Who says that DIY creativity has to stop at textiles? Bohemian and hipster fashion trends have inspired fashionistas everywhere to take their passions to the craft tables and design their own unique fabrics for clothing and home designs.
Many great fashion blogs are showcasing DIY textile projects, even students and Academy of Art fashion schools fashion designers like Patrice Yagen are creating original textiles using their own unique techniques and getting notable industry acknowledgment. Be your own designer with these crafty solutions to textile design.
Making fabrics is as easy as point and click with fabric design sites like Spoonflower. Upload or take an image of a fabric pattern through iPhone or camera and scan it to the site. From there you can replicate the image any way you want (horizontal, vertical etc.) creating a unique and personalized fabric pattern. Be sure to use a quality image with a high resolution—you don’t need to be a pro to get this.
According to a Wall Street Journal article about designing your own fabric, “a photo taken with an iPhone 4′s 5-megapixel camera can create a high-quality 12×17-inch pattern. (To go larger, use a higher resolution camera.) Take several photos of your pattern and select the best one. Or, if possible, scan the original image or material.”
Other points to consider are how large you want the image to be in comparison to how big or small the original image is. Also, be sure to consider what you will be using the fabric for. Upholstery? Curtains? Bags? Clothes? The possibilities are endless!
Use textile ink to hand design intricate geometric shape and line patterns. Use transparent contact paper to cut stencils and use a foam sponge to apply ink. Masking tape can be used to make sharp lines.
PoppyTalk is a blog on handmade items and featured a post that shows you how to make your own customizable prints on practically any fabric. This method is relatively simple and considerably less expensive and time consuming than searching for and purchasing your desired printed fabric.
Shibori and Tie-Dye
When most people think of tie-dye they think of rainbow colored fringed bohemian style but tie-dye goes far beyond that. You can also use the effect of tie-dye with bleach on darker fabrics. But be cautioned, a lot of bleach can eat through thin fabrics so apply miserly with a paint brush.
According to an article in Sewdaily.com, Shibori is “a technique in which cloth is tightly compressed by tying, clamping, folding, and stitching, so that fabric resists paint and reveals wonderful designs and patterns. The Japanese word Shibori comes from the verb root Shiboru meaning ‘to wring, squeeze, or press.’”
Shibori is essentially the Japanese version of tie-dye that uses a different technique for creating line patterns. Shibori uses a large rope or long hollow cylinder with open ends to create elongated line patters, unlike the technique of creating circular patterns in traditional tie-dye.