21st Century Textile Design

Many of us don’t tend to give textile design a second thought. When we buy a new item of clothing or soft furnishings, we seldom stop to wonder who created this finished piece of fabric. Lately, though, there has been something of a quiet revolution in the way the industry conceives and produces textiles, with many dynamic innovations which could change the way we look at our fabrics.

Style and Function

There are two different but connected aspects to designing textiles. The first is the structure of the material itself, including the types of fibres used and the weave. The second is the visual design, which can be woven in, dyed or printed.

Textile design is thus a collaboration between art and technology, and in recent years there have been great progressions in both of these interwoven fields. The discovery of new types of fibres which can be made into fabrics – think banana and seaweed – married with new ways of mixing these fibres, have led to the creation of a new generation of high-performance materials which open up new possibilities for clothes designers.

Another big concern is sustainability and environmental protection. Modern fabrics are often created with these things in mind, and the fashion industry now embraces recycled and upcycled fabrics from a range of sources.

The New Wave

Artistic designers have stepped out of the shadows and into the spotlight. Where once a textile designer worked behind closed doors with little recognition, the new generation are celebrated for their unique creativity. Modern customers are comfortable with bold and unusual prints, and many young designers are busy creating beautiful textiles for the 21st century.
The clothing and home textile markets are constantly innovating, and every season sees a different twist on patterns and textures. In 2018, expect to see an enormous range of new materials on the market, with patterns ranging from nature-inspired modern florals to Kandinsky-style abstract geometrics. Colour palettes incorporate delicate pastels, deep jungle shades and shimmering iridescents.

The transformation of the textile industry has given shoppers more choice than ever before when it comes to fashion and home textiles.