Textiles are thousands of years old as we can trace back cotton and silk dating back to 5000 BC. Once the trade between Middle Eastern, Asian and European countries started, textiles became valuable commodities.
We may not know a lot about fabrics and textiles but what we do know is that someone was taking all these decisions about colour, weavers and patterns.
What is Textile Design?
So, what is textile design? We often go to a fabric store and see different colourful fabrics all kept neatly. Have you ever wondered who decides what clothes would be used for what pattern and colour? Whether cotton would be used or wool or it would be knitted? Well, all these decisions are taken by a textile designer. There are different type of textile designers – Industrial textile designers and freelancers.
Textile design is how the planning and production of fabrics’ appearance are decided. Textile designers decide all the ideas about how a piece of clothing would look. They will suggest everything, whether it is the thread, colour, fabric surface, etc.
The design of fabric and its texture depends on the geographical location and culture of a particular place. Over a period of time, so many trends and styles have come and gone.
So, let’s look at some core aspects of textile designing.
So how does the process of textile designing starts? Like most plans and ideas, it is initiated on paper as an idea and continues its journey, which completes its cycle in a printed cloth.
The fabric can include any style like floral, stripes, checks, paisley, geometric or anything else. Basically, the process involves four steps:
- Conceptualization of new designs.
- Creating design samples.
- Experiment with various hues to select shades complimenting each other.
- Designing the fabric, going on par with the current fashion trends.
When we look at the core aspect of textile designing, it involves designing the fabric which is done by using various techniques like weaving, colour, embroidery, tracing and printing. Once it is decided and the idea is agreed upon, some virtual samples are created, and prototypes are made.
The Textile Designing Process
To have a good material that stands out and is loved by the customer, it is essential to find a textile designer with whom you can have a good relationship and work with him/her to their full potential.
One just needs to be clear on the idea and the kind of end product they are looking for and all this would be of good help for the textile designer.
Here are some of the key steps to this process:
Finding a Textile Designer
The world of fashion and textile is vast. Many people out there would be willing to work for you and help you with your business. You need to find someone that suits you and who is in sync with your style but also brings a new perspective and ideas to the table.
When looking for a textile designer, you can either hire someone full time or opt for freelance designers or go for design studios. During the hiring process, do thorough research and check their portfolios, previous works, and brands they have worked for.
During this, designers would often ask for a consultation, which you would have to pay. This would be done to determine your goals and pricing. During this time, you would also feel their potential and work.
To protect the work designers do in their initial stages, they usually as for deposit payments. You must discuss the cost of this deposit payment before during the consultation.
Producing Sketching & Concepts
Once the work has begun, the designer would ask you several questions about your idea and vision and then, based on that, would present to you a sketch. These questions must be answered in brief so that the designer understands exactly what you are looking for, about your textile business ideas and how to do you like the feel of the end product.
Once all this discussion is done, you will be presented with the first draft. You are now required to give your feedback and tell what you would like to keep or change. Once you have your final design, it will be drawn using digital software, which is shared with your manufacturing partner.
In this stage, you would send your design to the printing or manufacturing partner, who will give you some samples of it. This process is called Strike Off and involves printing a small sample to get the like and feel of the finished product.
In case of any adjustments, your designer can work on that and modify the design.
Once the work is done and is ready to be delivered, comes the time to make the payment which is done before the final design copies are handed over.
Working with Fabric Producers
Once all is done, it is time to work with your fabric suppliers to print your design for the clothing. The designs can either be printed continuously or seamlessly, depending on the width and the print of the fabric.
This is a critical step, and one must be very careful at this stage. So this is how a fabric gets made and comes to its final stage.