Mastering the Art of Fabric Printing & Design – Review

March 15, 2012

I’ve told you before that I hoard paint swatches, but did you also know I hoard fabric remnants as well?  Yes it’s true, I have baskets and bins filled with scraps and yardage of fabric I want to use somewhere, someday, whenever I get around to it. My idea of a perfect afternoon involves a good mocha and a warehouse full of fabulous fabric to admire and caress, and to add to my growing collection – I’m sure there are many of you that feel the same.

I don’t do many book reviews, but I was invited to be part of a blog tour for a book all about the process, or the art I should say, of designing and printing fabric.  Hello, sign me up – that’s one topic I find completely fascinating!  I was sent this lovely text Mastering the Art of Fabric Printing and Design by textile designer Laurie Wisbrun, published by Chronicle Books.

mastering the art of fabric printing book review


The 200+ illustrative text begins with a primer on understanding patterns from floral to geometric to ethnic motifs.  Various textures are discussed and then we’re introduced to the concept of repeat patterns.  You’ll learn all about mirroring, composition, scale, and layout, etc.

understanding patterns


Next up is a chapter on designing your own patterns, which includes all sorts of tips to consider before you begin, like what will the fabric be used for (apparel, upholstery, quilting?) and the different concerns for each.

general pattern design


My favorite part of this illustrative book (being the DIYer that I am) is the chapter on different hands-on ways to create your own fabric, from using a scanner to block printing and dyeing.

hand printing


If your more knowledgeable on the digital end, Laurie also provides numerous tutorials for designing your fabrics in professional software programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator, which definitely had me thinking I need to learn more about these programs to play with designs on the computer. Send your designs off to a printer like Spoonflower and you’ve got yourself your own custom fabric designed by YOU.

mastering the art in photoshop and illustrator


Peppered throughout the book are interviews with and profiles on some very successful fabric designers behind such brands as Marimekko, Mod Green Pod, and Ink & Spindle.  The last chapter is also about taking your ideas to the next level and going professional with your fabric designs, should you be so entrepreneurial.

going professional


It’s published by Chronicle, and as you can see, they always deliver both an informative and beautiful text and bonus, the cover is actually made of digitally printed fabric, now that’s cool. If you love fabric like I do, then you’ll want to add this book to your wish list – it’s a fantastic addition to any designer’s library. If you’d like to purchase the book for $20 to add to your collection, you can do so right here.

And guess what?  There is an extra copy of this lovely text up for grabs today!  Yep, it’s a surprise giveaway today and tomorrow only and one of you will win a copy of the book.

Eligibility to win the free copy of Mastering the Art of Fabric Printing & Design:

1) Answer this question, what’s your favorite fabric pattern in your home right now?  Is it a funky stripe, a fun floral, or a cool Ikat?  Do share for a chance to win.

One winner only, chosen at random. Giveaway ends Friday March 16, 2012 at 8 p.m. PST.  By entering this giveaway you agree to this blog’s giveaway policy and Official Rules of Entry.


*I have not been paid for this review, however I was provided with a complimentary copy of the text.  All opinions are my own. 



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