Tag - design history

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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The Inca Insistence, the Cultural Relevance of Symmetries

What could possibly be meant by the term The Inca Insistence? I will get to this! First, I have to explain how patterns are categorized and how this is culturally relevant. Previously in this blog, we have discussed basic pattern repeats. An ogee, such as this image below (and which we defined here), is an example of a half-drop pattern repeat. The motif moves a half step over in each subsequent horizontal line. Ikat Ogee Pattern P468 But if you look...

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What is a Novelty Print?

A novelty print describes a particular type of pattern. Sometimes referred to as a conversational print, a novelty print has something about it that is, well, novel. These prints go beyond the familiar motifs of flowers, leaves, scrolls, and shapes. Instead, these designs contain unusual, but recognizable motifs. The novelty of the motif itself is a conversation starter. A novelty print typically utilizes the standard design tools in a textile designer’s toolbox, such as layout and repeat. However, instead of...

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Animal Skin Prints and Where Our Love Affair Started

Whether chic and elegant or wild and punk rock, animal skin prints are seemingly always on-trend. In fact, it's almost as if our affinity toward them is in our collective DNA. Animal skins and hides were used around the world to clothe people for hundreds of years out of necessity. Some cultures even believed the skin gave the hunter the power of the animal. Think cheetah for speed. Eventually, humans began primarily using fiber to clothe themselves. Yet we...

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Plaids and Checks, Do you know the Difference?

Plaids and checks. These two words often show up together, but they are not actually interchangeable. They refer to do different types of patterns. Before we get into the differences between a plaid and a check, it's important to know both words traditionally describe a woven cloth. So, let's start by talking about weaving. Plaids and checks are both designs historically made as woven cloth.  And to understand woven cloth patterns, you need to know the basics about weaving. Weaving is...

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Four Common Shibori Techniques Explained

The world of textile design encompasses a variety of skills and techniques which fall into two main categories. The first describes the actual construction of a fabric out of individual fiber and threads. In other words, interlacing yarn through weaving or knitting, or interlocking just fibers through a process such as felting. Secondly, textile design also refers to designing or embellishing onto the surface of a fabric. Often referred to as surface design, this includes such techniques as printing...

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Jacobean

Jacobean Design, A Brief History from Crewel to Prints

The Jacobean Age takes its name from Jacobus, the Latin form of King James I of England. This style of 17th century decor is best known for intricate carvings, heavy oak furniture, detailed tapestries and especially crewel embroideries with flowing designs. The type of patterning associated with Jacobean Design have their roots in two places. First, the English imported Flemish tapestries in great number during the 17th century. At the same time, Indian palampores were also a very popular...

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Ikat: Definition, History & Design

Ikat fabrics are beautiful, intriguing and always in style. While other types of patterning come in and out of fashion, there is something about ikat that manages to always stay relevant. It's nothing new. This has been the case around the world and throughout history. What exactly is ikat? Ikat (pronounced: E–cot) is a method for coloring fabric in patterns by resist dyeing. The pattern is not applied to the surface of a finished fabric, nor is it woven into...

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Chevron: Definition and Design

A chevron, according to textile historian Susan Meller, "are offspring of the herringbone weave, in which columns of short diagonal stripes meeting in a line of Vs not unlike the skeletons of a fish. Some herringbone prints imitate a woven herringbone, complete with uneven lines that imply the roughness of woolly threads; others loudly declare their independence of their ancestor – for example, by setting the diagonals out of kilter, breaking up the V." These variations create something new and...

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Museum L-A is the Newest Design Pool Partner

Design Pool is excited to announce a new partnership with Museum L-A in Lewiston, Maine. Our online library now offers a selection of historical textile designs from the Museum L-A archives. These designs are available to anyone looking to license a design for a product or project. The best news? 100% of the proceeds from the use of these designs will go directly to Museum L-A to fund their cultural and educational exhibits and programs.   Ogee Flower, Pattern P1693 Who...

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