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Design a Border Print

29 September 2016 11:15

A number of people recently have asked me about designing a border print.  So here is one way of doing it.  You can adapt the principles to other types of border.

Designing is full of decisions, isn't it?  The first one, here, is how deep you want your border to be.  I'm going to create a design with a plain main part, a different coloured border and then images on top.  My border is going to be about 9" deep.  (Apologies to those of you who like cms; I prefer to think in inches.)  This includes 3" at the bottom for the hem.  You don't want the interesting part of your border to start too near the bottom, because of seam allowances, hems, etc.  I'm using Photoshop for this design.

Creating a Border Design

    • Click on File, New, to create a blank canvas.  Set the resolution to 150dpi, the width to 12" and the height to 9". (or whatever width and height you need for your border.)
    • Select a colour for the border and fill your canvas with this colour. [Do you know about using hex codes?  For the border, I chose a shade of green which I liked from Art on Fabric's Colour Atlas.  The hex number of this colour is 37d32c, so I put that into the dialogue box, rather than clicking on a colour.  This ensures that I will get the colour I chose from the colour atlas.  It might not look the way I would like on the screen, but it will be right on the fabric, when it's printed.]
    • Resize the canvas.  Click on Image, Resize, Canvas size.  Click on the bottom arrow, to make sure the anchor is at the bottom, then change the height to 100cms.  [If it's easier, you can do this in two stages.  Make the canvas enough higher, here, to accommodate your border.  Then, when you've finished your border, make it 100cms, not forgetting to add colour.  This will make your canvas smaller, so it might be easier to see what you're doing.]  Make sure that Relative is unchecked, otherwise the width will change, too.
    • Select a colour for the main part of your design and fill the top of you canvas.  I chose hex number 0081c8, a nice bright blue.
    • Now we come to adding the pattern.  I've bought some designs from Creative Market, which is a sort of Etsy for designers.  They have 100s of fonts and design elements for sale.  Even better, if you sign up, they have 6 items every week which you can download for free!  They also have regular offers, so you can often get beautiful paintings, drawings, fonts etc, at a very low price.  I'm using 2 bicycle paintings from Eva-Katerina.  These are png files, which are transparent and therefore much easier to manage here.  You can use any images you have, including photos.  You may need to crop them, etc before you use them.  Or, if you can, you may prefer to draw directly onto your panel.
    • Copy your image and place it on the border.  Don't forget to allow for seam allowances, etc, and you won't want your image right at the bottom, unless it's a pattern going from the bottom to part way up your panel.  [Don't forget that you can resize an image if it's too big or too small when you place it on the border.]
    • Continue, until one tile (repeat) of your border is complete.  My tile has 2 bikes.
  • Upload your design to our web site.  The default repeat option is a straight repeat, which is what you want.  This will repeat your design across the fabric, giving you a border print.  [The default display is a fat quarter, which goes from the top LH corner of your design, so you'll only see your main colour.  Select metres and you will see your border.]
  • Order your fabric.

Creating a Vertical Border

The tutorial above gives you a border running across the width of the fabric.  If you want your border to run down the length of the fabric, simply click on Image, Rotate, 90° right.  This will give you a horizontal tile.

Click on Image, Resize, Canvas size and change the width to 150cms.  Remember to make sure that Relative is unchecked.  Click on the left anchor arrow, to keep your border at the left.  Fill the blank canvas with the colour of your panel.   When you upload this design, it will repeat the border down the length of the fabric.