From Paper to Print : Behind the Design of the Spring '17 Collection

  • Mata Traders
  • 17 May, 2017

Hello! I'm Katelyn, one of the textile designers here at Mata Traders. With our Spring/Summer ‘17 collection off to such a great start, I thought it might be fun to give you all a glimpse behind the creation process of two of our most popular prints this season! Taking a sketch from the initial concept and developing it into one of a dozen finalized prints in a collection can be a labor of love, but it is always worth it in the long run. I love seeing my work on so many beautiful Mata customers!

The first popular print of the season began with the idea of using lines to form an interconnected patchwork pattern - we called it Patchwork Lines. I took inspiration from African and Moroccan textiles but for a more organic look, added my own hand-drawn slant to it.


I sat down and started doodling and the framework for the print emerged.

Then I digitized it and created the tessellation.

One of the best ways to get more mileage out of one print design is to play around with how it looks. Varying the amount of colors used in the print, using different printing methods, scale, or types of fabric are all great methods we can use to try out new variations of a print. With so many different silhouettes in each collection, sometimes certain variations work better on one style or fabric than another.

Three color, industrial printing process, on fair trade organic jersey cotton


Two color, traditional screen printing process


Two color, traditional screen printing process

The second print that’s been flying off the shelves this spring is the Pop of Floral, and we used it in two different variations in the collection. The influence for this print came from Suzani inspired designs.

I’m not gonna lie, this print was a real doozy to get right. Unlike the patchwork lines print, which was successful on the first iteration, the pop of floral was ridiculously tricky, taking several rounds of revisions. We almost ended up cutting it a few times but persevered! The hardest part to get right was the vines. Below are a couple of examples that were just not quite right.

Ouch. Too many vines here!

This one is slightly better, but still kind of claustrophobic and viney.

Ah, finally! We’ve got a winner!


Three color, industrial printing process, on fair trade organic jersey cotton



Three color, hand screen printing process

By changing the colors and doing one in woven cotton and one in a knit cotton, it almost looks like a completely different print!

Whether you're looking for a fun floral or a funky geometric this spring, Mata has plenty of original prints for you to choose from. We invest a lot of time creating one-of-a-kind textile designs for our unique customers, and this Spring/Summer ‘17 Collection is fair trade fashion you can get excited about! Save Save Save Save Save Save

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