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Design your own fabric using your computer

17 February 2014 09:00

Previously on ‘Would you like to design your own fabric?’ 

This is for those of you who are not trained designers, but who would like to have a go at designing your own fabric.  

You can create a fabric design however you like – by hand, on the computer, with a photograph – whichever way best suits you and the design you’re working on.  

Today we’ll look at using your computer.

‘Proper’ designers are likely to have 40 fits reading this, but fortunately, no-one’s looking;  just check behind you before you start.

You can use your computer to help with simple designs, even without the expense of buying Illustrator, or the hassles of downloading a freebie like Inkscape, and learning how to use them.  This is especially useful if you want something very simple, like stripes.  (Maybe you want stripes in colours or widths which are not available in the the shops.)

These designs were created in Microsoft Excel.  You can use borders to create stripes and fill them with colour

or, as I did with the heart design, you can insert shapes.

Excel shapes come ready-coloured.   However, it is easy enough to change the colour, as well as the size.

You can also change the colour to white, print off your design and colour it by hand, for a different look.  

The only other thing you need to do before you can upload it to our website is to save it in a suitable format.  To do this, copy your basic design into Paint, which will accept Excel or Word files, then save as a Tiff or Jpg file.  Make sure the dpi is set to 150.

You only need to prepare the basic ‘building block’ of the design, upload it to our website and request the appropriate repeat option.   For the heart pattern, you just need one heart with the right amount of background around it.  Requesting a half-brick repeat will give an all-over design as below.  If you want the hearts to be more spaced out, use a larger area of background.  This saves all the hassles of trying to make the designs repeat properly.


You can find more ways of creating your own fabric designs in the blog posts Design your own fabric by hand and Using Your Scanner to Create a Design.

Have fun designing!