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A Field Guide to Fabric Design: Design, Print & Sell Your Own Fabric; Traditional & Digital Techniques; For Quilting, Home Dec & Apparel Paperback – November 16, 2011


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A Field Guide to Fabric Design: Design, Print & Sell Your Own Fabric; Traditional & Digital Techniques; For Quilting, Home Dec & Apparel + Mastering the Art of Fabric Printing and Design + Printing by Hand: A Modern Guide to Printing with Handmade Stamps, Stencils, and Silk Screens
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: C&T Publishing; 1 edition (November 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607053551
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607053552
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Have you ever wanted to design your own fabrics? In A Field Guide to Fabric Design (Stash Books, 2011) Kimberly Kight makes the process clear and exciting. In Section One, read about basic design with insights directly from fabric artists, learn how to design repeats by hand or by computer, and discover a world of color to create your own palette. In Section Two, find out which fabrics are best for printing and learn a step-by-step tutorial to blocking and screen printing, as well as an introduction to digital printing. Delve into the world of fabric design in Section Three. Included are helpful hints for whether you’re simply designing for fun or want to design professionally. (Threads, September 2012)

If you’ve ever dreamed of having a go at designing your own fabrics, you simply must, must, must get yourself a copy of this book. IT’s a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know and everything you need to think about when it comes to developing and producing a printed fabric. Design and colour basics are explained, with step-by-step tutorials for creating repeat patterns by hand or computer. Then you can explore the myriad ways of transferring your design to cloth, from stamping and screen printing to digital printing with short-run fabric printers such as Spoonflower through to how to go about getting a contract with one of the large fabric companies to produce a range that you’ve designed. This book will be valuable to those who would just like to play with the occasional designs as well as those who aspire to be the next Amy Butler. If you have good ideas and some design flair, there’s now nothing stopping you. Go for it.

(Australian Homespun Magazine, September 2012)

Fabric design, or textile surface design, has long fascinated me. The ability to play with the color, proportion, and spacing of a design through a repeat is very intriguing. Kight briefly explores different styles, design and color fundamentals as applied to textiles. This includes a look at both digital and traditional design techniques. The meat of the book is the explanation of how repeats are created, including different repeat styles. Both digital and traditional (hand drawn) techniques are explained. Interspersed throughout the book are comments from fabric designers, both established and just starting out, from which the reader can draw inspiration. Finally, Kight presents ideas of how to print and sell your own fabric. What quickly becomes clear is that textiles fabric designing is a competitive and difficult market.

There are several instructional overviews including hand block printing, screen printing, designing a collection, and textile basics. All are comprehensive and a good foundation for further study and exploration.

The book is laid out well and is easy to read and follow. The instructions for designing repeats are clear and easy to understand.

I liked this book a lot and I will reference it when I play around with designs, whether for a desktop wallpaper or for fabric I intend on printing.
(designloft.blogspot.com, 1/8/13)

A Field Guide to Fabric Design by Kimberly Kight (click here for a link to her Blog 'True Up') is well worth reading for anyone interested in finding out more about this fascinating field. It is suited to those with a casual interest through to professionals looking to expand their expertise. It covers all the basics of fabric design from design and colour, types of motif, creating repeats by hand on the computer to printing and even selling your designs!

The book is really well laid out with clear headers, images and tutorials throughout the book. Scattered throughout are question and answer sections from some of the US’s leading printed textiles designers. This book talks about the US market but the principals are the same wherever you are and I would highly recommend it.
(boudesignblog.com, June 11, 2013)

About the Author

Kim Kight has been passionate about fabric and fabric design since she got her first sewing machine in 2000.

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Customer Reviews

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Whatever your questions are about fabric design this book will answer them.
MusingCrow
Kimberly shows you how to design by hand and how to handle those pesky "repeats" as well as how to do it all in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
Sewjournal
I enjoyed this book very much because it offered alot of information in an easy to find format.
Diane M. Maine

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Jake Finch on October 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
Over the years I've written a little about how to become a fabric designer. Seems like most of the up-and-coming pattern designers in our biz aspire to designing fabric too one day. And the q-biz is responding by hosting fabric design contests in a consistent way over the last year. This Field Guide might very well be the first mainstream published book in our neck of the woods to address this very interest.

Tapping into the experience of some of the more popular fabric designers (think Tula, Denyse, Amy and Jenean for example--and it's because we know them by first name that we can bestow them with "popular") Kimberly Kight (of the True Up blog) explains in great detail and with lots of visual examples how fabric design works, what the technical aspects are (repeats, spacing and motifs) and how to work with today's tech tools to create multiple collections. Oh, and there's the stuff about color and types of fabric that fill in the knowledge gaps too.

What I really like about this book is that Kimberly assumes from the start you whoever picks it up and follows its guidance will become a big enough name in the q-world to warrant her information on licensing and copyright. That's just cool!

-This review was written for Generation Q Magazine an e-zine specializing in the quilting and sewing industry, by me, Jake Finch, one of the editors. We wanted to re-post it here because this really is an awesome book that Kimberly's written!
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Alden Alvarado on October 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book not knowing a whole lot about fabric design, just a little bit of exposure here and there to the industry. This book is not a how to necessarily for step by step how to design fabric (IE using photo shop or illustrator) but rather focuses on resources and pros and cons of different ways to design fabric (IE block printing, Spoonflower, mass production). The book also touches on some of the business ramifications of each arena such as minimum runs, cost per yard and what to look for when selecting a process. I definitley would reccomend this book for anyone thinking about doing any kind of fabric design for a business purpose.
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86 of 98 people found the following review helpful By BeachBrights VINE VOICE on November 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
Length: 3:07 Mins
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Michelle E. Bencsko on November 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've been creating textile surface designs for 20 years for both the garment industry and my own quilting fabric manufacturing business and I am amazed at how well this book puts all my years of knowledge into a nice little package. It's clear, well laid out and easy to comprehend. From repeat layout to color to how to build a collection of prints; from introduction to various printing methods to copyright concerns to base cloth options and beyond, this book touches upon so many invaluable points. It's a topnotch resource. I highly recommend this book to beginners especially. It is very well-written and concepts are well-illustrated. The textile examples depicted and the perspectives of contributing designers are inspiring. It is the book I wish I had when I first started in the business.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By CJC on February 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
I had one reason to want this book: I wanted to know how you design a repeating pattern. Not knowing was very perplexing for me. As far as I could tell, the only way I could design a repeating pattern would be to wrap a piece of paper around a tube and draw on it. That sounded borderline ridiculous so I needed this book.

Kim's book satisfied my curiosity, (no tubes!) but it did so much more as well.

First of all, a week after I read it I ended up designing my first fabric. Coincidence? Absolutely not. This book gave me the lift I needed to go from a good idea to an actual design. It helped me understand some important concepts that I could apply to the tools I had available. In my case, an iPad with a simple illustration program, but whatever your supplies are, even if they are just pencil and paper, there are instructions for you too. Do you want to do screen printing or block printing? Do you want to design with Photoshop or Illustrator for digital printing? All the steps are explained for whichever way you'd like to design.

The book also prepared me for dealing with color variation between my computer screen and online printers. Information on printing processes, types of fabric, and color theory are in there as well. There is a lot in the book I didn't expect. Some of it may not be useful to me right now (for instance, things to consider if licensing your designs) but I have to say I'm impressed at how thorough the book is. I can see that whether I just want to create an occasional fabric design, or if I get bitten by the bug and decide to pursue it as a serious venture, I will refer to A Field Guide to Fabric Design over and over in the coming years.

Review originally published on the blog A Few Scraps
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Sewjournal on January 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
If you've ever visited Spoonflower or Karma Kraft and thought you'd like to design your own fabric then this book teaches you everything you need to know. Kimberly shows you how to design by hand and how to handle those pesky "repeats" as well as how to do it all in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. If, like me, you can't afford such expensive software then she also shows you where to find free software that will do much the same thing.

Throughout the book Kimberly consults a "round table" of famous fabric designers, including Amy Butler, Denise Schmidt, Jessica Moore and Tula Pink, and asks them how they face particular design challenges such as inspiration overload or designer's block and more.

This book takes you from the very beginning, with baby steps and lots of hand-holding. You'll learn about printing techniques, design software, fabric types and their suitability for printing, design aspects, colour choices and more.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I'm keen to give it a go myself. If you're thinking of designing your own fabric this book is full of know-how as well as comprehensive lists of the resources you need to help you.

Excellent work Kimberly.
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