Tag - textile terms

Textile Designers & Material Knowledge

Textile design is a complex, fascinating, and ancient field of study. Every human on this planet is intimately involved with textiles, yet very few people consider textiles much at all. For thousands of years, all over the world, textiles protected us, comforted us, and gave us a way to communicate information about ourselves with the world. Textiles influenced our current banking system and were integral in putting humans into space. The people at the center of textile production are...

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What is an Argyle?

There is a reason classic argyle socks have become a favorite for wearing and gifting alike. This pattern stands the test of time, has wide-reaching appeal and has an exciting history. While we don’t have any traditional versions in our licensable library, we have several patterns inspired by this classic. These translate well in residential and commercial interiors. But first, what is an argyle? An argyle pattern features overlapping diamonds with intersecting diagonal lines on top of the diamonds. They...

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A textured background with words in a circle on top that says, What is a plain fabric?

What are Plain Fabrics?

Textile and pattern designers often throw down a term that seems counterintuitive, plain fabric. When we say plain fabric, we're referring to a material with minimal patterning and usually solid or tonal in color. If we're being honest, nothing about fabric or pattern is ever plain at all! Look closely at even the most unassuming material; something is fascinating about it. Designers in the interior design market often think about creating patterns and fabrics to be used as part of...

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Color Wheel with words on top that read the language of color

Basic Color Terms Defined

Like any discipline, color has a language. To work with color confidently, it is helpful to learn that language. Thankfully, it’s not complicated. Knowing a handful of basic color terms is all you need to understand what people are saying about color. A firm understanding of these terms will help in both working with color and communicating about color with other people, such as designers and printers. First, there are two ways to create color. Additive Color MixingAdditive color mixing refers...

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Photo in background of woman typing on a laptop, text reads vector vs. raster

Vector vs. Raster. What’s the Difference?

When designing digitally, there are two main types of image files designers work with: vector and raster. For any designer working digitally, deciding between vector vs. raster first considers how the files will be used. But first, what's the difference? Vector vs. Raster Vector According to Adobe, "Vector files are images that are built by mathematical formulas that establish points on a grid." These images can adjust in size infinitely without losing resolution. This ability makes them very versatile for certain...

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What is a Harlequin

What is a Harlequin Pattern?

Diamonds are a popular motif in textile design. As a result, there are a lot of different terms textile designers use to describe the different types of diamond designs they create. As you search our licensable library, you'll see in the Theme search menu an option to view Harlequin. What exactly does that mean? Textile designers use the term harlequin to describe a diamond pattern with elongated shapes arranged vertically. They are point to point, sometimes very close together,...

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What is a Stripe?

Stripes truly are one of the most ubiquitous types of patterns. From the minute humans decided to make their everyday items look more decorative, they have been using stripes. While some people hear the word stripe and think of solid lines of color lined up next to each other, a stripe can be more more than that. The term itself refers to any type of motif lined up next to each other, not just solid blocks of color. Stripe...

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What is a Landscape Pattern?

In our licensable library, we have many different categories to make searching through our 600+ patterns easy. There are filters for shape, technique, theme, market, and color family. We also have three main categories: Geometric Patterns, Landscape Patterns, and Organic Patterns. Geometric and organic are probably easy to visualize. A geometric pattern has harder edges and defined shapes. Organic patterns have softer edges and elements you might find in nature. They also have more movement and space. But,...

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What is a Greek Key?

The Greek Key is a common motif in textile design and many other places where decorative elements are necessary. Whether or not you know the name, you have most likely seen a Greek Key design. In fact, it may even be in your home. Often used as a border, it is also used frequently in stripes. It is so versatile; it even appears on its own in allover patterns. Though it is referred to as a Greek Key, this distinct...

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What is Chintz & is it Making a Comeback?

Chintz, glazed cotton prints, were the rage in over-the-top interiors in the 1980s and an excess associated with interior designer Mario Buatta, among others. This pattern-upon-pattern riot eventually died out, giving way to the minimalist and ubiquitous mid-century modern aesthetic –first in beige, and then in all white- we have been living with since.  Polychrome woodblock printed chintz was introduced to Europe in the 1600s when they were imported by the East India company. The word chintz comes from...

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