Textile designers use repeat pattern designs because they can enable large pieces of fabric to be printed without breaks or awkward gaps in a pattern. Below is our ultimate guide to printing repeat patterns designs.
For top-quality custom digital textile printing, you will need a suitable design artwork file. When printing at Digital Fabric Solutions we require artwork seamless repeat pattern designs in PDF format or a Photoshop tiff. An Adobe Illustrator (AI) file can be sent in addition.
Repeats are most visible if the file is opened in photoshop to see if the artwork has a good horizontal and vertical repeat.
At Digital Fabric Solutions our DTP Department will open all files in photoshop to confirm the suitability of the design file. Repeat tiles can be any size. Remember on the width the full width of the repeat can be 150cm if desired.
What are repeat pattern designs – and why use them?
Have you ever tried to sew an item of clothing or make a pair of curtains? Were you able to match fabric pieces so the pattern on them lined up without gaps? The point where an identical design begins again on textile is called a repeat.
Textile designers use repeats because they can enable large pieces of fabrics to be printed without breaks or awkward gaps in a pattern. The idea of repeats in textile designs has been around for a long time, and there’s an endless variety of them.
The goal is to make a textile design look like it never ends. It can be an effective decorative strategy and can be done on almost any type of fabric.
Today, with digital technology, the variety and complexity of repeats can be almost endless. This makes it easier to find suitable designs for custom printed fabric.
And by the way, if you’ve ever tried to wallpaper a room and worked to make sure the pattern lined up, that’s another example of a decorative material using repeats.
Within the textile industry, there’s another, more specific meaning for a repeat. It’s also the distance between identical figures in a repeat pattern, the number of inches before the whole pattern starts over. Small repeats like dots simply cover the fabric for a uniform appearance.
5 steps to printing repeat pattern designs
1. Open the design in Photoshop
2. Duplicate the layer
3. Move the image on each layer
4. Check the vertical repeat
5. Check for any mismatches on the horizontal repeat
Tip: Ensure your image lines up with the edge of the artboard
What is an example of a repeat pattern design in nature?
Patterns in nature are visible regularities of form found in the natural world. Natural patterns include symmetries, trees, spirals, meanders, waves, foams, tessellations, cracks and stripes.
Where do I source repeat pattern designs for textile printing?
Seamless repeatable designs for digital printing can be sourced from websites like Shutterstock, iStock, Dreamtime, Vooprint, Patternbank or similar sites. Search these sites for thousands of royalty-free stock seamless repeat patterns, vectors, trend forecasting and more.
When typing a suitable search on these websites, type “Seamless vector repeat” followed by a description (for example Indian paisley, Morrocan Ornament Design). You will need to register on the website first in order to be able to download designs.
There is an option to save all your designs in a personal collection and view them later when needed.
Remember to download a high-resolution image or a vector file that will be suitable for fabric printing.
There are also many YouTube videos that can guide you. Simply search for “how to create a seamless pattern repeat in photoshop”.
There are images and steps in this blog that can assist in checking if your design is in seamless repeat, ready for textile printing.
Key search words for pattern and trend inspiration
Spring summer 2019 print trends – Pattern curator – Print design trends. These sites offer the latest trends and themes set out on an international platform.
Block prints or panels for cushions
These designs can be in a block or panel with a gap around the image. The gap can be between 0.5cm or a few centimetres. Allow 2cm for shrinkage on cotton and 1cm on polyester when setting the artwork size.
Also, know what sewing allowance the seamstress requires around the block. Please take note of the usable width of your desired fabric type when setting artwork file sizes.
It is possible to create a range of clothing or home décor products with the help of online pattern and surface design sources like Shutterstock.
If you have some creative skills there is endless videos and information online to assist you with turning your artwork into a seamless repeatable design for the textile industry.