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Classic holiday gifts usually include socks, pjs, and kitchen towels. There is one missing from this list that brings me great joy—perhaps you too. I love to receive an inspiring pattern design book. I don’t typically splurge on beautiful hardcover books, so they are a fabulous treat that I appreciate receiving and using throughout the year. Here are my top choices for pattern design books for 2020. These books were all released this year and are fresh off the presses!
Pattern Design Books
Modern Fabric: Twenty-Five Designers on Their Inspiration and Craft
Modern Fabric was recommended by one of our Textile Design Lab members as an inspiring pattern design book. This book is packed with inspiring photographs documenting the work of “today’s modern fabric design stars from around the world.” The authors, Abby Gilchrist and Amelia Poole, highlight the work of designers such as Kaffe Fassett, Erin Dollar, and Naomi Ito. I am so excited to check out Modern Fabric. It has promise of becoming one of those timeless books that pattern designers can refer back to for years to come.
Prints and Their Makers is a gorgeous pattern design book that was written by master printer Phil Sanders. This book appeals to me because it opens up an entire world of new techniques, color combinations, and inspiring artists to explore. “Clear and engaging explanations illuminate seven major printmaking processes: relief, intaglio, chine collé, photogravure, lithography, monotype, and screenprint. Sanders showcases the collaborative aspect of printmaking in detailed case studies accompanied by photographs of celebrated artists working with their printers and publishers.”
The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World
As much as I love learning about history, it’s not something I usually make the time to do. But The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World looks so interesting, that I think I’ll need to shift my time management priorities. “In The Fabric of Civilization, Virginia Postrel synthesizes groundbreaking research from archaeology, economics, and science to reveal a surprising history. From Minoans exporting wool colored with precious purple dye to Egypt, to Romans arrayed in costly Chinese silk, the cloth trade paved the crossroads of the ancient world…Assiduously researched and deftly narrated, The Fabric of Civilization tells the story of the world’s most influential commodity.”
One Color a Day Sketchbook: A Daily Art Practice and Visual Diary
If you are looking for an incredibly inspiring pattern design book you’ll want to explore One Color a Day Sketchbook. “Within the book’s orderly gridded layout, you simply paint a daily color and add a word or phrase that reﬂects your current mood, an observation, or an experience. The result is a visually stunning, deeply personal, and totally unique record of a year.” As someone who doesn’t set aside enough time for reflection and self-care, I find this book to be a brilliant idea. Who doesn’t have time to paint a quick color dab? It seems like a wonderful way to ring in the new year and set aside time to document the upcoming year in color.
Visible Mending: A Modern Guide to Darning, Stitching and Patching the Clothes You Love
Mending is something that I have become increasingly more interested in pursuing. Based upon my WGSN trend research, it is also a practice that is growing in popularity. There are several mending books available that look informative, but I chose this book because of the gorgeous and inspiring photos. It’s a stunner. “In Visible Mending, Arounna explores why we should mend, and how to mend a variety of different fabrics. Work through the illustrated step-by-step instructions that will demystify mending techniques and discover how these can be easily applied to old items to give them a fresh, modern look.”
Color Third Edition: A workshop for artists and designers
This is the third edition of Color: A workshop for artists and designers, and I really look forward to checking it out. What drew me to this book is that it has assignments you can work through on your own. “With its sequence of specially designed assignments and in-depth discussions, it effectively bridges the gap between color theory and practice to inspire confidence and understanding in anyone working with color. This third edition is updated with more contemporary examples drawn not just from painting, but from textiles, graphic design, illustration and animation.”