How to Create A Textile Print: Sourcing Your Inspiration (Part 1)

print + pattern Oct 06, 2023

Time to talk prints! Whether it’s dots and spots, florals, paisley, animals, or abstracts, we dig them all 🌸

A fresh and eye-catching print can set a fashion collection above the rest. But what makes a good textile print? In this 5 part series, we will dive into the fundamentals that make a top-notch print and pattern.

In part 1, we will start where all good ideas start… with inspiration! πŸ’‘To create engaging and unique textile prints and patterns, you need a solid foundation of inspiration to build upon. But how does one find this inspiration? How do you translate something abstract like an idea or feeling into a tangible design? This article will guide you through the journey of seeking, identifying, and harnessing the power of inspiration to create captivating prints and patterns.

Observing the World Around You

The first place to look for inspiration is the world around you. Nature, architecture, different cultures, fashion trends, and even everyday objects can all serve as sources of inspiration. Look at the shapes, colors, and textures that surround you.

Nature: Patterns are abundant in nature. The array of colors in a sunset, the intricate details of a leaf, the texture of tree bark, or the geometric perfection of a snowflake can all serve as starting points. I take pictures with my phone all the time to capture beautiful ideas so I can go back to them later.

A close-up picture of purple flowers in full bloom outside.Flowers in bloom that I spotted during my morning walk.

Architecture: Architectural details, from the sweeping lines of a suspension bridge to the ornate carvings on a historical building, can inspire interesting motifs. While traveling, I’m constantly snapping pictures of wallpapers, handrailings, and stained glass windows.

Cultures: Traditional designs, textiles, and motifs from different cultures offer a wealth of inspiration. Remember, it's essential to approach this with respect and a desire to understand, not to appropriate.

Everyday Objects: Ordinary objects can become extraordinary sources of inspiration when you start to notice their details. The pattern on your coffee mug or the lines on your keyboard can lead to unique designs.

A long maxi dress with a bright pink, green, blue, orange, and purple retro floral print. A dress I loved in a vintage store that features a fun retro floral print.

Fashion Trends: Current and past fashion trends can also guide your print and pattern creation. Observing what colors, styles, and motifs are popular can help you design prints that resonate with people. Pay attention to the prints you find in retail stores as well as your local vintage shop.

Building an Inspiration Board

An inspiration or mood board is an excellent way to visually organize your ideas. This can be a digital board on a platform like Pinterest or a physical board where you pin pictures, swatches, and other items that inspire you. Grouping these elements can help you identify common themes, colors, and styles that might guide your design process.

Exploring Different Mediums

Diversify your sources of inspiration by exploring different mediums. Browse art books, visit galleries, look at graphic design and typography, watch films with striking color schemes, or listen to music that evokes certain emotions. You never know what might spark a creative idea!

Embracing the Abstract

Not all inspiration has to come from tangible sources. Sometimes, emotions, concepts, or abstract ideas can be a powerful starting point for a design. For example, the concept of 'joy' could translate into a print with bright colors and energetic shapes, while 'serenity' might inspire a pattern with softer hues and flowing lines.

Documenting Your Ideas

Keep a sketchbook or journal to document your ideas. This practice can help you capture fleeting thoughts and allows you to look back at previous ideas that may not have been right for one project but could be perfect for another.

Doodle of purple and white flowers on an iPad screen.Kristen sketching floral motif ideas on her iPad.

Drawing or writing out your thoughts also helps to solidify them, making it easier to develop them into a more concrete design later on.

Inspiration Is Only the Beginning

Remember, inspiration is just the starting point. The true magic happens when you take that inspiration and make it your own, adding your unique touch. It's okay if your final design doesn't look exactly like your initial source of inspiration. That's the beauty of the creative process—it's all about interpretation, experimentation, and personal expression.

In part 2 of this series, we'll explore how to take your source of inspiration and start turning it into a unique and captivating print or pattern starting from the ground up. Stay tuned!

Want updates on our latest blog posts, tips + tricks for starting a purpose-driven fashion brand, and news of the latest trends?!

Sign up below for our newsletter. πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡

Join our email list to get tips and tricks for starting a purpose driven fashion brand.

Join our email list to get tips and tricks for starting a purpose-driven fashion brand.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.

Recent Posts

Why Is Recycling In Fashion So Tricky?

Sep 28, 2023

Like our vibe? Please subscribe

Join our email list to get tips and tricks for starting a purpose-driven fashion brand.