Monday, July 18, 2016

adventures in textile design : books

i really meant to be more active with blogging, especially regarding my online and offline searches and studies of textile design...  but textile design (or rather, the hand drawn to digital manipulation transfer of designs/patterns) is proving to be harder for me than I thought it would be... although i have a design (garment and fashion illustration) background, there are so many other skills and concepts that are somewhat foreign to's a challenge... but i'm going to keep trying... :)  i think it's common knowledge that everyone learns differently.  i am a better student - understanding concepts and hands on practice - in a classroom with a teacher...  unfortunately, i have neither the time nor the finances to enroll in actual continuing education classes at a school with textile design courses.  although, i am thankful that a handful of designers have decided to share their knowledge, i really need books with text and diagrams, as well as video tutorials to really grasp this knowledge...

ennyhoo...i thought it might be helpful... for my/your future reference, since some of my books are from the library... to list the books i'm reading and using for research as i continue my education... and if you have any recommendations for me, please share them in the comments!!

1)  The Spoonflower Handbook - seeing so many independent designers on the custom textile design website, spoonflower, really encouraged me to learn more about surface and textile design.  this book covers some basic and fundamental info about what tools you'll need to start, fabric & surface, digital design, color theory, pattern repeats.  the book also contains great creative process exercises/projects that encourage you to test your skills.  i especially love that sprinkled throughout the book are quotes and anecdotes from some of my favorite designers about their struggles and thoughts on textile design.


2.  Print and Pattern Kids - if you're interested in surface and textile design, you've probably already seen the Print & Pattern blog. this book is from the creators of that blog and contains 700+ images of design from a 100+ designers.  personally, i like to see how other designers approach similar prompts.  this book is an excellent resource for design inspiration.  for example, i'll bookmark each design that references "dogs" just to see how a designer repeated a pattern, if they used text, what color palette they used....  i dunno, maybe it sounds boring, but it's fascinating to me....  :)

3.  A Field Guide to Fabric Design by Kimberly Kight - this book has been a great companion to all the other online classes I've enrolled in.  it covers much of the basic information needed to build repeating patterns plus some detailed diagrams and instructions on how to develop patterns in either photoshop or illustrator.

4.  Digital Textile Design by Melanie Bowles & Ceri Issac - this book has also been a welcome companion to all the online videos i've been replaying and pausing and replaying.  although it covers some basics on how to create traditional patterns as well as custom repeat patterns, it also covers more advanced topics (for me) like engineered textile design and texture/pattern mapping.

5.  Mastering the Art of Fabric Printing and Design by Laurie Wisbrun - i haven't referred to this book as often as the others, but it is wonderful.  it does have digital design instruction & exercises but also covers hand printing in detail.  this book also has some great interviews with established designers that are fascinating and a short but informative chapter on what to do if/when you decide to pursue textile/surface design as a profession.

ok...  i'm going to get back to trying to design a repeat pattern in illustrator...  thanks for coming by and reading!!

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