Dressmakingcan never be possible without fabrics. A fabric is a material dressmakers usewhen designing and making dresses. There are many types of fabrics withdifferent compositions available, however, certain pertinent factors have to beconsidered before choosing a specific fabric. Such factors include where theoutfit will be worn, what occasion, and the figure type, among others. Traditionally, many Ghanaians use Africanprints to sew dresses and these are mostly cotton based, conveying messagesmotifs arranged in different forms.

Textiledesign is essentially theprocess of creating designs for woven, knitted or printed fabrics or surfaceornamented fabrics. It also refers to the various processes by which fabricsare printed in coloured design (decoration.html, 12th August 2011). Accordingto Digolo and Mazrui (2006), textile designing is the patterning of anessentially plain fabric to render it more appealing or to serve a particularpurpose.  Textile designers are involved withthe production of these designs, which are used, sometimes repetitively, inclothing and interior decor items.

Textile designing is a creative field thatincludes fashion design, carpet manufacturing and any other cloth-related field.The creative process often begins with different art mediums to map conceptsfor the finished product (Collier et. al, 2009). Abraham (2013) stated that, every design iscreated keeping in mind certain basic elements and principles of design. Adesign may not have a function, but may simply appeal to the senses (Lalwani,2010a). Even for such purposes, it is essential to use the various principlesof design.

For instance, textile art or textile design is sometimesincomprehensible, yet it follows the principles of design so that what youwould perceive as a ‘meaningless splatter of colours and shapes’ is stillvisually appealing (Lalwani, 2010b).Collier (2009) observes that, traditionally,drawings of woven textile patterns were translated into special forms of graph paper called point papers, which were used by the weavers insetting up their looms. Some of the latest advances in textile printing havebeen in the area of digital printing. The process is similar to the computercontrolled paper printers used for office applications. In addition,heat-transfer printing is another popular printing method which is used in thetextile design. Patterns are often designed in repeat to maintain a balanceddesign even when the fabric is made into yardage.

Repeat size is the distancedirectly across or down from any motif in a design to the next place that samemotif occurs. The size of the repeat is determined by the production method.For example, printed repeat patterns must fit within a particular screen sizes,while weaving repeat patterns must fit within certain loom sizes. There areseveral different types of layouts for repeated patterns. Some of the mostcommon repeats are straight and half drop. Often, the same design is producedin many different coloured versions, which are called colorways. Once a patternis complete, the design process shifts to choosing the proper fabrics to getthe design printed on or woven into the fabric.

Textile designers use specificprinciples to organize the structural elements of a given design. Theprinciples include unity, balance, emphasis, proportion, and rhythm. The waythese principles are applied affects the outcomes of the design. Designers might want to use the method of dyeing or printing to create their design. There are many printing methods. Direct (Blotch) Printing Overprinting Discharge Printing Resist Printing Block Printing Roller Printing Screen PrintingCollier (2009) further explains that, in artand iconography, a motif is anelement of an image.

A motif maybe repeated in a pattern or design,often many times, or may just occur once in a work. A repeat is the point wherean identical design begins again on a textile. It is also the distance betweenidentical figures in a repeat pattern, the number of inches before the wholepattern starts over.

Textile designers use repeats because they can enablelarge pieces of fabrics to be printed without breaks or awkward gaps in apattern. The goal is to make a textile design look like it never ends. It canbe an effective decorative strategy and can be done on almost any type offabric. Today, with digital technology, the variety and complexity of repeatscan be almost endless.2.5.

1Typesof Fabric PatternsRepeat patterns may run horizontal orvertical. Designers have many ways of taking a single figure and covering atextile with it (Boyd, 2015).BlockRepeatTheblock repeat is the simplest style of repeat.

It is simply formed by stackingthe original repeat in a basic grid. The figure, always pointing in the samedirection, appears over and over again in rows that line up vertically andhorizontally.Theblock repeat can have an amateur look if used in the wrong situation, but itcan look great with simpler, more geometric motifs.Brick/Half-BrickRepeat Ahalf-brick repeat takes each horizontal row and staggers it so that it does notline up with the rows above and below it. This repeat pattern gets its namefrom the resemblance to how bricks are laid to form a brick wall. The figure isplaced over and over again along a horizontal row. Then, when the next row isplaced, instead of forming a simple grid, the pattern is offset so the figuresdo not line up vertically.

Half-drop is in the vertical direction.Drop/Half-DropRepeatThedrop or half-drop repeat is very similar to the brick/half-brick, but themotifs are offset vertically instead of horizontally.Drop/half-droprepeats are another very common type of repeat of fabric and surface design.DiamondRepeatThediamond repeat is also used quite frequently in fabric and surface design.

Itis exactly as it sounds – a repeat of diamond shapes. The motifs can be assimple as one diamond put into half-drop or half-brick repeat (with someoverlap), or each diamond can be a combination of smaller motifs.


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