Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Let's Talk Textiles - How to Mix Fabric Prints

 It's time for another "Let's Talk Textiles" entry from our friend Kim at Fabric Outlet. Today's topic, is one I'm excited to learn more about, how to mix fabric prints. Take it away Kim! 

Hello everyone! If you have ever wondered if there is a formula for mixing prints, there is! At least some guidelines and if you follow these you can mix prints as well as the top designers! First, decide on a main color that will run throughout the prints. Let's say your choice is red. Then find the "main" print you want. This should have curved lines like a floral. Then find a stripe or a geometric pattern with straight lines that has at least 30% of your main color or at least 10% of a couple of the secondary colors. Try to stay somewhat close to the same scale as your main print. You can bring in a few new colors as long as they are not predominant.  
Then find a third print that is of a different scale then either of the first two. Not crazy different but if you have 1/2" flowers and 1/4" stripes or chevrons then go with tiny pin dots or maybe 1" dots. Again, they should also be at least 30% of your main color or another predominant color color from your main print. At this point you don't want to try to blend in any more different colors. Too many colors will confuse the viewer just as too many of the same type of prints will.  
And that is why its good to follow some guidelines. You can certainly play with the guidelines, switch them around or add more prints using the same logic. Heres the thing, it is really fun to do this yourself rather than relying on finding the pre-coordinated sets from manufacturers. I have found that another guideline that works for me is knowing when to stop! Editing yourself is the best guideline to have in any type of design! 
***BONUS! Hopeful Threads Sewing Participants!*** I am offering a free zipper with each yard purchased this month to help you with your projects! Happy Sewing!

Thanks Kim! Great information and advice!

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Melissa said...

Great post! Love the information on scale!

Pam @Threading My Way said...

It takes me ages to get the right combination of fabrics for a project. I just keep pulling fabrics from my stash, till I hit the right one. Thanks for these really helpful tips. Pinning this.

Leigh said...

I often struggle with choosing coordinating fabrics so thank you for this, it really helps!

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