Surface pattern design, Textile design

Step by step to creating a Textile Design

I thought I would share this tutorial in the hope that it helps someone. A while ago when I was looking into ‘how’ to make textile design, I was amazed when I found this technique. It’s so simple, yet powerful and delivers every time! See the step by step photos below and follow along. This is quite a long tutorial!!

Step 12 of 12- the finished design
Step 12 of 12- the finished design

So here we go! If you haven’t done this before, don’t be overwhelmed by it, Its very easy to follow, just take your time and refer to the photos below to help you.

Step 1 of 12
Step 1 of 12

Step 1= Get an A4 piece of plain paper and cut in half. It can be any colour but white works best. Put one piece of the paper aside for now.

Step 2 of 12 textile design
Step 2 of 12

Step 2= Using the remaining piece of paper (A5),  number the corners in pen (write small), starting in the top left corner with number 1 and finishing with number 4 in the bottom right corner.

Step 3 of 12 textile design
Step 3 of 12

Step 3= Start drawing your surface pattern design or textile design on the paper. Remember to NOT draw too close to the corners. The reason for this will become apparent later. Trust me!

step 4 textile design
Step 4 of 12

Step 4= Carry on drawing your motifs and icons. Do them a similar size or vary them, it’s up to you. I decided to do them of a similar size with just a few that were smaller.

step 5 textile design
Step 5 of 12

Step 5=Fold the paper in half horizontally. Try to be as accurate as you can. Either use your hands or a pair of scissors to cut along the half way point.

step 6 textile design
Step 6 of 12

Step 6= Place the bottom half at the top, and the top half at the bottom. So when reading the numbers you should have 3, 4, 1, 2 going from upper left to bottom right.

step 7 textile design
Step 7 of 12

Step 7= Turn over and stick together with some sellotape on the join at the back (use only enough to secure lightly as we will be cutting the paper again soon).

step 8 textile design
Step 8 of 12

Step 8= Continue drawing motifs of your choice. I have drawn flowers, but you can draw anything you want. Still keep away from the corners at this point.

step 9 textile design
Step 9 of 12

Step 9= Fold the paper in half vertically and cut.

step 10 textile design
Step 10 of 12

Step 10=Place the left side on the right, and the right side on the left. So when reading the numbers from top left to bottom right you should have 4,3,2,1.

step 11 textile design
Step 11 of 12

Step 11= Secure together with some sellotape. You can use a bit more now as we are done with the cutting. Continue drawing until you fill the sheet of paper with your doodles and sketches.

step 12 textile design
Step 12 of 12

Step 12= The finished drawn textile design. Although still ‘rough’ looking, there is enough on here to successfully scan the image into the computer to produce a design.

The next step will be to scan this into the computer and use something like CorelDraw or Illustrator to trace the images and then refine, add colour, texture, lines etc to then use as a repeat pattern. Hope this tutorial has helped you or at the very least given you another technique to use when creating textile designs.

2 thoughts on “Step by step to creating a Textile Design”

    1. Thank you! I am a beginner when it comes to Illustrator/photoshop, so for the moment at least i create my repeat tile with pen and paper and then redraw on the computer at a later stage. Glad you enjoyed the tutorial though 🙂

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