Famous Interior Textile Designers

Instructor: Stephanie Przybylek

Stephanie has taught studio art and art history classes to audiences of all ages. She holds a master's degree in Art History.

Who creates textile patterns for the fabrics in your home? It's the job of interior textile designers. In this lesson, learn about several famous interior textile designers.

What is Interior Textile Design?

We love to decorate our homes and offices to make them feel welcome and inviting. Many decorations include textiles with interesting patterns, and artists create the images on those textiles. Some people have become well known for their textile designs.

In this lesson, we'll explore famous interior textile designers. But first, let's cover some basic terms. Interior design is the process of creating and coordinating elements in a house or other structure, including color schemes, surface finishes, furniture, and decorative pieces.

Interior textile designers create the fabric patterns used in homes
living room interior

Textiles like curtains and carpets are also important to interior design. A textile is a fabric made by interlacing threads of natural fibers (like cotton) or synthetic fibers (like nylon) through processes such as weaving or knitting. So, interior textile designers are people who create designs on fabrics that are used for home furnishing and building interiors. Think about your living room or bedroom; someone designed the patterns and textures on carpets, curtains, pillows, upholstered furniture, linens, and blankets. Well-designed textile patterns help pull together a room and give it a distinct feel.

People who create textiles for interior design need to have a good eye for pattern and design that will work in a wide range of places. Some might focus on domestic interiors, while others concentrate on commercial interests in places like airports, office complexes, or retail establishments. Interior textile designers must know how to predict style trends.

Famous Interior Textile Designers

Now let's learn about several famous interior textile designers from different time periods.

William Morris

William Morris (1834 - 1896) trained as an architect but turned to furniture and textile design instead. His patterns reflected a love of nature, full of twisting vines and figures like birds and insects. Morris textile patterns were often symmetrical, with strong, curving lines and flat, natural colors like greens, blues, and ochers.

Morris was also interested in traditional craft methods. He studied natural dyes and dyeing processes and hand-printed some textiles with woodblocks. Morris was one of the most famous textile designers of the 19th century. His work was popular at the time, and you can still purchase some of his patterns today.

Textile pattern by William Morris
Morris textile pattern

Charles C. F. A. Voysey

Charles C. F. A. Voysey (1857 - 1941) was an architect and designer who became prominent in both fields in the late 19th century. He believed that structures and their interiors were part of a total package, so it was natural that he pursued textile design.

Textile pattern by Charles C. F. A. Voysey
Voysey textile pattern

Voysey, who believed that three-dimensional images did not make good designs, was influenced by the flattened sense of space in Japanese art. His patterns featured repeated, simplified, and flattened forms of images like birds, flowers, and leaves. Although Voysey did use some dark colors, most of his work was done in light pastel shades, and patterns often included forms outlined in dark or light color. Voysey created designed for textiles, wallpaper, and ceramic tiles.

Lucienne Day

Lucienne Day (1917 - 2010) became famous for her textile designs in the years following World War II. She studied textiles at the Royal College of Art in London and then began her career designing textiles for clothing. However, her goal was to make fabric for interior design. In 1951, she got her big break when her pattern called 'Calyx,' made of screen-printed rayon, became very popular after its premiere at the Festival of Britain. Day eventually became associated as a designer with Heal fabrics (part of the Heal's Department store) and created more than 70 patterns for them.

Textile pattern by Lucienne Day
Day textile pattern

Day designed patterns for products like carpets, tea towels and other textiles for the home. Her primary inspirations were nature and modernist art, especially the work of abstract artists like Vassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. As a result, Day's bold designs were full of flowers, leaves, and other forms rendered in streamlined geometric form in bold and sometimes contrasting colors.

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