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What products can you apply your pattern designs to?

If we think about surface pattern designs, we usually think of the pattern on fabric but there are so many different surfaces that you can potentially apply your pattern design to.

Anything that has a surface has the potential to have a surface pattern design to it. So the scope of work and products your designs can be used for is wide and varied.


Fabric is the most obvious surface to apply pattern designs and can be applied to both fashion and interior products. Pattern design techniques include printing (screen and digital), weaving, knitting, applique, and embroidery.

Products that use surface pattern design are endless but include clothing, furniture/upholstery, rugs, bed linen, curtains, napery, and towels.


Wallcoverings allow you to create decorative elements to a wall surface. The most common applications are wallpaper and wall decals. The introduction of wall decals has allowed consumers to be able to have a decorative wall within their home that isn’t permanent. This gives them the scope to create new and interesting features within their homes.

Techniques for creating wall coverings include screen printing, digital printing, flocking and block printing.


Plastics are generally long lasting and are very versatile in their use. They allow a surface to be decorative while still functional. Plastic techniques include screen printing, digital printing, foil printing and litho printing.

Plastic products that use surface pattern designs include picnic ware, lunch boxes and dinnerware (particularly for children).


With new innovations in manufacturing techniques, glass has become a surface that pattern designs can be applied to. Some techniques used to apply a pattern to glass include etching, digitally printing, sandblasting and using photographic film.

Glass products that surface pattern designs can be applied to include tables, glassware, lighting, floors, tiles, bench tops and splash backs.


Paper is commonly adorned with surface pattern treatments. Common paper printing techniques include digital printing, screen printing, block printing and foil stamping.

Paper products with surface pattern designs include greeting cards, wrapping paper, calendars, art works, postcards, and packaging.


Advances in technology have allowed more ways to adorn ceramics with surface pattern designs. Some techniques include screen printing, digital printing, decals and acrylic painting.

Ceramic pattern designs can be found on vases, tiles, and dinnerware.

So make sure you outside of the box, when you’re creating your patterns and consider different products that you could potentially apply your designs to.

Production Considerations

One thing you do need to consider when creating patterns for different products are production considerations which will differ depending on the product, client or manufacturer e.g. it can really vary in terms of the number of colours that you may be able to use, the size of your design, the repeat size and things like that.

When you’re thinking about potential clients who may be interested in your work, think broadly and open up your scope for work.


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