Design your own fabric, our tips and tricks

There are a lot of standard designs out there that you can use when making your own clothes, but… Does the word ‘standard’ bother you? Would you prefer to be original, and do you have a gorgeous design for your pants, dress or shirt? Try making your own fabric! We’ll tell you all about how to make your own fabric.

So, how do you figure out how to design your own fabric? In this blog, we’ll help you own your journey towards creative and unique clothing with our tips and tricks. We’ll tell you what to look out for when you’re trying to figure out how to design fabric prints and what kind of beginners’ mistakes can easily be avoided.

Check if your pattern is continuous

If you’re wondering how to make a fabric design, continuous patterns are always a great option – but your pattern has to flow perfectly. There’s an easy way to check if your pattern’s flowing correctly when you’re designing it: use the ‘shift’ option in Photoshop.

Simply hover over the ‘filter’ option in the topbar and choose other, then shift. This allows you to move your pattern around, and check whether or not it’s actually continuous.

Check what your pattern would look like if it’s life-size

When you’re trying to figure out how to create a pattern for fabric printing, you don’t know what your design will actually look like in real life: fabric design software often has you working with an enlarged view so you can easily check all the details. If you can’t see the forest for the trees anymore, it might help to regularly scale down your pattern to life-size.

Photoshop will help you here as well: hover over the “view” option in the topbar and then click “print size.” Make sure that this option corresponds with your screen resolution though.

Take the stretchiness of your chosen fabric into account

If you’re doing research into how to print your own design on fabric, you’ll know that different fabrics behave differently, and you need to choose your preferred fabric based on the properties it has. If your artwork needs to be a very specific size in order to look good, keeping the natural stretchiness and warping of the fabric in mind while you design your own fabric can save you a lot of trouble.

The final dimensions of your fabric can deviate slightly from what you ordered after it’s been printed, so we recommend adding a margin to your design. It’s always good to order slightly more fabric than you think you’ll need, especially if you want to cut one specific shape out of it.

However, if you’re working with a continuous pattern this is less of an issue: the pattern will repeat even if you order more fabric.

The photos above are from designers who have ordered their prints through us. From left to right: Elly Jin, Tessa van de Meerendonk & Karl Korsar

Make sure your design has enough contrast

Something else to keep in mind when you’re figuring out how to make fabric patterns: whether or not the colors will look right. Colors will look different on your monitor than they will on fabric, because a digital representation is only a simulation of the real thing. Each type of computer screen will make each color look slightly different. If you’re designing digitally, the differences between shades can be visible, even though the naked eye won’t be able to see them on fabric.

An easy way to avoid this issue is to introduce enough contrast between your shades, otherwise they’ll just look like the exact same color. You can check whether or not your colors have sufficient contrast by turning your image to greyscale, which will leave only the intensity of the colors visible.

Choosing the right fabric

An essential part of finding out how to make your own printed fabric is choosing the right kind of fabric for your design. Figuring out your preferred fabric based on its properties before designing can save you a lot of trouble, because the kind of fabric you choose as well as its structure will impact the way your design looks.

Linen, for example, is a durable fabric which is great for both indoor and outdoor fashion. As such, linen is often used when making jackets, skirts or suits. Are you instead looking for a fabric you can use for interior design purposes, like pillows or curtains? Take a look at our different varieties of cotton.

Just do it!

Are you still not really sure about designing and printing your own fabric? Just do it! There’s no feeling that can compare to seeing the fruits of your labor “in real life.”

If you’re wondering how to make a patterns on fabric, House of U will help you print your design on your fabric of choice, starting from as little as 0.5 meters (20 inches). Our design generator makes this easy as breathing: just upload your own design, choose your desired fabric, and specify the size you want. Plus, if you’ve designed a pattern, you can tell us exactly how it should repeat.

Before you send in your order, we’ll give you an estimation of the what your design will look like when printed. This way you’ll know for sure whether the quality of your design is clear enough to look nice on the actual fabric.

Looking for more info on how to make your own fabric, or design tips?

Have you already received your fabric, do you know how to make custom fabric or are you just looking for some more information? We have a lot more tips in our other blog posts, like, for example, how to make a unique dress.

Good luck designing, and don’t forget to have fun! Feel free to contact us if you have any other questions, we’re always happy to help.

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