Due to being close to running out of free posts on this blog I decided to set up a brand new blog for my third year of my degree. Please check out my new posts which will firstly feature my 10 week internship in sunny Malta and then my work over the last year of my degree.

Click here to check out my new blog


Types of designs

There is a lot of different types of designs, repeated or not. As I am designing repeat patterns for hospital gowns it will be good for me to research them.

CHINTZ – a glazed or polished cotton, beautiful florals with trees, birds and animal and human figures. Combining realistic and stylised motifs in the same design. Originates from India.


PAISLEY – a curved abstract palm motif derived from the cashmere shawls of India that were woven in Paisley, Scotland. Can be set and conservative or bold and dramatic.


TOILE DE JOUY – means ‘cloth from Jouy’ in France. Finely illustrated stories of current events or romanticised landscapes and figures.


NEO CLASSICAL – refers to any style that uses ancient Greek and Roman forms as a starting point. Acanthus leaves, plaques, griffins, floral urns, swans, horses, lions. The flowing curves of baroque, Empire, English Regency. Layouts are formal, balanced, harmonious, implying power, solidity and tradition.


DAMASK – printed damask designs imitate the original fabrics woven in 13th century Damascus. Elaborately patterned, formal, all-over or striped layouts


CALICO PRINTS – small floral, close coverage, 3 or 4 colours plus white. Also tiny geometric motifs as well as stripes and plaids. Traditionally used for dresses and aprons, frequently for patchwork quilts.


THE LINGERIE FLORAL – dainty, small, usually widely spaced designs. Rosebuds, daisies, nosegays, ribbons and butterflies. Clean, delicate pastels.


‘LITTLE NOTHINGS’ OR ABSTRACT – small, simple shapes in 1 to 3 colours. Geometrics, dabs, wriggles, crescents and commas. Usually a tossed open-spaced layout. Often the same design is done as light-on-dark and dark-on-light.


ORGANIC TEXTURES – found in nature and includes woodgrains, reptile skins, sand, pebbles, grasses, clouds, sea shells, bird feathers, fur, leather grains, etc.


FLORAL – the most important basic textile design. Abstract; stylised; realistic.

ETHNIC OR FOLK – also known as folklore; peasant; provincial. Includes all forms of plants, flowers, birds, animals, human figures, scenic subjects, geometrics. Can be highly stylised, realistic, sophisticated, naïve.

MONOTONE – designs of only one colour with white. Modern and traditional.

PATCHWORK – derived from patchwork quilt traditions. Also appliqué patterns that appear to be stitched.

LIBERTY – classic blouse-sized florals, often with a fine outline. Originally from Liberty’s of London.

CONVERSATIONAL – realistic or stylised motifs that tell a story. Can be campy and fun or sophisticated and high style.

BATIK – imitates the wax resist effect. Usually exotic florals and ethnics.

GEOMETRIC – composed of abstract shapes such as squares, triangles, circles. Can be very ‘free’ or mechanically set.

FOULARD – also known as madder, tie-silk, cravat. Carefully drawn, geometrically styled floral, paisley or Persian motifs.

ART NOUVEAU – sensuous, flowing, organic lines, with motifs taken from nature and plant life.

ART DECO – clean, geometric lines, formalised modern and angular. Motifs can be derived from flowers, plants, Egyptian art, animals and human figures.

CONTEMPORARY – usually non-figurative, either modern and crisp, or painterly.

BOTANICAL – realistic and well drawn botanical motifs as found in illustrated books on flowers, plants, herbs. Detailed, fine, pen line drawing and lettering.

SCENIC OR LANDSCAPE – designs in which the motifs are placed in a horizontal layout and, when combined with the subject matter, suggest a scene. Can be rural or cityscape subjects. A realistic style of drawing tends to be used.

COUNTRY FRENCH – originating from carved woodblocks from 18th century Provence, France. Rustic look with an Indian and Asian influence. Often bright in colour. Small set patterns and large chintz florals.

TROPICAL – motifs and colours inspired by lush, sunny tropical regions of the world. Flowers, leaves, trees, animals, birds, insects, fish, figures and geometrics. Primary colours. Often tossed, all-over motif layout.

TAPESTRY OR WARP – designs that imitate the look of elaborate embroideries or woven jacquard fabrics. The vertical, (warp), or horizontal, (weft), threads are emphasised by paint or by pen and ink. Graph paper can also be used as a guide.

WEAVES – similar to the above, but extended to include effects such as straw, flax, bamboo, rattan, cord, wicker, basketry, knits, crochet, etc. Can be used as independent designs or as background effects..

DOCUMENTARY – inspired by or adapted from a decorative historical document or fabric. Can be from any culture. Usually a fairly close approximation of the original.

ORGANIC TEXTURES – found in nature and includes woodgrains, reptile skins, sand, pebbles, grasses, clouds, sea shells, bird feathers, fur, leather grains, etc.

ARTIFICIAL EFFECTS – using a stipple brush, sponge, toothbrush to spatter, tissues to blot, or any number of other techniques to create a textured, irregular appearance.

GRAPHIC TEXTURES – these are geometric in nature with a simplified, clean and stylised look. Their appearance from a distance gives a strong, all-over textural quality.

Expanding an image in Photoshop

When I was creating my mood boards I have found this this cool tool. I was using photographs from internet and some of them had backgrounds which basically I wanted gone. I was opening each image in Photoshop selecting what I wanted to stay then inverse and delete. Select -> Inverse -> Delete. If you want to do that make sure the layer you are working on isn’t a background layer, you can do that by double clicking on the layer. After doing few I simply forgot to change my layer so it’s not a background.

I don’t fully understand how it works but from the outcome I think it just takes what was selected previously and files the background with it. It looks so effective and I think it will work well with Scanned memory theme.


So basically it’s good to make mistakes sometimes because you learn and find new fun tools to play with.

Shapes in Illustrator

Introduction to Illustrator. I have never used Illustrator before so those lesson delivered by Steve are very valuable to me. Technically, we were only playing with shapes but I have learned so much already.

Creating many little shapes and then putting one big shape behind it. Object -> Arrange -> Send to back. If you want it to make it in to one shape Select, Object -> Group.

Different shapes or images can be made this way and then copied and pasted in to a simple repeat pattern.

Or more complex repeat patterns can be created by selecting and flipping the image.

You can also create a pattern in Illustrator by selecting the pattern making tool. Object -> Pattern -> Make. There is a big range of simple patterns you can do. Grid, brick by row, brick by column, hex by column and hex by column. Your pattern will save as a colour swatch.

You can basically create a complex pattern by just scribbling in Illustrator.

Then the pattern could even be re used and used a a colour filler for a shaped which then can be copied and pasted and create a complete new pattern!

This is so fun I couldn’t resist from doing more!

This Illustrator session was so fun! I have never used this programme and if this simple shape and patter makes me exited then I really can’t wait for the more complex and complicated stuff.


Shapes in Photoshop

In this project we will be using a lot of Photoshop and Illustrator. I will be posting technical screen shots of different techniques I have used.

Creating depth and shadow to shapes. You can create a shape by pressing [Shift] you can add to the shape, by pressing [Alt] you can take away from a shape. I have used a circles and oval shapes to create this shape. If you select a colour and press [backspace] the shape will fill in the colour you selected.

Pressing the fx button in Photoshop layer box and choosing the Drop Shadow selection will take you to Layer style.


Then by playing around with the drop shadow and bevel & emboss section you can create a shadow and lights on you shape. This will add depth to the shape.

By pressing [Alt] + [C] ( windows) or [Command] + [C] (Mac) you can copy the shape or anything you can selected.

By pressing [Alt] + [V] ( windows) or [Command] + [V] (Mac) you can paste the shape that you have previously copied.

This is how I have created this very simple repeat pattern.