Textile design

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Point paper for Dove and Rose woven double cloth by William Morris, 1879.

Textile design is essentially the process of creating designs for woven, knitted or printed fabrics or surface ornamented fabrics. Textile designers are involved with the production of these designs, which are used, sometimes repetitively, in clothing and interior decor items.

The field encompasses the actual pattern making while supervising the production process.[1] In other words, textile design is a process from the raw material into finished product. Fiber, yarn and finishes are the key elements to be considered during the textile design procedure.


Textile designing is a creative field that includes fashion design, carpet manufacturing and any other cloth-related field.[1] Textile design fulfills a variety of purposes in our lives.[2] For example, our clothing, carpets, drapes, towels, and rugs are all a result of textile design.[2]

These examples illustrate the significance of textiles in our daily lives. The creations of textiles are not only important for their use, but also for the role they play in the fashion industry. Textile designers have the ability to inspire collections, trends, and styles. The textile industry, while being a creative art form, is a very business savvy industry.

Textile designers marry a creative vision of what a finished textile will look like with a deep understanding of the technical aspects of production and the properties of fiber, yarn, and dyes.[3]

The creative process often begins with different art mediums to map concepts for the finished product. Traditionally, drawings of woven textile patterns were translated onto special forms of graph paper called point papers, which were used by the weavers in setting up their looms.[4]

Today, most professional textile designers use some form of computer-aided design software created expressly for this purpose.[3] Some of the latest advances in textile printing have been in the area of digital printing. The process is similar to the computer controlled paper printers used for office applications.[2] In addition, heat-transfer printing is another popular printing method to be used in the textile design. Patterns are often designed in repeat to maintain a balanced design even when fabric is made into yardage. Repeat size is the distance directly across or down from any motif in a design to the next place that same motif occurs. The size of the repeat is determined by the production method. For example, printed repeat patterns must fit within particular screen sizes while woven repeat patterns must fit within certain loom sizes. There are several different types of layouts for repeated patterns. Some of the most common repeats are straight and half drop. Often, the same design is produced in many different colored versions, which are called colorways. Once a pattern is complete, the design process shifts to choosing the proper fabrics to get the design printed on or woven into the fabric[5]

Designers might want to use the method of dyeing or printing to create their design. There are many printing methods.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Wiley, Suzanne S. "Definition of Textile Designing". Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  2. ^ a b c Collier, Bide and Tortora (2009). Understanding of Textiles. America: Pearson. pp. 1, 432.
  3. ^ a b Gale, Lahori, and Kaur, The Textile Book, p. 37
  4. ^ Rothstein, Woven Textile Design in Britain to 1750
  5. ^ The Fundamentals of Printed Textile Design By Alex Russell


  • Billie J. Collier, Martin J. Bide, and Phyllis G., Understanding of Textiles, Pearson Publishers, 2009, ISBN 978-0-13-118770-2, ISBN 0-13-118770-8
  • Gale, Colin, Lajwanti Lahori, and Jasbir Kaur, The Textile Book, Berg Publishers, 2002, ISBN 1-85973-512-6
  • Jackson, Lesley : Twentieth-Century Pattern Design, Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 2002. ISBN 1-56898-333-6
  • Jackson, Lesley : Shirley Craven and Hull Traders: Revolutionary Fabrics and Furniture 1957-1980, ACC Editions, 2009, ISBN 1-85149-608-4
  • Jenkins, David, ed.: The Cambridge History of Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-521-34107-8
  • Kadolph, Sara J., ed.: Textiles, 10th edition, Pearson/Prentice-Hall, 2007, ISBN 0-13-118769-4
  • Rothstein, Natalie: The Victoria and Albert Museum's Textile Collection: Woven Textile Design in Britain to 1750, Canopy Books, New York, London, and Paris, 1994. ISBN 1-55859-849-9
  • Rothstein, Natalie: The Victoria and Albert Museum's Textile Collection: Woven Textile Design in Britain 1750 to 1850, Canopy Books, New York, London, and Paris, 1994. ISBN 1-55859-850-2
  • Labillois, Tabitha M., ed.: "the meow institute", Mexico, 1756. ISBN 1-55859-851-0