Digital textile design specialist Melanie Bowles shows how to create a signature plaid and prepare it for print.
Digital textile design and textile ink jet printing are fast becoming accessible options as textile print bureaus are set up around the country, revitalising the textile industry.
Designers are embracing the creative potential that digital textile design offers, and are fast catching up with graphic designers who have taken to working digitally over the last decade. Working digitally is opening up new styles in textile design as the print technology enables limitless colour, fine detail and photographic detailing on a variety of fabrics ranging from silks, chiffons and velvets to cottons and canvas.
Why be restricted to buying branded clothing when you can design your own personal print and make items locally? While it might be a more expensive option, you'll have a unique, signature plaid to play with across a multitude of garments. In this tutorial I'll demonstrate how to create a woven plaid in Adobe Illustrator that can be further adapted in scale and colourways until you have your own custom plaid. The tutorial also illustrates the ease of digital printing onto fabric using facilities such as those at The Digital Print Bureau at the London College of Fashion.