February 23, 2018

What You Need to Know Before Working with a Textile Artist or Designer

What is a textile designer?

textile design

Also referred to as surface design, textile design is a niche within graphic design covering all facets of print and pattern from specific types of fabrics for garments to interior design, and more. Textile designers have the ability and know-how to create artwork that can be purchased and used on various surfaces. Prints can define a brand or collection which makes it an integral layer to the manufacturing process. They are also trained with a particular skill set, to prepare files to reproduce onto fabric, and more.


How to find a textile designer?


There are a slew of textiles designers working in the industry, from solo workers to groups represented by agencies. With major trade shows scheduled every year for textile artists to showcase their talents, many styles and artists are represented and some popular shows include Print Source, LA Textile, Indigo Premiere Vision, and many more. Through an internet database, major studios can also access textile designers via their online portfolios on sites like BeHance, LocalSolo, or Art Thread. Many artists become known for specific types or niche styles, with several textile designs offering technical skills to place current artwork on to a technical file for printwork.


Costs of working with a designer

women designer


A budget should be created if there’s interest in artwork or incorporating prints into your collection. Typically,artwork must be purchased for exclusive use or licensing a design. Clients seeking out exclusive use want original artwork that has not been seen by the general public and once purchased, ownership is transferred to the client and can be used in any manner. This type of artwork is more expensive because of the copyright issues and the exclusive rights that come with its purchase. So, in essence, clients are paying for not only the artwork, but the digital files, the fabric samples, and the option to use the image as desired. The price, however, doesn’t include printing or fabrication and once sold, that responsibility falls on the client.


Another option for clients is through licensing a design, which is basically renting textile designs for a specific period for a project. In licensed designs, the copyright remains with the artist but with negotiated guidelines between both parties. The royalties or fees generated from the artwork depend on a number of factors including the popularity of the designer and how the design is used. Small companies with small budgets realize that licensing is a great option to save money while introducing artwork by a brand.


Preparing for a project

Having a bit of technical know-how can aid how you utilize the artwork. Printed artwork should be seen by a printer first to discern the type of printing they have the ability to perform, the kinds of fabrics, file formats, and any other technical information. Printers with digital capabilities allow for more freedom when it comes to color and scale, while there are limitations involved in the types of fabrics. The more knowledgeable an artist is, the more time is saved when it comes to color schemes, textures, creating mood boards, and much more. Learning how to use a sewing machine is also a great skill that textile designers should be knowledgeable about.

Additional textile and surface design terms
A design featuring a seamless repeat can be printed on fabric without interruption in the design flow. A engineered design is one that is made for a surface that doesn’t repeat and is strategically placed on garments and requires special printing. T-shirt graphics are an example of placement graphics that many textile designers utilize. A design can typically be created in several carrying color schemes, with additional colorways available for a smaller fee. New brands can stretch budgets by utilizing one-two artwork and colorways instead of several different artworks. Printed artwork must be digitally separated from each color and the more colors, the more expensive the printing and artwork. Strike off a small sample to check the colors and scale before making the entire reproduction as this can be a costly error if adjustments must be made. Croquis are a design that are not in technical repeat, so when purchasing artwork, it is crucial to know the version purchased.


Chiara Reviews the Best Sewing Machines She Has Used

The advanced technology that has been applied to sewing machines has revolutionized the industry and these innovations have elevated both functionality and affordability. From beginners to professional dressmakers, nearly every brand offers a sewing machine for every section of the sewing community. Selecting the best sewing machines has been a daunting task and the various types have been researched and broken down according to their specific market. The following are some of the best available today that are efficient and worth the investment.


Sewing Machines for Children


It’s never too early to start learning how to sew and children can also pick up the skill via specially sized sewing machines that are suitable for their growing bodies. Although there are several brands that have covered this section of the market, a few standouts, most specifically the Hello Kitty brands which are quite popular.


Janome Hello Kitty 18750

Janome Hello Kitty 18750

This computerized sewing machine has been created with the smallest of fingers in mind and has a design and functionality that is perfect for young people eager to pick up the skill and learn the art of sewing in increments.


Janome Hello Kitty 15822

Janome Hello Kitty 15822

Considered ideal for the youngest of children that want to learn how to sew, this edition can be used by kids as young as 5 years old, featuring large operating dials that are clear to read which makes it perfect for children to study and eventually master. Here are other brands and models of the top sewing machine for kids worth checking out.


Sewing Machines for Beginners


Other sewing machines have been designed for beginners and those that are moving up towards intermediate to advanced sewing but want to utilize a simpler, more user-friendly machine. These machines get your sewing done in a way that is not stressful and are easy to operate for any project. Learn more about them below and by visiting this link.


Janome Memory Craft 6500P

Janome Memory Craft 6500P

This sewing machine is one of the most versatile on the market and is celebrated for its user-friendly features, making it the perfect complement to any beginning dressmaker. Since it has been on the market for several years, it has built a reputation as one of the go-to machine that can tackle any sewing task.


Brother Project Runway Limited Edition NO 700 PRW 


A simple sewing machine that has features 180 decorative and utility stitches, this Brother sewing machine has the performance capabilities and workmanship that are ideal for those looking to master the art of sewing.


Combination Sewing and Quilting Machines


The majority of machines on the market today are electronic or computerized and equipped with quilting stitches and an adjustable presser foot lifter. Not all of these machines, however, can be categorized solely as a quilting and sewing machine.


Juki HZL-K85


The Jules HZL K85 machine offers more than a regular sewing machine, featuring 150 onboard decorative, quilting, and utility stitch options, 15 needle positions, and more. These components make it a great combination sewing and quilting machine and the ergonomic design and affordability make it the ideal selection for those that already know the basics yet are not sure if they want to concentrate on machine quilting or straight sewing.


Brother Innov-Is Project Runway Limited Edition NQ 1300 PRW 

Brother Innov-Is Project Runway Limited Edition

This machine is one of the most popular in the sewing community and is one of the best sewing machines available from the Brother Q Series. It comes fully loaded with a slew of options: 290 stitches – 58 of which are combinable – five different fonts, and has been designed to perform sideways sewing. It also comes with a pivot function and an extension table that yields even better performance for sewing enthusiasts.


Industrial Sewing Machines


First used for factories primarily, there are now home versions that can handle thicker fabrics and can perform under extreme conditions.


Real FY 361


As a straight stitch only industrial sewing machine equipped with a clutch motor, is able to boast of a noticeably quieter sound when the machine is turned on. It also comes with a side mounted bobbin winder that saves users time.


Alphasew PW 200
This home sewing machine is the perfect size and comes with a walking foot machine that is small enough to carry around and can sew up to 900 stitches per minute and worth the investment


Go to http://sosewreviews.com/best-sewing-machine/ for other good quality sewing machines — you’re sure to find one that meets your needs and budget.



Chiara Schmid is a former champion equestrian from Switzerland who now lives in China and creates textile-based art. If you would like to commission a piece of art, please contact Chiara at chiara@swisshorsemanagement.ch.

Recent letter to the editor

“Hello Chiara, are you accepting applications for interns at this time, or do you know artists who are? Would love to join you, thank you!”