company, different manufacturers have different requirements so you would want to check that and any other technical requirements such as whether the print needs to be color separated before diving in.

  13. I am working as a textile designer from last 4 years ….but i want to do more …i want to work as freelance ….please sugest me what to do….

  14. Hi, Chelsea! Thank you for the insight.
    You mentioned the industry norm for one design, but I got a little confused, is it a norm for selling the copyright of your design or is it a license fee for the company to use it? (English is not my first language and I’m new to the industry, so I get the terms a little mixed up. 😉 )

  15. Hi Chelsea,

    Thank you so much for the amazing info you’ve shared in this thread. I’ve been approached by a client to design an exclusive print for their line. I’ve designed the print in a specific colorway and plan on sending it to the client via an (editable) Adobe Illustrator file. Does the client have the right to change the colorway, or are they only allowed to use the print in the colorway I originally provided? Or, if they’d like to use the design in multiple colorways, should I charge extra?

    1. Hi Rochelle, if you are selling the print, they would own the copyrights and therefore would be able to make any changes to the print they wished. Some designers charge extra to create different colorways for the client initially, but once you’ve sold the design and the copyright has transferred you would not be able to charge them extra for how they used the print. Does this help?

  16. Hi chelsea,

    This thread is great. I also have so many patterns which is created by me. I tried to upload them on patternbank but unfortunately it was uploading. I do not know what the problem was. I am experienced textile designer who would like to do freelance work and sell my patterns. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Rabia, it sounds like you’ve already taken a great first step in finding representation with Patternbank. Selling your designs through a studio is a great way to get started and allows you to focus on creating work while they take care of the marketing/sales portion. Do you already have a portfolio site? If not I recommend checking out our Portfolio Guide which will help you put together a website to show your work to potential clients or agents: You may also enjoy our How to Sell Your Artwork e-course:

  17. Hello .I am really new in the textile design.Actually I am an artist.Panting oils and aquarelles.I began to work with spoon flowers and really got
    very intersted in the textile. I did not learn Photoshop or illustrator. My goal is to continue to paint abstract aquarelles for textile prints without
    using the photoshop or illustrator.I allready had the opportunity to work with a new prints company and have a portofolio of 20 prints that are for exclusive sale there.
    My question can I continue to create prints manually?and how can I know they are good for the market .?Thank you

    1. Hi Patricia, there are definitely still some artists who work exclusively by hand and never venture into Photoshop and Illustrator, so it can be done! One successful textile designer who comes to mind who works this way is Luli Sanchez: If this is how you love to create I would say stick with it and try to keep an eye on current trends and what your target customers are buying to stay zoned in on your market. You may be interested in our Sellable Sketch course to learn more about creating collections that your customer will love:

  18. i want to do somethings deffrent with my work textile designs- whatever screen disigns or digital print designs dosent matter how many large
    i want to do work at home

  19. Hi Chelsea, thank you for this post and your continuous feedback/advice. This has all been very helpful! So a print studio is interested in purchasing a few of my prints. None of them are copyrighted, 2 of them are hand painted and not in repeat, and 1 of them has 2 colorways that they’re interested in. What is the standard rate for royalty free original designs? Should I charge extra if the patterns are in repeat? How much would you charge for a 2nd colorway option? This would be my first time selling my prints to a studio as is, so your advice would be very informative to me. Thank you!

    1. Hi Jerusha,
      The prints you create are copyrighted by nature of you having created them, you actually don’t have to do anything official for them to be copyrighted. So when you sell them to a client, copyright transfers with purchase. Some designers charge extra for prints that are in repeat, and some designers might charge extra for a second colorway option, though I personally would include that in the price as an added value for the client (unless it took you a very long time to create.) It’s hard for me to put a price on your artwork without seeing the level of detail, knowing how long it took you to create, etc. but I would say most fashion prints these days sell for around $500, so that’s a good place to start. From there I would go with your gut whether that feels fair or if a bit higher or lower would be right for that particular print. In the end it is what you feel comfortable with!

  20. Hi, this thread is fantastic.

    Please can you tell me what a croquis is? And an aquarelle?

    Thank you very much indeed x

    1. Hi Anna, glad you enjoyed the post! In textile design a croquis is a print that is not in repeat but gives the appearance/idea of a repeat, meaning that motifs will spill over the edge of the page and you could envision it printed on yards of fabric. In fashion a croquis is an illustrated body that you can use to mock-up garments/prints. Aquarelle is a style of painting using thin, typically transparent, watercolors.

    1. Hi Jaenne, sorry we missed this! A great place to start looking is the exhibitor lists for trade shows like Surtex, Printsource or Indigo. When you find a good match that is in line with your artistic style, I suggest reaching out to them by sharing a link to your portfolio website or following the submission process listed on their site. Best of luck!

  21. Hello. An interesting article. I love to come up with textile design, but unfortunately at us in Russia it is difficult to sell. I really want to find a company willing to buy my pictures and be in demand. So I could do his favorite thing and was able to feed my family.

  22. Thank goodness I found this site! I’m an artist that wants to break into the surface designer world though I have absolutely no knowledge of the industry. One of the comments in this article concerns me. My designs are extremely unique from any other designs out there. I have the ability to create an endless array of designs. The artwork is one of a kind and absolutely stunning. However, I’m concerned that different patterns with the same colors could by chance be similar to each other though they would never be the same. The art form itself dictates this. Taking a peek at my web site explains it best. Is it possible to break into the surface designer industry when your designs are extremely specific in nature? I had envisioned a specific fashion designer using my designs exclusively for their collection before the design might ever hit mass market due to this very unique look. While most of the designs would be worlds apart from each other there definitely might be times they could become similar. Is there a way to proceed best when you have a very specific design style?

    1. Hi Lisa! For artists that have a very specific/recognizable style often licensing is a better way to go than selling the copyrights to the designs. In licensing you retain your copyright and grant usage to to licensees, often in a variety of different markets such as stationery, quilting fabric, accessories, home decor, etc. Licensing is much less common in the fashion world since it is such a fast paced industry and patterns do not tend to have the same longevity, though it is not unheard of. In response to your second comment, our Sellable Sketch e-course in the Textile Design Lab is a great starting point for putting together a portfolio, as it guides you through the steps to developing a cohesive pattern collection. You can read more about it here: If you have further questions please feel free to shoot us an email at!

  23. Oops, not only did I have a typo in my web site address, I found answers to my questions in posts I hadn’t seen. I’m not great viewing websites with my iPhone, hahaha. I realize I’ve come to the right place and I need to sign up for your courses. Would it be wisest to create a portfolio first or should I jump right into the courses?

  24. Hi Chelsea! Do you know much about the pricing breakdown with an agent (selling copyrights)? I have some experience in fashion textile design and am comparing a couple different reps for my work, but I want to make sure I am getting a fair percentage in the deal. Any experience, notes, or facts would be appreciated 🙂

  25. Hi Michelle, thanks for your response! That is what I thought also but someone was trying to sell me on 40-60 (60 to the rep!). I thought that sounded way off base, but I wanted to get input from others in similar positions.

    1. Hi! Glad to help! 40-60% is an accurate range, but 50% is the most common percentage. Something else to consider is if the agent/ studio coves the cost of the printing of your work. Within the past few years some agents and studios have started asking designers to print their own work or they charge for this service and it is a pretty significant expense. Also, will be charging to take your work to print shows? This is another new trend in the industry.

  26. Interesting, ok. Thanks again for further detail, Michelle! That seems kind of unfair to charge to take work to print shows, I have always understood that to be part of the whole deal in an artist/rep relationship.

    Does your textile design lab include job boards or rep contacts?

  27. Hi Michelle,
    I wondered if you could help with with a few outstanding questions.
    Do you need to give a contract to a buyer when they buy an exclusive design. Should they pay you straightaway if you are at a trade show?
    Do files have to be in layers? When selling designs what is a good way to sell them – in families, colours, trends?
    Also I wanted to join the photoshop course, but didn’t have time. I am OK with photoshop, but think I need to cover a few things still. Could I still purchase the beginner to work through myself and then join the advanced in September?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Rosie! As far as contracts go it’s never a bad idea to have your terms in writing–The Graphic Artists Guild Handbook of Pricing & Ethical Guidelines has some sample contracts you may find helpful. Some companies are ready to write a check on the spot but often designers will write up an invoice and then send digital files to the client after the trade show wraps.

      Layered files are usually preferable to most clients as it allows them to adjust them to suit their needs, whether changing the scale of a motif, changing layout, etc. Everyone has their own way of doing things as far as presenting your designs to sell but dividing up into basic categories like floral, geo, stripes, etc. can be a helpful way to categorize, or by trend is a great idea too! It’s really up to you and there’s no wrong way, you just want to make sure your portfolio is easy to navigate and has some rhyme or reason to the organization.

      Yes, you are welcome to purchase Photoshop for Designers if you’d like! We are already into Week 3 so as you mentioned you would be working through the course at your own pace, and Sherry’s forum support will end in mid-March, but as long as you are okay with that feel free to purchase the course!


  28. Thank you. So glad to be part of pattern observer. So helpful. 8ve just been reading some of the older comments which have been a good help. I realised I have been designing and putting all of my designs into repeat which may of not been necessary. Saying that I don’t feel complete until it’s in a repeat so going forward I’m not sure what to do. Is the American market completely different to the European market?

    Is there a link to purchase the PSD 1 course?

    Thank you for all your advise.

    Best wishes Rosie

    1. Hi Roseanna!

      I only work in the US so I really can’t compare the two markets. I am working on an update for this post and have been asking European designers and the pricing seems to be the same.

      The PSD 1 course started a few weeks ago, but you can sign up to be notified when the September course opens up for registration here:


  29. Hi Michelle,
    I am an artist and have experience for more than 10 years. I know how to work with photoshop n illustrator n make patterns; however, I don t know everything about illustrator and photoshop. Do you think I still need to take courses? Also, I am not sure what courses I need to take as I want to be a professional surface pattern designer.
    Should I have a certain amount of design and then start marketing my designs? Which courses do you think are essential for me to take considering that I know Color theory and composition very well.
    Thank you

  30. hi guys!
    I am quite confused and frustrated atm. I heard Us is the land of opportunities and since a year and a half i have been striving hard to get into the system related to textile fields since i did my degree in it but no luck…i made a site as well…it needs improvement i know but i need your help guys. Please guide me! i am new to US and i am quite behind than where i should have been.

    1. Hi Asaleem, thanks for reaching out! I encourage you to check out our Textile Design Lab e-learning community which includes a variety of e-courses, guest expert trainings, weekly live pattern critiques and many other resources you may find useful. A great way to get your foot in the door is to do an internship with a studio or manufacturer and/or to find a studio or agent to sell your prints. Textile Design Lab members have access to an extensive Resource Guide which lists textile design studios, agency directories, job boards and lots more. You can learn more about membership here: You may also want to start out with our free training: Best wishes, Chelsea

  31. Hello!

    Very helpful article!!
    I’m having some problems to decide pricing to a client that wants to own the pattern. That means sell also the copyrights. Usually how much percent we should charge for that? It’s a startups first project that wants 15 different designs, if you could give an advice I would be so grateful!

    super thanks!!!

    1. Hi Paula! I think the same price range applies to your situation. Depending on the difficulty of the design between $350-$750. Does this help?

  32. Hi michelle
    I’m from Indonesia.. I wonder can i sell my design online via internet. So i can sell my textile design abroad.. Is that possible?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Muljana, yes, many designers work this way. A great way to get started would be to search the exhibitor lists of some of the major print shows like Printsource, Surtex or Premiere Vision to find a studio that fits your style. It’s also important to have a portfolio set up to be able to show your work to studios you want to work with. I encourage you to check out our Portfolio Guide: if this is something you do not already have set up. Best of luck!

    1. Hi Muhammad. A great way to get started is to find a studio or agent to work with. I recommend searching the exhibitor lists of some of the major print shows like Printsource, Surtex or Premiere Vision to find a studio that fits your style. It’s also important to have a portfolio set up to be able to show your work to studios you want to work with. I encourage you to check out our Portfolio Guide: if this is something you do not already have set up. You may also be interested in our free training: as well as our 5-part course, How to Sell Your Artwork: Best of luck!

  33. Hi am marianobaby from Ghana, most glad for learning from your site, God bless u for what you are doing.
    My question is , pls is the price range you stated $350-$700 the world market price range or just for USA. And also want to know if it differs as the years goes by. Thanks

    1. Hi marianobaby, these prices are based on our experience as US-based designers with mostly US-based clients. I can’t really speak to what buyers expect to pay in other countries but one indication is trade shows such as Premiere Vision, which have exhibitors from around the globe, where prices fall within a similar range as we wrote about in this post. As with anything market prices increase over the long term, but I would say within at least the last 5 years that prices have not changed much. Hope this helps!

  34. Hi,
    Thanks for this interesting article! I actually come back often to read it, keepin these figures fresh in my head!
    I have a question though, maybe you can help me…?

    Yesterday I received a positive answer to a prospective mail sent to a human-sized company I love.
    They would be my first client so I really don’t want to fail this one.
    They asked me my cost per print. I’m simply not sure of what to answer…
    If I say too much they’ll turn their back on me, but if too low, I would be exploited then…
    I guess it also depends if I sell the rights or not… however, how to be sure I won’t miss an opportunity giving a “wrong” answer…

    They are an american client, I’m in France so there is also the fact that I don’t know if I should sell abroad the same price as in France since economical situation and saleprices tends to be different etc…

    I know it’s a little personnal, but maybe using your expertise you’ll have an answer to this “problem” that I don’t?

    Thanks so much for you precious time and help !

  35. Hi!

    So I’m veryyyy new to the fashion industry/ textile designing. I am currently studying to become a biochemist in order to move towards greener sustainability among textiles and dyes, and although the chemistry is up my alley, the textile designing most certainly isn’t. Could you please explain why having a specific print made is so expensive/ what the process exactly is that causes such a high expense, how you mentioned depending on the time the average cost is $700?

    1. Hi Amber, thanks for reaching out, your field of study sounds very interesting! This is a great question, and the price of these original designs is what the industry has generally settled on in terms of the value of the artists’ time in creating them. From researching trends, to initial sketches, to putting digital touches on a print it can take many many hours to create a single design depending on techniques used. Something very simple like a plain stripe or dot print would not take an artist very long and therefore would not be priced as high as something like a complex floral. Does this help answer your question?

  36. Hi. Thanks for the article. is it possible for me go sell my prints online from inside Iran? What about websites like Spoonflower? they don’t seem to be taking over the copyright

    1. Hi Ali, yes on Spoonflower you retain the copyrights to your designs. While they are a US-based company they will print and ship all over the world and have an international community built up on the site. As far as selling your prints online you may be interested in checking out our free training:

  37. Hi my name is Yvonne a freelance designer, I have been creating graphic for over 15 years now.
    For the past 10 years I have created several 12″x24″ Hawaiian style pattern repeat for a luggage company.
    This company uses my pattern to produced everything from luggage to backpacks, tote bags and umbrellas to name a few travel items!
    My patterns are exclusively created for this hawaiian company and they have exclusive copy right.
    My issue is that I recently move to Hawaii and notice that some pattern have been in the market for over 8 years now, not sure how many times they have produced this patterns! And I’m somewhat confused as to what to continue to charge this company per pattern! Most patterns are 4 to 5 color process and take about 3 month, they are complex and I provide the company with ready to print files, swatches and several color options for print!
    I would like to know if I am on the right track as far as my quotes are presented. Thank you kindly for your time

  38. Hi!

    I’m curious to understand what is the difference between selling an “exclusive” design and selling the copyright to the design? Is that the same thing?


  39. Hi Michelle!

    Is it a common practice for aspiring designers to sell their designs exclusively but on a royalty basis? Example, a start up with limited capital looking to create a portfolio of 100 unique designs but that does not have the ability to pay $35-70k in purchasing the designs. If not do you think this would be a model that could potentially be negotiated with aspiring designers?


  40. Hi Michelle!

    An interesting article, thank you for it.
    My question is what about the patterns made on paper, by hand!? How to sell them, (does the same rule apply) because I do not use illustrator yet… beginner!?


    P.S. Sorry for my English Im from Croatia 😉

    1. Your English is wonderful Martina! Yes, the same rules apply. Do you have a scanner? I would at least offer buyers a scan of the work that they are buying. This is fairly standard in the industry.

  41. Hi Michelle, and thank you!

    Yes I do have a scanner….good alternative… still practicing pen tool! 😉


  42. Good Morning

    I am french artist and designer. And I read this good article with attention. I have some confidential exclusive design, appropriate for african style fabric design, decorative pattern and over. I will opting for a sell and a pourcentage of fabric and derivatives sell over 200 yards for example. Under these conditions, I prefer make my own business and just pay printed service.

  43. I received a proposal to purchase my artwork for a fashion brand, for t-shirts and sweatshirts, how much should I sell my artwork ?
    Can you help me?

    This is totally new to me.

    Thank you so much.

  44. Hi everyone!

    Thanks for this interesting article, although the info it’s quite clear, I got a question about pricing collections : What´s the price of a collection of 6 patterns for example?
    And Which type of industry is more interested about collections?
    Is it good idea to develop collections? or Is it better to sell one pattern each time?


  45. Hi Michelle,

    I recently signed an agreement with a well-known textile design studio (for the first time) to submit artwork on a freelance basis. We had been corresponding for a couple weeks and I submitted a couple of designs which I received positive feedback for. However I have been trying to get in touch for almost over a month now and have had no success. I am concerned that my artwork will be sold and I will not be compensated for it. This studio has all their work in a password protected area on their site which I do not have access and attends tradeshows regularly to so I basically have no way of knowing whether my artwork was sold. Is this a valid concern? I am not sure how to proceed… does anyone have any advice?

    Thank you,


    1. Hi Solange! It sounds like they might just be busy. I would email them one more time and let them know in a very polite way that you are concerned that your emails have not been returned and you would like to hear back from them before sending them additional patterns. Let us know how it goes.

  46. Hello Michelle, I am an illustrator, I have started collaborating recently as a surface designer and I would need your help on this: A new potential client asked me to sell them a design they saw in my portfolio to use it for commercial purposes as printed fabric. I do not want to sell the rights of the print as I would like to continue using myself for my business. How much should I charge for it? I read something about licensing, how does this work? Can I charge the client for the print and sell the rights for a set amount of time? Thank you!

  47. Hi Michelle,
    This article was really helpful to me, specially after reading all the comments 🙂 I just have 2 additional questions that would love if you could answer them:
    – In case I decide to go with the Flat-Fee Licensing, is there an average price range for the textile industry(fabric manufacturer)? Is it similar to fee when you sell the copyright ($350-$750)? I assume it would be much higher right?
    – Once we agreed on prices how does it work? Should I wait for them to pay before sending them any pattern? Specially when it is the first time you’re working with a client.
    – Besides the Graphic Artists Handbook you recommended (which is sold out), is there any other place where I can find contract samples for this industry?
    Thank you very much!

  48. Hello, thank you very much for the useful information.
    I am just uploading my designs to the website and I am trying to create a practical system of Licenses (3), each of them, with different clauses (to avoid the complication of very personalized contracts)
    I can read the suggested price range for each industry, between 350 – 750 – 1000 US, do these suggested prices work under the terms of an Exclusive License agreement? this means that only one customer can use it?

    I am proposing non-exclusive licenses / limited time (1 – 2 years) with restrictions of use, with specific file dimensions, under those conditions, what could be the suggested price?
    And if we talk about a Perpetual License, for a very elaborate design, the same question.
    I will greatly appreciate your advice.

  49. Thank you for the very useful article.
    Can you provide a link to learning about royalty rates, how to make a contract for such and how to insure collections of royalties? Thanks!

  50. Hi Michelle!
    This article has been very helpful! I am only now learning about the potential of licensing my textile designs. I was wondering if you could answer a few questions since I am currently being approached about licensing one of my artwork.

    Customer is startup children’s wear clothing company. They want an exclusive licence to one of my textile designs from my site. It seems like standard exclusive license I should price is $500-$750 depending on the design.
    Would I also charge any additional fees to them like royalties based on units they sell with my print? Or for an exclusive license do you only sell them the license with that original flat fee of $500-$750?

    Appreciate your help!

    1. Hi Nicole! It’s really up to you and the client! Royalties would be wonderful, but for that price ($750) most companies will probably not want to pay royalties as well. You could choose to charge less upfront and receive royalties, but that can get more complicated.

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