Pattern & Fabric Printing

Course Overview

Surface pattern design has enjoyed a revival in recent years, with a new wave of designers fuelling the growing trend for decorated objects, illustrated goods and aspirational homewares.

Led by practicing surface pattern designer and textile printer Ailsa Wilson, this introductory course will lead you through an exploration of pattern, print and design, with hands-on textile design and printing skills, which can then be applied to a variety of fabric and paper surfaces.

Through the observation of trends, understanding the impact of scale and experimenting with colour and shapes, you will learn how to develop different types of repeat patterns.

You will be encouraged to find inspiration in the shapes and objects that are found all around you. The practice of collecting materials, be it photographs, found objects, or interesting colour combinations, and gathering as much inspiration as you can will help you in your creative process. In addition to using these references and your own drawings, you will learn how to design your own repeat pattern, colour palette and master the techniques of mixing of textile inks for printing

Recently commissioned by the RNLI to redesign their best-selling Kitchen Range which launched in Spring 2016, Ailsa has a passion for traditional printing methods applied in a bold, contemporary, and graphic style. Her surface pattern designs are collected worldwide.

Watch as your designs spring to life through the exploration of hand-printing techniques such as lino block, silk screen printing and relief printing. Ailsa will guide you as you plan and  design by hand a repeat or placement design that you can print on cloth for a final project. This completed cloth will then be used to create a stylish finished item, such as a scarf, t-shirt, bag, cushion cover or even table linen.


  • What makes a good pattern for hand-printing
  • Sources of pattern inspiration
  • Pattern drawing, structure and planning
  • Colour theory, colour palette development and ink mixing
  • Basic lino block, relief and silkscreen printing techniques


Spring term: Monday 15th January – 19th March 2018


Ailsa Wilson

Course Aims

The course aims to:

  • Provide a practical introduction to the core creative skills needed to design and print repeat and placement patterns
  • Enable students to learn and develop the skills, knowledge and understanding of the equipment and techniques to be able to continue their own personal practice
  • Enhance students approach to colour theory, pattern development and basic hand-printing techniques
  • Develop hands-on creative skills and problem solving

Course Outcomes & Assessment

  • Students who complete the course will have sufficient level of skills and knowledge to be able to continue their own pattern development and hand-printing practice
  • All students with 100% course attendance will be issued with an official AUB Short Course Certificate of Attendance detailing course contents, and study hours

Entry Requirements

The course is aimed at students who have little or no previous experience, or may have some experience and wish to consolidate their understanding with lots of practical hands-on experience.

What You Need To Bring

  • Apron
  • A5 sheet of lino,
  • Stencil card or a sheet of clear acetate
  • a craft knife,
  • pre-washed calico,
  • sketch book,
  • masking tape,
  • latex gloves,
  • a notebook and pen
  • 2 or 3 clean, small (300-450g) jam jars with lids

Course Materials

All additional course materials are included in the course fee.

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