How to design your own fabric


























In this tutorial I will explain how to convert a photo to a pattern, by using the open source software Gimp (Photoshop) and Inkscape (Illustrator).

Step 1: Choose a picture.


































Choose a picture.

Step 2: Cut out your object with the Lasso Tool.



























Open your image in Gimp (Photoshop). Change the transparency of the layer (Layer → Transparency → Add Alpha Channel). Select the Lasso tool from the toolbox. Cut out your object with the Lasso Tool. Save the image as an PNG file. PNG files support transparency.

Step 3: Import in Inkscape


























Import the PNG file in Inkscape (File Import). Create a transparent square. Select both the square and the object and convert to a pattern (Object Pattern Objects to Pattern)

Step 4: Choose the Node Tool from the toolbox.

























Duplicate the pattern (Edit Duplicate) and choose the Node Tool from the toolbox. In the upper right corner of your pattern a small square with a cross inside will appear .

Step 5: Have a look at the different options.


























Click and drag the square with the mouse cursor. In this way the pattern can be shifted in the field. The great thing about this tool is that you can drag the pattern to a new position. And although the pattern is now cut by the edges of your square, you're still creating a seamless repeating pattern. 

Step 6: Shift the pattern into a new position.


























Shift the pattern into a new position by using the Node tool.
Step 7: Send to the back.


























Select the pattern. Send to the back (Object Lower to bottom).

Step 8: Repeat steps 4, 5, 6 and 7.


























To make this pattern, I duplicated and shifted the pattern three times. I used all four options, shown in step five, to make this pattern. 

Select all layers and convert to pattern. (Object Pattern Objects to Pattern)

Step 10: Create square.




















Create a square with the same dimensions as the fabric of your choice. First create a square. Select the square. Enter the W(ith) and H(ight) in the menu above. You can choose to enter the with and hight in cm or in. Select the square and open the Fill and Stroke Menu (Shift+Ctrl+F). Choose Pattern and choose the new pattern you just created.

Step 11: Export bitmap.





















In this example I added a square with a matching colour to use as a neckband. Select both squares. Export the image to PNG with resolution 180 dpi (FileExport Bitmap). To reduce the size of the file, open the PNG file in Gimp and save as a JPG file.

Step 12: Print the fabric.
Print the fabric and use it for one of your projects.

This fabric design is for sale in my spoonflower shop. Please note; spoonflower does not print on swimsuit fabric.

© small dreamfactory
not intended for commercial use

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