We’ve received a lot of questions over the last little while about how to recreate a print. Maybe there’s a fabric that you always buy but you want the permanency of reactive printing, or want to support a local, Canadian supplier. Maybe you have a garment that you love and want to make something to match, but can’t find the fabric anywhere. No matter the reason, recreating an existing print is a much desired design request. Is it possible? Absolutely! I thought I’d take some time to show you exactly how you can recreate a pattern that you love in our intuitive design lab by recreating a pattern of my own! Keep reading to find out what I did, then watch the video below to see it happen, play-by-play.

My boyfriend has this really good shirt that he always gets compliments on: it’s a short sleeve button up in a tiger print. It’s quite the piece! I thought it would be really good to make him a pair of matching shorts so that he has a little summer set. The making of the shorts we’ll show you in a separate blog, however right now we’ll cover the process of recreating the tiger print fabric. To do this, I started out by taking a picture of the fabric. I laid the shirt as flat as possible and simply took a photo with my phone of the biggest flat surface area I could find. The photo from my phone worked perfectly fine, so no need to have a fancy camera to do this sort of thing! It is worth noting, however, that the camera in my phone is pretty good, so if you have an old phone or one that takes small, grainy photos, it would be worth borrowing a better phone or camera from a friend for this photo.

Once I had my picture my next step was to simply upload that picture into the design lab! The design lab will automatically resize your working (tile) space to fit the photo that you upload, but if you want your repeating pattern to be larger you can simply increase the size and quality of your photo in any photo editing app. With the tiger print photo in the design lab, I turned it into a repeating pattern by using the repeat element. I knew I wouldn’t be able to create an EXACT repeating replica of the original print, simply because the original print itself isn’t set up to repeat. I was, however, able to get some pretty cool and very similar results to the original by using different repeating styles in the design lab. I ended up landing on the Dot Repeat style, simply out of personal preference and because I thought it looked the closest to the original fabric.

You can see in my photo above that there is a slight variance in the colours between my original print and my recreated print. This is largely due to the difference of fabrics - the original is a linen and the recreated fabric is silk. While this doesn’t bother me for the purposes of this project, if you want the colours to be exactly the same when printing on a different fabric I would recommend ordering a colour chart for the fabric you’re going to be ordering your print on. I would also recommend editing your photo slightly to ensure that the colours in the photo match exactly to the colours of the original print.

Check out my full design lab creation process in the video below.

And there you have it! Recreating an existing print is as simple as that. Our design lab really is meant for any and everyone to use, no matter your technology, resources or experience. Give it a try with a fabric, garment, wrapping paper, or any other printed material that you love! Let us know how it goes and if you have any further questions in the comments below.