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Creative Stimulation – fabric printing

July 27, 2009


Since having started to sew again, i have had a renewed interest in fabric prints and printing techniques. Of course i used to work with printed fabrics a lot at Columbia Sportswear for Outerwear prints and nike and adidas on athletic prints. I always considered myself more of a ‘basic with a twist’ gal, keeping my wardrobe mostly solid and shying away from all-over prints. The prints seemed to ‘eat me up’ so that nothing was left of me – so overpowering they felt to me. Things started to change when i worked on Columbia’s global Snowboard line. Unfortunately it wasn’t possible to use ‘edgy’ prints as the collection had to be very sellable and commercial. And Columbia isn’t Volcom after all. Things started to ratch up a notch once i had Leona. Little snotty nose or dirty fingers and hands wiped on my solid garments always showed in stark contrast. This is when i started to look more closely into prints. Now that i got into sewing again and picking up lots of quilt cottons, i got really interested into the fabric printing matter. If you have looked at my project log, one of my goals this year is to design and print my own fabrics/designs. Leona has so many things she loves that i would like to capture for her. I’d like to explore printing by hand myself but also digital printing through Spoonflower. A really inspiring book for this is Lena Corwin’s ‘Printing by Hand‘. Her blog is here – i have been following it for a while now and love her selection and style sensitivity. I also found some cool pics on flickr by Ashima71 who explores hand printing here and here

Above one of my latest finds, Patterns in Fashion by Macarena San Martin which is not available through amazon (hear, hear) but you can get in here through Powell’s books in Portland. This book provides a CD with 50 photoshop jpeg files to work with. Some of them are obviously copyrighted but still something to play around with and still very inspirational.

I also found another book that provides more of the technical side for digital printing. More to come on this one later this week.

  1. Misty permalink

    Hi, i’m writing for some help.

    I found your site because i googled ” stimulation fabric”. I’m trying to find the fabric that has red, black and white shapes and swirls for infant stimulation. I have searched everywhere and can’t find it.

    Any idea on where i can find it?

    Thank you,


    • Hi Misty!
      I am sorry I won’t be of much help for you. But have you tried to talk to a fabric shop about it? Do you have a picture of it somewhere? A fabric shop might recognize a picture or even the concept. I’ll check with mine next time I go for fabric shopping and will let you know then,


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