textile design

Introduction To Traditional Textile Patterns

Textiles with patterns and design are making a comeback in a big way! We’re happy to see more people embrace not only print but also traditional design. We haven’t seen this much interest in traditional textile design since before the year 2000, and we’re happy to be revisiting this era of design. 

The name itself, traditional, has multiple meanings when it comes to interior design. Your understanding of the word can vary depending on where you and your family are from. Traditional style can look different from country to region to the city; each geographical location has placed its imprint on their version of “traditional.”

In the U.S., there has been an immense appreciation for Eastern patterns and designs. 

These styles have been incorporated into what many consider to be American traditional. Others might see craftsman-style homes or mid-century modern style as traditional. Again, it’s all relative based on your perspective. 

Read along to see which of these categories you fall into and how to bring traditional textiles into your home. 

The Return Of American Traditional Textiles

Given the age of America, most of our patterns and style of textiles are inspired by Asian and European designs. Due to proximity and time, you’ll find many of these styles more prominent within the Northeast. 

We’re happy to see these traditional patterns make their way across the country and into the homes of design lovers everywhere! 

Traditional Textile Types

As we mentioned, the word traditional is a bit subjective. The pattern is inherently traditional as most patterns are copies or reworked based on former designs. These are our most popular traditional textile styles at Kovi:

Paisley

Few patterns seem to strike a chord as strong as paisley does. Whether you love or hate it, we’re big fans of this unique pattern design. We recommend selecting a paisley textile in a unique color to set your style apart! We’re big fans of the pattern K4809 in Lilac and White. It would be a playful addition to a breakfast room banquette or kid’s playroom.

Floral

We view floral patterns as the cornerstone of traditional textile design. A flower can be minimal and modern, but florals become enchanting and dynamic. These prints can vary a lot in style but always land in the homes of detail-loving design enthusiasts.

When it comes to traditional style and motifs, the more, the merrier. You are not required to select the most ornate designs to hit the traditional style mark. For example, we’re always thinking of new ways to design with our M9644 Hydrangea textile, which has a lot of space within the pattern but makes up for it with intricate embroidery details. 

Foliage

The leafier sister to a floral pattern is foliage design. These include more green, vines, and yes, leaves. 

We tend to view these as storybooks or secret garden prints with sweet details and romantic style. 

If you’re looking for a subtle nod to this design, we suggest KV360 Garden Nicolette. The muted tones of this ivy-like pattern will blend easily into your home. Consider using a print like this for larger upholstery projects such as a sofa or window coverings. 

Stripe

There are a surprising number of ways to incorporate stripe textiles into your design. It works well at elongating small pieces of furniture; when used as window coverings, it can help low ceilings appear taller, and always appears sophisticated. 

When it comes to traditional stripes, we’re here for the classic style like that of E7050 Indigo. The perfect balance of blue and white, no-frills, just stripes. This standard pattern is well-loved for a reason. It works well when paired with other patterns and blends into many design styles. 

Plaid

If you’re not afraid to make a statement with your design choices, mix in a plaid material. This design, often known as tartan, originated from Scotland, where it was used in the 1700s to signify what clan you were associated with. Today in America, this vertical and horizontal pattern is best known as plaid and used in both fashion and interior design. 

This style can vary a lot depending on the scale of pattern you choose. A smaller plaid gives a more “old school” traditional style, while a large plaid provides a fresh modern approach to the pattern. If you feel torn between which version to choose, select whichever size you initially feel most drawn to. This is the one that will likely blend into your current design style the best!

Toile

You’ve likely seen this pattern around and been intrigued by its small story-like scenes. This design originates from the French countryside. They are also known as toile de Jovy, French for cloth from Jovy, a small town in France. 

The design of these patterns includes plants, animals, people with frequent use of Asian influences. While there are rumors as to where this style originated from (before France), it is clear that traditional design lovers enjoy pairing this design with other Asian-inspired styles, including cherry blossom florals and pagodas. 

It’s important to note these styles were reinterpreted by Europeans of original Asian designs. We believe it is important to share the history of these patterns so anyone that admires the work can adequately acknowledge the origin of the designs. 

How To Use Traditional Textiles

You don’t need to have hand-me-down antiques in order to be someone who appreciates traditional designs. There are a number of ways to incorporate this style into your upholstery, and we’re happy to provide a few ideas!

After familiarizing yourself with the different patterns that make up traditional style, decide which ones you’re most drawn into and would like to incorporate into your space.

Here are a few ways to bring in small amounts of traditional textiles:

  • Purchase a yard of your new favorite textile and have it framed. Play with how to display it in different areas of your home, and feel free to switch up the material every so often! This is a great affordable art tip! 
  • Invest in a custom pillow. Maybe you’ve been looking for the finishing touch to your bed setup? Take the print that you’d like to see in this space and have it turned into shams, throw or bolster pillows! Incorporating small unique choices in your home makes a significant impact over time. 
  • If you’re an animal lover like us, consider creating a one-of-a-kind bed for your furry friend! This is an easy way to try out a fun pop of patterns without committing to a larger piece of furniture or decor.

If you feel a bit more confident and ready to take on a larger traditional upholstery project, we have a few recommendations.

  • Anyone who has an upholstered headboard knows the impact it can make in a space. Because this is a more accessible DIY project, we suggest taking the traditional pattern vertically and recovering your headboard. Before you choose a print, consider how it will work with your existing bedding! When all else fails, you pair all-white bedding with an interesting headboard and custom decorative pillows to coordinate.
  • Another easy DIY update we love is to refresh any seat cushions in your home. This can be dining chairs, window seat cushions, outdoor cushions, etc.! This addition can be a bit less in-your-face while making a significant difference. If you’re someone who enjoys antiques and thrifting, this is the perfect DIY to pair with a new upholstered seating purchase. 

Q & A

Question: Can traditional textiles work in a modern home? 

Answer: When it comes to mixing styles, the answer is always yes! Part of appreciating design is being able to highlight multiple styles within one space. If you’re making small steps toward traditional, consider one of our recommendations in the How To Use Traditional Textiles chapter above. 

Question: Where can I find traditional textiles to use for my next reupholstery project?

Answer: Look no further than Kovi! You can sort traditional styles here by selecting ‘fabric’ at the top and then choosing the pattern of your choice. From there, you can filter your options based on color preferences and price, happy shopping!

Question: What traditional textile patterns are trending for 2022?

Answer: We’ve seen a lot of plaid and stripes trending this year! These patterns are our favorite to use when blending multiple design styles. 

Textile Design Does Traditional

We know that stepping outside of your comfort zone isn’t for everyone when it comes to textile design. 

This is why we try to break down any questions or concerns beforehand so you can get the most out of Kovi textiles! 

Working with patterns can be daunting at first, so we hope this article gives you some background information to feel confident selecting a material for your next DIY design. 

Whether you’re a traditional design rockstar or are just now dipping your toe into the pool of traditional interiors, we’re happy to have you! 

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