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How to Surface Design Helps to Apply a Design on Dress

How to Surface Design Helps to Apply a Design on Dress

Jahanara Akter
Lecturer, Dept. of Fashion Design
KCC Women’s College (Affiliated by Khulna University)
Khulna, Bangladesh
Email: fashionelongation@gmail.com


Surface Design:

Surface design provides unlimited options for dimensional and structural enhancements, greater possibilities for opening interior spaces, and more opportunities for experimenting with color, texture, and design.

Surface design differs from stitching, embroidering, and embellishing just like it sounds—something is applied to the surface of the fabric to alter or enhance it. Printing, painting, and stamping are examples of surface design techniques.

Surface Design on Dress
Surface Design on Dress

Different techniques to apply surface design on fabric:

Fabric surface design encompasses a wide variety of techniques for altering the surface of fabric. Some techniques are given below:

  • Stitching, either by machine or hand
  • Painting on fabric
  • Dyeing fabric
  • Printing on fabric
  • Stamping
  • Embroidery
  • Using heat transfer paints or crayons
  • Adding color, pattern and design with paint sticks
  • Removing the color from already dyed fabrics with a  De colorant
  • Layering different types of fabrics, as in a fabric collage
  • Waxing
  • Burning an image into the fabric to create a design or to reveal the layers underneath
  • Rusting fabric
  • Using various transfer mediums and transfer papers to transfer an image to fabric
  • Digitally printing on fabric
  • Felting onto a surface
  • Using a resist such as beeswax, soy wax or a water-based resist to separate colors and to create a design.
  • Embellishing with beads, crystals, buttons, charms, fibers and other found objects.

How to create surface pattern design:

When a beautiful pattern is applied to the right surface it has the power to delight and amaze. Equally so, an unresolved pattern, or poor application, has the power to drive our visual senses to madness. And that’s all before trying to make a pattern work well with another pattern.

  • Pattern essentials: The fundamentals of pattern recognition, design and application.
  • Personal style/brand: We’ll focus on creating our own thematic collections of 3 patterns that will mix, match and apply beautifully on a number of surfaces.
  • Expression: Pattern collections are very personal style statements and fabulous opportunities for self-expression.
    Surface Pattern Design
    Surface Pattern Design

Create a surface pattern design that hits all the major principles and elements of design with contrast, balance, scale and color being among the chief operating officers. For the beginning and established designers looking to develop their skills with color, texture and personal style. Artists/designers/makers/crafters will all find useful and practical suggestions for creating and mixing effective yet alluring patterns.

Some tips to create a surface pattern design:

Surface pattern design has enjoyed a bit of a revival in recent years, with a new wave of illustrators and designers fuelling the growing trend for decorated objects, illustrated goods and aspirational home wares. Tips are in below:

  • At first you take a blank page, and designing your own motifs, Build your own inspiration ‘library’. Such as: nature, different texture, different print, an any other motif etc. putting together a colour swatch.
    Hand drawing motif and repeat the design
    Hand drawing motif and repeat the design
  • Continues to add other drawn elements and joint it each other.
  • Then step-by-step guides to scanning images and basic manipulation in Photoshop, and playing with colour, sketching and creating repeats on your computer, and a downloadable pattern source guide.
    Arrange the design on Photoshop with color
    Arrange the design on Photoshop with color
  • It’s important to keep your eyes and mind open to things outside of your design discipline.
  • Do some research, construction your designs into a repeat and Take the time to experiment with your drawings, playing with different elements and create a contemporary artwork. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour.
  • Then this surface pattern design is used in different area by the different applying media or techniques.
  • Surface pattern design doesn’t just mean creating wallpaper, interior decoration, wrapping paper, textiles, dress designing, and it also experimenting with ceramics.
    Surface design used in Interior decoration
    Surface design used in Interior decoration



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