How to design personalized Fabric

A Guide

contrado personalized fabric sample

Someone gave me a tip, that it is possible to design your own personalized fabrics. I had heard about personalized books, where you can choose the names of the characters in the book, so you make the book a personal gift, when you choose it as a present. But one of a kind fabrics were new to me. Because I live in a small country these personalized fabrics are probably not available to me locally.

A birthday in the family is coming up, so I decided making some sewing projects for the kitchen: An oven glove, potholders and some table sets.

Choosing the Fabric

Contrado, a UK based fabric printing company, offers a wide range of fabrics you can use for printing your personal fabric design on. They have more than 30 fabrics to choose from and they can send you a handy swatch pack with all available fabrics, so one can sit at home and feel the textiles before ordering.

For the kitchen project I chose a quilted fabric for the oven glove and potholders and a thin, washable fabric for the table sets.

Designing the Fabric Pattern

Since this form of design is new to me, I did a Google image search for kitchen fabrics. I could see, that fabrics often are designed as tiles, where the tile gets repeated to create the fabric design. By watching some videos on Youtube about fabric pattern design, I got an idea of the basics.  Unfortunately I do not have access to Adobe Illustrator, which has a pattern creation feature. So I relied on my simple image software called Drawplus.

I found out, that the recipient of my kitchen sewings wanted a Mediterranean inspired beige theme or a herb inspired theme. I went for the herb theme and did an image search at by searching for herb icon, herb PNG and herb JPG. I found some really nice watercolors at Tany Nogueira’s Etsy shop and bought her graphics. (These graphics are for personal use only – commercial use requires an extended license).

So I opened my image software and started creating my fabric tile in 22 cm x 22 cm dimensions. The herbs alone were too monochrome for my taste, since the green color is prevalent in the images. So I went to Dafont and found more kitchen inspired images by searching for kitchen, fruits and vegetables.

The name is written with the Coneria font and the wreath beneath was bought previously for another project at Etsy.

I ended up with two nice herb patterns mixed with some kitchen utensils: The one to the left more colorful and the one to the right more subdued. I went on with the right pattern.



Fabric Pattern Repeat lemon kitchen

Fabric Pattern Repeat herb kitchen

My pattern tile gets repeated when printed on the fabric and I tried to simulate that by creating a 3 x 3 repetition of the above pattern tiles. The first tile got too vivid in colors with the yellow lemon, so I chose the second pattern tile for print. See here:

kitchen utensils herbs fabric pattern

For printing there is an option called halfdrop, which repeats the pattern a little differently. That way the herbs and fruits repeat themselves in a better way, that creates a more even pattern. See the pattern for the fabric beneath:

half drop fabric design

I hope you got some inspirations from this blog post to make your own personalized fabrics! It is a great creative process and hopefully my personal gifts will be appreciated :-)

My personal potholder and oven glove:

sewing pattern oven mitt potholder

Did you like this tutorial? Share it with the social buttons, so you can inspire some friends or give someone a hint for a personal gift you would like to receive :-)