The definative guide to kids swimsuits

Why do people make so much fuss over kids swimsuits? It’s simple… Swimming lessons are one of the first things we arrange for our children – and with good reason. Swimming is not only a great sport, it’s also an essential life-saving skill. After all, swimming can save your child’s life and prevent your kid from drowning. 

Kids swimsuits: facts 

Kids need swimsuits to swim in. And swimming clothing is on sale in various iterations. Here’s a selection of swimming facts:

·      To swim your kid needs a swimsuit, a necessary outdoor item of clothing for swimming.

·      Twenty-first century childrens swimming clothing is a far cry from the swimwear range of old that used to be on sale. These days we concentrate on choosing clothing made from strong, durable materials. We look for items that stretch to fit the body well, are comfortable and treated to prevent sun damage. 

·      Swimming garments you find on sale are often lined with fabric that stops it from being see-through when wet. 

·      A swimming costume is also designed to fit snugly (tight fits make movement easier) and help the child swim more efficiently, by eliminating friction and drag (this is when water slows down the movement of the body).

·      Children should have at least 3 regular swimming costumes so that they can alternate these items of clothing when one is wet. And, as we all know, accidents do happen. So always pack a second swimsuit.

What to look for when choosing kids swimwear

Be careful of cheap and cheerful childrens swimming clothing that you’ll find on sale… there’s a reason that you need to buy top quality swimming gear that fit well and will last the kids all summer long, whether they’re swimming in a pool or the sea, playing on the beach or on your garden lawn whilst running through a sprinkler.

1.   Proper sun protection 

We all know that when they’re in the pool or the sea, your children are even more susceptible to the sun’s rays, which reflect off the water. The idea is to protect your child’s body from the sun as much as possibly. Concentrate on areas of the body that are most sensitive, like shoulders, arms and backs. 

There’s a wide variety of swimming gear on sale for children, including an item that offers sun protection. We’re talking about swimming clothing for girls and boys’ swim shorts that you can pair with swim shirts with sleeves. Look out for UPF50 stickers or labels to show they provide some protection. maake's swimwear bases - Active Eco Lycra and Recycled Eco Lycra along with the Heavy Lycra 210 all have UPF50 certification.

And remember: it’s not only the style of the swimwear that will protect your kid from the sun. Many a swimming costume brand offers items for sale they make from specially treated fabric. The fabric used for swim shirts, for example,also offers sun protection.

After all, having fun in the water is what kids love best. As parents, we need to make sure the clothing they are wearing protects them from harsh elements whilst swimming.

2.   Special swimming fabrics

As we mentioned above, swimming costume fabric has to tick a number of boxes. It needs to be:

-       Comfortable

-       Hard wearing

-       Flexible so that the body can move whilst wearing it

-       Lightweight

-       Able to wick away moisture

-       Resist fading

-       Can withstand sun exposure, chlorine and salt water

-       Stops water drag (see above).

3.   The right fit

Your kids are going to be running around or swimming constantly in their swimsuits, so when you shop, make sure their selected swimming items fit their bodies well. No sagging or loose fabric, as this will make them feel uncomfortable – and this includes swim shirts and swim shorts for sale, too.

There are specific size charts for kids, which will make it easier for you to buy the right size for your child. (Take a look at our info on Sizing, below.)

Of course, sizes vary according to brands, so you need to measure your kidbefore you shop to make sure the garment will fit them snugly. If possible, choose a shop or view online and then order from a store that has an exchange policy in case you choose the wrong size when you shop.

One question we want to answer emphatically now – should you shop for a bigger size so that your kid can grow into its swimwear? We don’t recommend this.

But when you find a swimming costume that your kid loves, we suggest buying two – one in a larger size, for when the current one gets too small. You’ll thank us later!

4.   Colours, styles and patterns in kids swimsuits

With the above in mind, do make a point of taking your kid’s personality, likes and dislikes into account when you shop for colours, patterns and designs for swimming gear and accessories.

Once they reach an age where they have decided likes and dislikes, it’s a good idea to let them check out online stores to get an idea of what they prefer that is on sale before you shop.

But don’t forget when you shop online: what we see on sale on screen isn’t necessary what will arrive on delivery day. Computer screens show colour deceptively.

What are popular kids’ choices of swimming garments and accessories on sale right now? It really is kid-dependent: let your kid dictate what they would prefer to wear and then shop what’s on sale accordingly.

There’s a wide variety in every shop to keep every kid happy, from floral prints for girls to stripes and tie-dye, colour-blocking, single shades, sea and beach themes, and everything in between.

As for styles, before you shop, check out what their school friends are wearing, especially if you’re dealing with little girls. They may well want to have the same style or similar.

5.   Swimming accessories

When you take your kid to swimming lessons, or on a pool play date, or on holiday to the sea, you don’t just take their swimsuit. That bag is full of all sorts of other accessories, too. Let’s take a look at necessary accessories to take with you in a bag or basket to the beach or the pool…

·      Flipflops for the sand and other beach-appropriate shoes to play in (sandals or sneakers are the best shoes for the beach and by the pool)

·      Sunscreen: No matter how much the swimming costume protects your child, you also need plenty of sunscreen that you apply often

·      Sunhats: Even when they’re in the pool, unless they’re confident swimmers, make them keep a hat on

·      Water bottles: Make sure they drink plenty of water when it’s hot

·      Snacks: Fresh fruit and vegetables cut up small, sandwiches, etc

·      Beach balls and other toys

·      Beach towels for the pool and the beach: Choose a soft, absorbent cotton towel that dries fast and is breathable

·      Sunhats

·      Sunglasses

·      Multipacks of wet wipes

·       Cover-ups for over their swimwear, as we mentioned above.

5 important questions to ask when you shop for kids swimwear

1.   Can your kid swim in the suit?

Is the swimwear easy to swim in? Make sure that swimsuit is easy to move in. It needs to be a quality fabric, and if it’s a one-piece, the mid-section needs to have mobility.

2.   Is the swimwear hard-wearing?

Pool chlorine can wear out swimwear – another reason to look for quality fabric that is resistant to chemicals and is long-lasting. Choose a nylon or Poly/spandex fabric with a polyester lining for swimsuits and swim trunks that resists both chlorine and saltwater.

3.   Is the swimwear quick drying?

Wet swimming clothing is likely to be heavy and uncomfortable. Kids love to spend hours in the water, so the fabric used to make the swimming costume should be quick-drying. Don’t forget: after use, rinse the swimsuit, dry and store away till next time.

4.   Does the swimsuit fabric have UV protection?

Water reflects the sun, so your child’s skin is extremely vulnerable whilst swimming. A swimming costume made of fabric with a UPF50 rating will block 98% of the sun’s harsh rays. To get the best sun protection, make sure you also apply sunscreen to your child’s skin.

5.   Does your kid have a cover-up? 

It’s great choosing a swimming costume that ticks all the boxes, but make sure that when you kid gets out of the water, you add a protective cover-up to put on them.

For these important swimwear accessories, comfort is most important and if the fabric has sun protection, that’s a big plus.

We make many cover-ups out of polyester and spandex. But whichever type of accessories you choose, do check the labels carefully to see how effective they will be. 

For trends in swimsuits and accessories like cover-ups, take a look at Australian brands: they are very conscious of protecting their kids’ skin from the sun and come up with innovative garments and accessories for them to wear that not only do the trick, but look great as well.

Why kids swimsuits size is so important

Ill-fitting swimwear and accessories will make swimming uncomfortable and unenjoyable for kids. So make sure kids swimming clothing fits well. First step is to measure your child:

·      Sizing for girls: Measure under the arms and around the back and bust, as well as the waist, hips and inseam. Also measure weight and height, as tall or bigger children may need a longer suit, and small girls may need to go down a size. For swimming shorts for girls, see ‘sizing for boys’ below.

·      Sizing for boys: Measure around the waist to get the perfect fit. If the kid is between sizes, or the waist is too tight, rather go up to the next size. Make sure that the waist is comfortable (this applies to girls’ swimming shorts, too). Remember: elasticated waists can be comfortable for both boys and girls swim shorts, but a drawstring waist on a pair of shorts will give a custom fit.

Quick tips to get correct sizes when you shop

Check out these size guidelines for swimwear and accessories. Note: Some brands offer size guidelines based on age, while others offer sizing from extra-small (XS) to extra-large (XL).

Here’s a rough sizing guide:

(The list includes junior girls sizes and junior boys sizes.)

  • XS – 4 to 5 years with a 20 to 21.5-inch waist
  • S – 6 to 7 years, with a 22 to 23.5-inch waist
  • M – size 8 yrs and sizes 9 to 10 years with a 24 to 25.5-inch waist
  • L – 11 to 12 years with a 26 to 27.5-inch waist
  • XL – 13 to 14 years with a 28 to 30-inch waist.

Selected prints, patterns and colours

Children often have very decided opinions about what type of swimwear and accessories they want to wear, depending on their personality and the latest trends. But there are those who don’t care at all. Here we offer some popular choices:

·       Navy and black are ideal for school swimwear.

·       Bright red and orange, or a pattern using cheerful summer colours, are very popular.

·       Blue is another very popular choice, especially blue shades that match the ocean and turquoise.  

·       Designs include plenty of sea creatures, beach scenes, stripes and spots. Colour-blocking is a major trend right now.

·       Children love bright colours, especially neon orange, green and yellow.

Shop for these common types of kids swimwear

·       Rash vests: Often made from spandex and nylon, these kids’ swim shirts are used to protect against chafing and sun exposure. 

·       Wetsuits and dry suits: Commonly made out of neoprene, shop for these close-fitting suits if you need one for snorkelling and board sports.

·       A one piece swimsuit: This collection is often made out of technologically advanced fabric that withstands the elements (salt water, sun and chlorine), keeps the suit’s shape and comes in various styles.

·       Boys’ swim briefs: Often called a Speedo, because the brand is so popular, this type of swimming collection is usually made of a blend of nylon and spandex, although some brands use polyester, which is longer-lasting. They usually feature a lining on the inside front made of a similar fabric.

·       Boys’ boardshorts: A longer version of a swimming trunk, these reach over the knee or even past the knee. Preferably have a non-elastic waistband. Shop for these particular shorts when you kid partakes in board sports like paddle-boarding, wake-boarding and surfing.

·       Boys swim trunks: Commonly known as board shorts in the UK, these shorts are designed to be slightly longer than boxer shorts. Swim trunks are loose shorts and reach mid-thigh. These shorts often have a polyester inner lining. They are extremely popular boys’ swim shorts to shop for.

·       Swim shirts: These protective shirts are worn by both boys and girls when they swim. Parents choose to buy these shirts for their kids to wear when the sun is at its most deadly (11am to 2.30pm) or when the kid has sensitive skin and is prone to sunburn.

The best kids swimwear to shop for, for each age, from baby to teen

·       Baby swimwear: This depends on whether the baby is still wearing nappies. For instance, if your baby girl is still wearing nappies instead of knickers, you would need to buy swim nappies, which baby can wear on its own or under baby boys or a baby girls swimsuits. 

When wet, these nappies do not swell. We also design them with special elastic side guards and side flaps that are easy to remove.

Baby boys can wear cute board shorts, and for baby girls, choose bikini bottoms. If your kid is going to be having swimming lessons when it’s cold outside, wetsuits are ideal for both baby boys and baby girls.

·       Toddler swimsuit boy and girl 3 to 5 years: It’s time to invest in swimming trunks for the boys and a one-piece swimming costume for the girls, especially if they’re learning to swim. Swim shirts are important if the child’s skin is fair and sensitive to the sun.

·       Kids aged 5 years and upwards: Childrens swimming clothing comes in various styles, colours and patterns. Girls are luckier, as there are so many girls styles to choose from when you shop, including 1- and girls 2-piece swimsuit, whilst boys have to stick to swim shorts, briefs or trunks. Also note: young teens will need a swimming costume with bras. And as we mentioned in a previous point: swim shirts may be ideal if your kid’s skin is sun-sensitive.

The business side of swimwear

The swimwear market in the UK

According to Statistica:

·       Most of the revenue in this niche market is generated in the United States (UK Pound Sterling 9.67 billion in 2023), but the UK is also doing very well, with UK Pound Sterling 749 million. 

·       It’s expected that the swimming and sports segment of the market will grow 3.3% in 2024 and will amount to 41.4% in 2027.

The bottom line:

Although kids swimsuits are considered a saturated market, they can be very lucrative for small niche businesses. The secret to success? Make sure you do extensive research about fabric, design and what boys and girls want. And be sure you don’t make the garment too expensive and outprice yourself.


·       Concentrate on providing a quality product.

·       Become an expert in your field. This will set you apart from the rest.

·       Focus on giving customers something different from your competitors.

·       Be innovative and think out of the box.

·       Deliver what you promise every single working day.

How to make kids swimwear

Choose your maake fabric

·       Active Eco Lycra: A beautiful eco blend of recycled polyester and elastane, this mediumweight lycra fabric is ideal for kids swimsuits, with its smooth surface and excellent stretch. One can pull this fabric in any direction and it will spring right back every time. Both sides of the fabric are identical; it prints vibrant, strong colours. UPF50 certified and chlorine and pill-resistant, this is one of our most popular swim fabrics.

·       Eco Lycra: A very popular high quality, eco blend of recycled polyester and elastane, this medium weight lycra fabric has a little less stretch than the Active Eco Lycra for a taughter body contour, and a slightly glossier finish. One can pull this fabric in any direction and it will spring right back every time. Both sides of the fabric are identical; it prints vibrant, strong colours. UPF50 certified and chlorine and pill-resistant, this is a popular swim fabric.

·       Anti-Microbial Agilo Lycra: A beautifully soft Anti-microbial lycra fabric that weighs 195gsm. Its special quality is the SILVERPLUS finish that keeps the fabric smelling fresh for longer. We often choose it as the fabric for kids swimsuits. This polyester fabric prints beautifully – at maake we print all polyester fabrics without using any water, and all the inks meet  Oeko-tex requirements and pass EN71-3 certification.

·       Eco Glitter Dot Lycra: We make it out from a blend of recycled polyester and elastane with a glittery multi-coloured foil dot effect to make your swimwear shine and shimmer in the sun. We use this stretchy eco lycra fabric widely for swimwear. Eco-conscious business owners find it ideal, as they can use recycled polyester. The material prints beautifully and vibrantly.

·       Scuba BodyFit: A special combination of polyester and elastane fibres, this soft double-knit fabric is very similar to neoprene. Composition: PES EL Scuba BodyFit is a double knit fabric similar to neoprene. It’s ideal for thicker swimming as it’s easy to care for and long-lasting with a springy, smooth feel.

·       Eco Sprint Knit : A mid-weight 100% recycled polyester wicking sports jersey. Fantastic for rash vests, swimming shirts and more. Its a very popular fabric for the summer sports and outdoor market, and prints fantastically.

Get creative with maake

We have an exceptional 15,000+ exclusive designs and patterns to inspire you for kids swimsuits.

Independent designers have created every single pattern. When you choose one of these designs, we pay the designer. 

Alternatively, you can design your own fabric. Follow the link below and see how easy it is to upload your own creation.

Choose a fabric design                  Design your own fabric

How to save: fabric by the meter

How to save money – and the planet – every time you purchase fabric by the metre

Every small business wants to save money and be more sustainable. Does your business involve buying material and printing on it? If so, you need to know how to buy the best quality fabric by the metre you can find. 

To help you, we’ve put together a go-to guide on how to select the best materials for your business. We explain what you need to look out for when choosing and buying fabric. We also show you how you can be more sustainable in your choices.

Points to consider when selecting fabrics

Choosing fabric by the metre online involves a number of different points. Here are the most important ones to consider:

The quality of the fabric

First point to consider is the fabric’s characteristics – and the material’s quality is the most important point of all. So think about how long-wearing the fabric is and the fabric’s composition. Say you're considering buying 1 metre of 100% cotton fabric or more. You’ll be looking for smooth, breathable material. If you’re looking at a cotton/polyester blend (polycotton is one), the fabric will have its own particular qualities. That doesn’t mean that the cotton fabric is better than cotton/polyester blend; it just means that each is different.

But there are certain signs you can look out for to ensure the fabric is of a high quality. These include:

·      Colour: Of course, at maake we print designs and patterns in colour for you. On our website, we tell you how the colours will print on each base fabric we offer as some print stronger than others.

·      The weave: Check the fabric carefully to find out whether it’s tightly or loosely woven. Quality materials usually have a balanced mix of woven fibres with no gaps. Check out the fabric and the information provided, which includes its strength, thread count and composition.

·      The finish: The texture of your fabric should be as described in the information. Look out for uneven weaves, fraying, stretch and creasing. This will give you an idea of the qualities of the fabric you plan to use.

·      Cost: When you're looking at fabric of exceptional quality fabric, the range is unlikely to be cheap. If the fabric is inexpensive, it is less likely to be of a high quality or finish.

 At maake, we aim to offer a range of fabrics for all budgets. Whilst some fabrics might be cheaper, we never compromise on their quality. We care about the final effect of the fabric itself. So plainer, more simple fabrics will tend to be less expensive. By the same token, more complicated weaves and knits from more luxurious or sustainable yarns tend to be dearer.

·      The source: Make sure that your fabric comes from a reliable, sustainable source. If possible, buy local. Choose a manufacturer with an excellent reputation for quality fabric. Make sure you choose someone experienced who offers top quality products.

·      The weight: Most manufacturers will indicate the weight of the fabric in gsm ( grams per square meter). This usually depends on the type of fibre that makes up the fabric as well as the weave. Check out whether the fabric is lightweight, medium weight or heavyweight and consider which fabric will best suit your product. As a guide, a lightweight scarf tends to be around 70-90 gsm, a shirting/quilting weight cotton between 125-150 gsm and a heavy canvas or denim between 230-350 gsm.

Remember: a heavyweight fabric doesn’t always mean that the fabric is of high quality. The quality depends on the fabric’s suitability for the product you’re making. A finely woven fabric is often harder to get right than a course, heavy weight fabric.

·      The sustainability: Don’t only look at whether the fabric is manufactured locally. Make sure that the manufacturer used sustainable methods to manufacture the fabric and/or print on it. That involves using no harmful chemicals in the manufacture and dying process. It also involves doing everything possible to use less energy and water.

The type of fabric

Another important point to consider is the type of fabric you want. Choose either natural, synthetic or a mix of the two. 

Natural fabrics are those made out of 100% natural fibres, such as cotton, linen, silk, denim and leather. Synthetic materials include polyester and rPET (recycled polyester), jersey fabric, nylon, rayon, viscose, pvc and acrylic. 

When it comes to quality, remember: natural fabrics tend to be more expensive than their synthetic counterparts. Fabrics that are a mix of both natural and synthetic are priced accordingly, too.

At maake we offer our customers a special fabric sample service. You can order a fabric sample book which gives you an insight into our wide selection of fabric options, including natural, synthetic and a mix of both.

How does the fabric print?

·      Once the fabric has a pattern or design printed on, check to see if the colours fade or stay vibrant. This is an important point to consider when choosing fabric by the metre. 

Our informative fabric sample book not only gives you an idea of the fabrics that we offer; it also features a wide range of fabrics and designs, so that you can view the fabrics and get an idea of how well the design prints on particular fabrics. 

This is so important, so add this to your basket. You need to be able to decide which colours print best on each fabric. 

·     Consider how different colours print on the fabric you've chosen. With a sample book, you can look at the fabric in your hand, not on the computer screen.  You can see how it looks in natural and artificial light. This is very important when choosing new fabric designs and colours.

When ordering

If you shop for fabric per metre online, remember the following. Make sure the fabric is the right choice before you place your order in the shopping cart. maake offers you the chance to order a printed sample (20 x 20 cm) with your design first. Once you see the printed sample, you can order full meters.

Very importantly, maake charge by the meter not design, so you can order 20 designs x 1m and achieve the 20m discounted rate. This allows you to be flexible and order only the amount of design your business needs.

·      Take a look at how designs and patterns print on a particular fabric. Choose designs that will line up when you’re sewing your product together. You don't want the finished item to look distorted or uneven.

·      Wash a fabric sample to see if it shrinks and creases, and how the colours react on the fabric after washing.

Why you should shop for fabrics by the meter


Most fabric is sold per metre. It doesn't matter whether it’s for a dressmaking project or for a manufacturer to create different products out of. However, most textile manufacturers don’t offer a viable minimum amount that you can buy. 

This is a pity. If you want your business to save money and be sustainable, you need to buy only what you need. And then and then have your design or pattern printed on it. This is a great way to save on fabric by the meter and save the planet too.

maake believes in sustainable innovation and our focus is on minimising fabric and ink waste. We offer high quality fabrics for you to print designs on – and we print only what you order. This way, we ensure that none of the fabric in our factory is wasted, or lands up sitting on shelves. 

Unfortunately, no matter how careful a printer is, mistakes do happen. Sometimes the amounts printed are incorrect. Or perhaps the material doesn’t pass quality control (we’re proud to admit that this happens very rarely). But when it does, and printed material is returned to us, we don’t resell or restock the fabric. 

We recycle it by donating it to charity, universities and schools. Take a look at our page on social responsibility, which details our commitment to sustainable innovation.

Why printing on demand is the sustainable choice

Print just the right amount of fabric with us (anything from 1 metres upwards to 1000m+). This way, you’re saving money, water, energy and waste. This is how your business, whether it’s large or small, can be more sustainable.

All the materials we use are ethically source and bought from trusted mills in the UK wherever possible. This is to reduce our carbon footprint and assist the local economy. The mills that we work with are all REACH accredited and many also hold SEDEX accreditation

When we print designs and patterns on these fabrics, we use sustainable printing methods. These require 95% less energy than traditional fabric printing. The printing inks we use are Oeko-Tex 100 certificated and meet GOTS 6.0 requirements ( for cotton inks). They are also safe for kids (EN71-3 certified).

The printing processes we use for all fabrics use 95% less energy than traditional textile printing. Maake also uses only 100% renewable energy resources and very little water. When we print cotton and linen, we use no water at all. We also use less than a thimbleful of ink waste per 100m printed. 

Click here to upload your own design and start printing

"Being able to work with a business that you can print on demand made a massive difference in my business and how I operate. It gave me a lot more flexibility"

Sian Thomas, Sian Elin 

How to print on fabric: The right techniques for fabric printing

How to print on fabric? Choose the right method depending on the fabric you're using. We list the different methods and which is best for each particular product.

How to print on fabric? We have all the answers for you.

There are several different techniques, and each method works best for different material types.

Choose the fabric (your base printable fabric), depending on the product you’re making. We use different materials for different purposes, from upholstery and clothing to sportswear, soft furnishings or linen.

You also have to think about the tonesyou intend to use. Consider the weight of the fabric and how much you plan to print. Also, take the print’s colour-fastness and durability into account.

Here’s an in-depth look at how to choose the right material for your product, which method to use as well as maake’s fabulous selection of 13,000+ designs to print. If you like, you can also create your own design.

How to print on fabric: Methods

Popular techniques used for reproducing designs on textiles include virtual, lino, rotary, foil and screen fabric printing. Here’s an in-depth look at each of these techniques and the results you can expect…

What is digital fabric printing?

Manufacturers use this versatile method mostly for reproducing detailed images and patterns, photographs and complicated graphics. Additionally, it is most advantageous when designs have multiple hues and the required meters or run rate is lower.

A computerised textile printer is effectively a huge version of your desktop inkjet printer, with print heads for each shade that ‘jet’ the ink onto the material as it passes over with incredible accuracy. Hence the name ‘inkjet’.

The base material chosen is usually white, ecru or ivory, as this will give the best reproduction of the design. It is possible to use coloured material. However, like your desktop printer, it will only add the shade on top and may affect the overall effect.

Typically the amount of inks used in a computerised textile printer ranges from the 4 process tones of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK) to between 8 and 12 shades. These additional hue channels will add to the overall ‘gamut’ or tones pace of the textile printer – expanding the range of tones  that the machine is able to reproduce.

How a printer reads shades correctly

The wider the gamut, the greater the ability to reproduce fine tones , hit specific spot tones or outlying bright hues. Some printers may use Orange, Blue, Green, Red etc to improve the strength of certain shades, use light hues such as Light Magenta or Light Cyan to improve skin tone gradients, or greys and blacks to help with Black tones.

Some machines even allow the addition of fluorescent shades channels. However, currently with a computerised printer, you are unable to print metallic hues.

A computerised textile printer digitally reproduces any patternyou want to create and allows you to use as many tones  as you wish, at any scale. 

Software called a ‘RIP’ converts the virtual images to tones  for each channel.

There are two main types of printer – a direct-to-textile and a sublimation printer. They both use similar or even the same machinery with slight modifications to allow and optimise to variance in material handling.

Direct-to-textile printing

A direct-to-textile printer works by printing directly onto the material itself. We often 'prepare' the fabric with a special coating to improve printability, colour-fastness, vibrancy and sharpness of print.

Manufacturers use various inks in this method depending on the type of material – including Reactive, Acid, disperse, VAT and pigment ink. Read our blog about ink to find out more.

At our North London mill, maake uses special pigment inks in the printer for cotton, linen and other natural and blended-fibre material such as polycottons.

Using a virtual printer offers several advantages:

  • Ability to print multiple designs at no additional cost
  • Eco friendly as only what you need is printed
  • A relatively inexpensive and fast process from start to finish
  • As many tones as you want can be printed – this won't affect the cost of printing
  • You can create a sample first to see the effect at minimal cost.

Sublimation printing

Perfect for polyester and poly blends, this relatively new professional reproduction process using thermal paper offers excellent results. We use dye sublimation printing on fabric using special thermal paper sheets at maake for all polyesters and man-made material.

Sublimation printing is a chemical process that involves printing designs in a mirrored form on a special type of thermal paper known as ‘dye sublimation paper’.

To bring the design from the paper to the textile, we use heat and pressure. In this scientific process, the heat causes the water-based type of ink to evaporates into a gas which bonds chemically with the textile fibre.

One then transfers the design from the paper to the textile. The inks penetrate deep into the fabric, creating a permanent print.

Sublimation printing with thermal paper is great for creating detailed designs and various tones on synthetic material.

Advantages of sublimation printing:

  • Sustainable, as the water-based inks don’t fade or peel, and they use no water in the process
  • Produces excellent detail, time after time
  • Great for both small and large runs
  • Prints are very bold and clear. You won’t see any excess ink left on the paper
  • Prints are long-lasting and the designs don’t scratch off.

Lino printing

We usually use this process at home to create paper gifts, cards and memorabilia on a home laser printer. Professional artists also use the lino process to produce artworks. There’s no printer involved; you print on fabric by hand.

For lino printing on fabric you need a steady hand, an iron and good hand-eye coordination. And you can use as many or as few hues as you wish.

Once you’ve created your design, you move it onto a lino block. You then ink it with the shade of ink you’ve chosen. When the ink has dried, you use an iron to transfer the design to the material.

Lino advantages:

  • You can do this at home using your iron
  • Great if you’re handy and artistic
  • Make one print, or more.

Foil printing

When you wish to print something shiny on a fabric, you’ll use foil printing.

This procedure involves using a foil sealant on the material. You then press the foil onto the textile with a steel roller. Make sure to use a good quality sealant for a more durable design.

A second foil method involves reproducing first on the foil and then pressing the foil on the fabric. You do this with an iron or a steel roller.

Preferably one should dry clean foil printed items.

Advantages of foil printing:

  • It’s a creative way to print any design. Used for clothing, homewear or décor items
  • You can do this with an iron!
  • There’s a wide selection of foil in different shades.

At maake, we have some material which will give you a foiled effect such as our Eco Glitter Dot lycra – perfect for active, swim and dance wear.

Screen printing

Screen printing on fabric involves reproducing each color separately on a separate screen.

This process is best for simple designs and shapes that only need a few shades. A white design on black material has usually been screen printed.

You can either screen print using a printer or by hand. If you do this yourself, you’ll squeeze paint through a screen made of a steel frame and nylon mesh.

The hand screen process is a favoured artistic technique, made popular by creatives like Andy Warhol.

People adopt different methods for different products. For instance, if you print on a ready-made item (T-shirt, handbag etc), you’ll use flat screen printing. For entire rolls of fabric, the rotary screen process is best.

Advantages of screen fabric printing:

  • Ideal for solid shades
  • Cost-effective for reproducing large volumes
  • You can print on any material
  • You’ll see that hues are vibrant and intense
  • Durable.


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How to print on fabric: Materials

Take a look at the different materials. Then see how each fabric responds when you have printed on it. 

Here at maake, we print on over 100+ fabric types, so just what type of fabric are you looking for? We have prepared a little summary below of some of the most popular types:

How to print on canvas

People often choose to print on canvas when they have a photo they want to frame and display or for internal/external uses such as bags, deckchairs, seating, bean bags, etc.

For artists, the best type of canvas is a special blend of cotton and polyester that is completely matte – called archival canvas. You’ll see that the quality is exceptional.

We often use it for prints for exhibitions in art galleries and museums.

People make most canvases out of polyester or cotton, or a mix of both.

There are several different processes. The most common methods are sublimation (thermal paper) and inkjet printing. Laser printed fabric is also popular, but it lacks the clarity and definition you get from the other methods.

maake offer both sublimation and inkjet printed canvas materials, perfect for indoor and outdoor applications that require the durability and robustness of a canvas fabric.

Using a printer for linen designs

Linen textiles and linen blends, both medium and heavy weight, offer stunning fabric quality for use on a printer.

We choose linen fabric for a number of different products, including upholstery, handbags and other accessories, quilts and clothing.

Here’s an interesting fact: because of linen’s structure, some of the fibres come loose during printing, leaving a white or beige mark. But that adds to the item’s beauty.

On linen textiles, maake likes to use a virtual process. This is a very popular method on this type of material. The ink utilised in the process stick to the fabric surface by means of a binding agent.

You'll notice that the design looks like it has been painted on the the sheets, as if the material was paper. It’s that perfect!

Printing on cotton

Cotton is a natural fibre. People often choose cotton fabric for clothing. The fabric industry chooses it because it’s so comfortable and durable.

How to print on cotton fabric? We usually print shades and designs on cotton using a virtual printer.

We use direct-to-textile printers installed with a wide range of special computerised inks that are colour-fast, durable and are certified for both GOTS 6.0 and Oeke-tex class 1 regulations.

People choose this method because it’s quick, much more sustainable and we can use it on both natural and synthetic fibres. Also, cotton materials retain the ink well, giving designs excellent clarity.

Printing on polyester

Although we often choose polyester as a fabric for clothing and fashion, it’s important to choose your method very carefully.

Sublimation printing has become the method of choice for polyester, both recycled polyester and synthetic polyester blends. We use this method at maake, because it’s more sustainable and saves on quality.

When we use this process, 100 percent of the design paper image transfer is absorbed by the ink and embeds into the fabric fibres. So the design doesn’t fade after a few washes and the fabric still feels like new.

Printing on lycra

People use very versatile material because it is so elastic and the body moves without being restricted. It’s also very long-lasting and has the ability to breathe. No wonder it’s one of the most popular textiles in the garment industry.

We often use a class of synthetic fibres called lycra fibre. People gave this trademarked brand name to this specific class of synthetic elastic fibres.

People call it ‘spandex in the US, and ‘elastane’ in the rest of the world. It’s mainly the choice for activewear, sports and dance garments.

Thanks to its texture, it’s also extremely breathable and doesn’t wrinkle. 

Lycra prints beautifully and the hues are bright and vivid. We often use the sublimation process with thermal paper for lycra textiles including acrylic, nylon, rayon and spandex. We use pigment printing for cotton bases with a lycra content.

Take a look at the last swimwear purchases you made. You'll see that this material is polyamide lycra, a fabric manufacturers use for a lot of swimwear.

Manufacturers print it with acid inks for vivid hues that are colour fast and resistant to both salt and chlorine.

Popular textiles that include lycra include our Organic lily jerseyStretch jersey and Eco Lycra bases.

Explore maake’s base printer fabric

On one of the pages you visit, you’ll find the perfect one to print your design on.

If you’re looking for a textile to complete a DIY craft or a garment for your business, you’ll find one here, too. Our superior quality materials are excellent for lining, backing and facing matching printed fabrics. And minimum orders are just 1 metre!


Choose your fabrics here

Professional fabric projects

We’ve taken the time to source the fabric crafts used most in some detail so that you have all the information you need on how T’s, fashion, upholstery and cushions are printed.

T-shirt material

maake uses either the digital pigment or the sublimation process, depending on the fabric.

Factory printers use special inks for cotton and linens, and a dyes sublimation printer with thermal paper for polyester and man-made fabrics.

Fashion fabric : What to look for

Printing for fashion requires an intimate knowledge of not only how the fabric looks and feels, but how it performs and drapes for the particular fabric.

maake print over 60 fabrics that are brilliant for use in all sorts of fashion applications including :

  • Children's wear
  • Mens and womens fashion
  • Swimwear and activewear
  • Loungewear
  • Formal wear and suiting.

There are some key considerations you want to think about when you are choosing a fashion fabric that is right for you:

Knitted or woven

This will mainly split you between more flexible knitted fabrics such as jersey fabric for T’s and rompers and poly lycra textiles for activewear and swimwear – versus the more structured woven materials for shirts, dresses, trousers and jackets.

Natural or man made

What type of fibre you pick will decide the final effect. Man-made textiles print fantastic vibrant colours, are durable and wash well. We used these most all over the world in 2021.

Still, many customers prefer the cooler, more breathable options of natural fibres such as cotton and linen.

Sustainable options – such as Organic or Recycled

Many fashion brands choose sustainable textiles for their custom collections. In fact, customers are often happy to pay a premium to know their materials are produced from organic cotton materials or more sustainable man-made options such as recycled polyester made from recycled plastic bottles.

The surface effect

Whether you looking for a lustrous face for evening wear such as our Duchess satin or a more subtle matte finish like our Top sateen, the surface effect of the fabric plays a big part in the overall look of the garment and often the perceived value and provenance.

For instance, our Organic Calico cotton with its beige shade can give a rather rustic feel whilst our Eco Glitter Dot lycra with its shiny, metallic, techno finish will give a very futuristic look.

The weight of the material

Lastly, the weight of the fabric and its subsequent drape make a big effect on how the garment will sit on the person. Too heavy and it will not sit right; too light and it will be too sheer for the person to wear.

Our online fabric specifier is a great place to start, as it shows images and specifications of the fabric, alongside descriptions and advised fabrics in order to help you make the best choice.

Upholstery textiles: What to choose

There’s a wide choice of textiles to use for upholstery. It depends on what you’re looking for.

If you have pets or kids, and want a long-lasting fabric, leather is a great choice. If you don’t need your living room furniture to be that durable, you have a variety of other options…

Sure, cotton is strong, resists pilling and it's long-lasting, so we often use it for upholstery items. If you add a synthetic fibre to the cotton mix, like polyester or nylon, the upholstery lasts really well.

We also often choose cotton blends, as they’re durable, don’t wrinkle and can be treated so that they are stain-resistant, too.

Polyester in any form is another excellent choice for chairs, couches and other furniture items and usually has excellent durability and rub fastness ( something which is a must in upholstery).

Once you’ve chosen the fabric, you can continue and choose the reproduction process to use accordingly.

Cushion material

Before you choose fabric for cushions, consider what you’re going to be using the cushion for.

Choose hard-working materials that are durable and wash well if the cushions are for regular use and think about long-lasting options for outside furniture.

We use cotton and linen as well as blends of these two textiles widely.

The reason is simple… you can wash these natural materials, they last and are perfect for those with sensitive skin. Cotton resists creasing, which is another plus.

People usually make couch cushions from cotton, cotton blends or wool, as all these materials are easy to clean and last well. If you are looking for a more durable option, choose a synthetic fabric such as polyester, rayon, vinyl or microfibre.

Cushion fillings vary, too. Choose from feathers, hollow-fill fibre, polyester, foam or batting – or a combination of these.

Reproducing on cushion fabric depends, again, on the type of fabric you’re using. Take a look at the sections above that cover the different fabric choices and the methods used to print on each.

Choose the right fabric for your business and DIY crafts


Choose your fabrics here

How maake works:

  • Uploading your design. If you haven’t created one, you can choose one from our unique collection of 13,000+ designs created by local artists that work well with various business and DIY crafts and products.
  • Select the fabric from our list of base fabrics.
  • We then print it and ship it to you, wherever you are. We ship all over the world.
  • Ask us any question you’re unsure of. We’ll reply right away.

Design your own fabric

Over the years Adobe Photoshop has become the software of choice for those wishing to design on fabric. It features a wide selection of tools that can assist designers create exactly what they want.

Whether you’re keen to transform an image, manipulate it, or create something quite unique, this is the perfect programme for you.

Once you’ve created your fabric design, maake's process is easy.  

  1. Select the file and upload
  2. Confirm copyright is yours
  3. Your design is ready to upload.


Upload your design!

Note: Large designs can take up to 5 minutes, so please be patient!

Regency interiors – Interiors inspired by the Bridgertons

As spring buds blossom and the weather warms up, we’re celebrating new beginnings. After the restrictions of lockdown and chilly days, it’s time to look at rejuvenating our surroundings. The second season of Netflix’s popular TV series Bridgerton couldn’t have arrived at a better time.

This absorbing period drama offers the perfect inspiration for us to recreate luxurious surroundings to fall in love with. It begs us to design Regency interiors. Granted, those interiors are decorated with pastel hues. Those colours reflect those glorious days in the early 1800s, when life was leisurely and luxurious. 

Let’s take a look at English Regency interior décor and furniture as it’s portrayed in the new Bridgerton TV series. This was a romantic time. Indeed, in those days people went about leisurely pursuits. Balls, luncheons and garden parties reigned supreme and romance was almost tangible. 

5 tips to get the English Regency home style

Bring a touch of indulgence into your rooms with these Bridgerton-inspired décor design ideas. It's easy – just add interior décor and Regency furniture. That will make your rooms look a little like the interiors in those glorious Regency buildings.

Bridgerton house - netflix

Regency home decor - a window view to their interior

Naturally, you'll find the enigmatic Bridgerton characters extremely dynamic. They will take your breath away. Stop for a moment to absorb their surroundings. The stunning Regency architecture, Regency style house plans that are showpieces by masters like John Nash.

1. Stripes and their uses in the Regency interiors

Take special note of the Regency furniture style in the décor. A plush chaise longue, the gorgeous Wedgwood hues in the Bridgerton's Regency drawing room.

They used pastel colours throughout the room, including soft greens, pinks, yellows and peach plus delicate blue. These have all been specially created to reflect the personality of the inhabitants of each Regency house featured in the series.

As seen at the Bridgertons, upholstery is in the same shade of hues as the rest of the room. They used only two colours of similar shades to fit in with the rest of the colour scheme.

Elegant and classic, the use of stripes is the perfect addition in any room. Indeed, it is a classy Regency feel given to any furniture in the form of upholstery or alternatively used on wallpaper. The Regency era was a mix of fun and playfulness, inspired by the exotic.

Add a touch of whimsy

In addition, when you design your home, make sure to be a little playful. Combine classic furniture with fun, colourful patterns or stick to the 1 or 2 hues that represent your personality and space.

Just like in Jane Austen's iconic novels, you will notice lots of brass inlays, gilded mirrors, mahogany and ebony furniture with elaborate carvings. There will also be lots of sabre leg chairs and decorative picture frames.

Stripes on sofa - Bridgerton
Stripes uphostery - Bridgerton

These pieces are all symbolic of the Regency interiors favoured by King George IV. He lived in the spectacular Royal Pavilion in Brighton which is featured in the latest Netflix series.

Now explore some beautiful stripe designs by independent designers, from classic single colour designs to colourful ones.

Seaside Stripes
By Speare_Creations
Seaside Stripes
By Speare_Creations

Now, for those who want to add more colour, use a stronger statement piece of furniture using bolder designs. Striped wallpapers come in many thicknesses and colours.

Another thing: interior design styles can be used in combination. You can have a Regency style home without the heavy feel of over ornamentation. You can use small highlights throughout the space and make it click. In fact, Regency style opens many doors and gives ideas of how fabrics and patterns are used. Remember to keep a bright white ceiling in every room to allow the space to feel lighter and brighter.

2.  Elegant wall design in Regency style

Explore the enchanting Regency interior wall design styles in the lavish settings featured on the screen as the series unfolds.

Regency ineriors floral wallpaper Bridgerton

Regency wallpaper can do wonders, as shown in this iconic TV series. Take a stylish wall featured in Bridgerton and make it your own

Perhaps make one wall into a feature using a gilded effect or gorgeous Regency-inspired pattern or print. Floral and nature designs were very popular and bring a sense of natural beauty within the space.

A Damask design is used within wallpaper panels in the Bridgerton estate. This was very popular within Regency interiors and is a returning trend. Take a look at the designs we've chosen below to give you an idea.

Niagra Blue Damask
By Adeledecor - wallpaper
Niagra Blue Damask
By Adeledecor
Folk Damask in Soft Teal
By diane-rooney - wallpaper
Folk Damask in Soft Teal
By diane-rooney

How to add a touch of romance

Walls are an excellent example of how you can create this romantic trend of the era. Choose vibrant colours. Or try using a simple Regency stripe design in a soft lilac or rosebud hue instead.

Blue Wildflower Stripe
By jhugginsdesign - wallpaper
Blue Wildflower Stripe
By jhugginsdesign
ssical royal blue
By irisblossompatterns -wallpaper
striped classical royal blue
By irisblossompatterns

Choose a wallpaper to recreate a modern Regency home décor style, or arrange pictures in a certain way on the wall. You can also make a desk look more interesting by adding interesting accessories with a touch of Regency class.

3.   Decadent tables

In Bridgerton’s sumptuous dining room table settings, remember: attention to detail is important. You'll notice this at tea time, for instance. They sometimes make this an elegant garden affair! Use subtle touches in tableware, table runners and beautiful tables to tell your style story.

You can recreate this look at summer lunches, picnics and dinners. Tables full of plates brimming with delicious food, placemats and napkins offset with old world crockery and cutlery. You’ll find a wealth of inspiration from gorgeous designs here.

Blue Rhapsody
By PatriciaSheaDesigns
Blue Rhapsody
By PatriciaSheaDesigns

Tea time - Bridgeton regency interiors

Golden Chrysanthemums
By TaraNealArts
Golden Chrysanthemums
By TaraNealArts

4.   Bedroom Regency interiors

Regency Interiors - Bridgerton
cushion- A Sprig of Orange
By PatternDotDesigns
A Sprig of Orange
By PatternDotDesigns
cushion - Entwined Ribbons - Gold
By andreaalice
Entwined Ribbons - Gold
By andreaalice

Think about it: Regency inspiration can guide you to transform your bed into a comfortable, luxurious space filled with style. Recreate the sumptuousness of the Bridgerton Regency period bedrooms. Simply throw on lots of cushions in soft tones or pretty floral patterns.

Forget minimalism. Look at adding a new touch of luxury with throw cushions, upholstery and trims. You can enhanced this even further by using Velvet ( or Eco Velvet) fabric.

pillow design Euphorbia
By MargaretClavell
By MargaretClavell
pillow design
Amori in aqua dot
By LilyOake
Amori in aqua dot
By LilyOake

Attention to detail

An English Regency home would pay attention to every detail. Linen should be lavish, in shades of soft gold, cream or white and quilts should be marshmallow-soft with damask coverings. The possibilities are as endless as the opportunities available.

pattern - Pink Rhapsody
By PatriciaSheaDesigns
Pink Rhapsody
By PatriciaSheaDesigns

The grand Empire-style spaces in all of these houses feature soothing, sumptuous colours that recreate the elegance and luxury of those bygone days.

4.   A touch of luxury in the Regency style

pattern dresses - Bridgerton

A perfect match for vibrant colourful pattern dresses. Pick the fabrics that express your personality and look radiant in a spring or summer walk between the blossoms.

Use light fabrics like Eco Satin Flow, Massey Crepe, Summer Voile or Organic Satin to create flowing summer pieces or Duchess Satin, Velvet or Heavy Satin for more sumptuous ballgowns or dresses.

Floral and Birds VIII
By BurcuKorkmazyurek -design
Floral and Birds VIII
By BurcuKorkmazyurek
Design 06-11-2020-16-03-34
By BurcuKorkmazyurek - design
Design 06-11-2020-16-03-34
By BurcuKorkmazyurek

5.   Regency interiors are all about the atmosphere

Regency interior design focuses on the atmosphere. This is what creates that dream-like quality. Convert your personal living spaces with lamps with soft lighting, lots of candles and diffusers. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’re transformed to the fairytale Regency period. 

The Regency period includes elegant furniture and accessories upholstered in stunning sumptuous fabrics, floral decorations and intricate wall mouldings.

The secret lies in the subtlety – classic pastel shades, soft patterns and embellishments that hint of luxury, grandness and affluence.

That’s the secret to Bridgerton décor and classical style. It’s not just about the look, it has become more about the ambience. This creates an atmosphere of leisurely, luxury living.

Add a modern touch

Yet you can keep those modern elements. It’s the way you incorporate luxury into your personal spaces that will offer that touch of modern Regency Bridgerton interior design. Explore more designs.

Regency interiors

The right way to recreate Regency interiors

Image credits: & maake

An Unforgettable Gift: Turn Your Letter Into a Fabric Keepsake

Picking a Valentine's Day gift that is memorable and thoughtful and will last a lifetime is not easy to find. No more boring Valentine’s Day cards. When Marie told us her story we knew we have to share it with you.

When my two-year-old opened my keepsake box I keep my letters in, I thought nothing of it. Little did I know, a few seconds later I hear her saying ‘sorry mummy’. I didn’t quite understand what she meant until I turned around and saw my letters soaking wet from her spilled water. I am the sentimental type; I keep letters and objects and that was heartbreaking. ‘But Mummy I wanted to wash them as you do with my clothes’ she said. Your clothes I thought? That’s brilliant! I picked my 3 most valuable letters and hung them to dry.“

I was inspired to create a keepsake letter out of digitally printed fabric, I just needed my patterns and my sewing machine and off I went! Now let me show you how.

How to turn your handwritten letter into a fabric keepsake?

  1. Photograph the letter
  2. Editing the letter - watch the video here.
  3. Download the fat quarter sewing pattern.
  4. Order your fabric.
  5. Let's get sewing.

These are the steps we're going to go through, so you can follow the video with ease. Other than that, don't worry - it's a really simple project.

Sewing skills needed: Beginner

Photoshop skill needed: Beginner (best to use Adobe Photoshop elements / Photoshop CC)

Print type: Digital textile printing

1. Photograph the letter

Firstly, grab your phone and make sure you are in natural light - you don’t want any phone shadows on your letter. Ideally you should scan the letter for optimal results, but who can find a scanner these days!

Got it? Now that you have your phone, lay the letter flat on the table and place your phone flat right above it and snap. Looking good? Snap a few just in case. If your letter is not flat, leave it overnight under the pile of books next to your bedside table - you know the ones you look at before you go to bed and think “oh I really want to read that, well tomorrow I won’t be so tired.”

Got the image? Send it to yourself by email, airdrop it - whatever works. Now it's time for some image edits.

2. Editing the letter

a. Open the image in Photoshop. You can just drag it onto the photoshop icon, or you can select File > Open and select the file from your computer.

Digital Fabric keepsake - open file in photoshop

b. You got this - you will probably see some shadows and some marks on your image. We want to clear all that up with some selection tools, otherwise it will be printed onto our fabric. That won’t look good at all! Ready to clean it up?

c. To make it more readable start by clicking Image > Auto Colour. The image should get a cleaner white look already.

Digital Fabric keepsake - clean up the image

d. Next, go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness / Contrast.

Digital Fabric keepsake - brightness contrast

e. Move the slider until it looks great.

Digital Fabric keepsake - move the slider

f. Make sure to tick the preview if it's not already on. That will help you see the changes in real time. You want to make it as bright as possible without losing the strength of the text and push the contrast enough to strengthen the text but stop before you start getting shadows on the background. You want the paper as white as possible.

Extra tip: The results depend on how you took the mobile picture. If you scanned, it will be easy to make it look sharp. Natural light is the best way to get the cleanest picture, so go outside and snap there.

g. Looking good! Now take the crop tool and crop the letter close to the text but allowing a border of white.

Digital Fabric keepsake - crop_1

h. Select the Magic Eraser tool and set the tolerance between 10 – 15 and click Contiguous off. Now click on the white areas and the paper background will disappear. Make sure to zoom in and ensure only the text remains. If your letters start to be affected, press back, reduce the tolerance, and go again.

Digital Fabric keepsake - magic eraser

i. The letter is ready. Go to File > Save as and save your keepsake letter as a jpg. Keep it open – we’re not done just yet.

3. Download the fat quarter sewing pattern

To make this tutorial as easy as it can be, we've prepared a template you can easily download.

a. Now you have it, open it in Photoshop. You are looking at a 65cm x 48cm canvas, which prints as Fat quarter. There is an allowance of 1cm for the seam. That will give us two final letters of 31.5cm x 23cm. You can always go bigger or smaller, just remember to keep your seam at 1cm.

Digital Fabric keepsake - open template

You can see the 5 layers set for you.

  • Cut lines
  • Hem/seam lines (you will need to delete this layer before you save your file)
  • Text (you will need to delete this layer before you save your file)
  • Letter
  • Design

b. Finished reading the text? Now delete that layer or you can make it invisible if you want to keep it handy.

c. Go back to your open letter and press ‘select all’ (⌘+A / Ctrl A), then ‘cut’ (⌘+X / Ctrl X) then click on the template tab. Make sure the ‘Letter’ layer is selected and paste (⌘+v / Ctrl V). The letter is now ready to be scaled. Size your letter within the guides.

Digital Fabric keepsake - insert text_1

Time to bring in the design that you picked for the other side of the letter. It can be a pattern, pictures, illustrations or another letter. The world is your oyster.

d. Open the image or design that you love and place it within the guides. You can also do File Open and pick the design from your computer. Repeat step 7. Select all, cut and paste. Make sure to paste on the ‘design’ layer. You can scale and crop (use rectangular marquee tool if needed) as you see fit and then place it on the other box within the guides. Make sure you are touching the red cut lines.

Digital Fabric keepsake - insert print_1

Extra tip: There is space for another letter or design. Never waste fabric - you can use that space for another letter – repeat steps 1-9 or you can add a design for another project you are working on in the remaining space. If you would like to use that half of the page for a one-piece pattern, simply delete the ‘cut line’ layer.

e. Once you are happy with your design, delete the hem lines layer and the text layer and flatten the image.

f. Click Layer > Flatten Image and it should all be on one layer now. The cut lines are still there and so is your letter and pattern.

Digital Fabric keepsake - extra letters

g. Last step before you save - Go to Image > Image Rotation > 90 clockwise. This is the format / direction we need the file to be to print your keepsake letter.

Digital Fabric keepsake - rotate

h. Time to save it, choose JPG or PNG – set your image options to Maximum.   

4. Order your fabric

Upload your design via the Fashion Formula ‘upload your design’ section and place your order! I recommend the Cotton Poplin as it has a lovely tight weave and it’s easy to sew.

Tip: If you want a cheaper option why not try the Calico (or the Organic Calico Natural from the organic cotton range. It has a beige colour base if you prefer a more aged, natural look).

Digital Fabric keepsake - upload your design - uploaded

Good to know: If you don’t have a design at hand or a picture that represents your vision, Fashion Formula has you covered. You can order any design from 10,000+ printing designers and we bet you will find your perfect match.

I used ‘Hand drawn flowers and floral Element 004 by Bluelela’ and Berries by Kate_Rina. For this tutorial as I couldn’t help myself - they are gorgeous.

You will need to order 2 fat quarters, one with the letter – follow step 1 -5 and go straight to upload on the website.

First fat quarter: No need for a template in this case, just create a file that is 65cm x 48cm. Centre and adjust the letter as you like.

Second fat quarter: Order the design on another fat quarter (you can adjust the scale of the design if you would like. Make sure you look at the rulers and scale accordingly) then just follow the same sewing tips as below.

5. Let’s get sewing!

You will need:

  • 1 fat quarter with printed letter and design (or two if you chose a print from our design community)
  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric scissors or rotary blade & cutting matt
  • Thread & pins
Fabric keepsake - you will need2

Your custom printed fabric is here! You barely waited, right? Shipping is typically only 2-4 days from order.

Cut over the cutting lines and you should have 4 pieces approx. 32.5cm x 24cm. Separate the 2 letters and the designs. Put one set aside for later. Now align them with the printed sides facing each other. Pin the 2 pieces together.

Fabric keepsake - cutting
Fabric keepsake - pinning_1

Remember the hem? Sew them together with a 1cm hem allowance, and make sure to leave around a 7-8cm open gap.

Don’t get distracted and sew it through, as you won’t be able to flip the fabric inside out.

Fabric keepsake - sewing

Now you need to flip it so that the printed side of the fabric is showing.

Just before you flip, cut the corners at a diagonal angle but be careful not to snip into the seam.

This will make the corners of your keepsake letter sit beautifully and reduce bulk from the seam.

Fabric keepsake - cut corners_1

Use something like a chopstick or the long side of a spoon worked for me to push the corners through the gap and turn the right side out.

Fabric keepsake - turn right way_1

There are two ways to finish your letter.

Option1 : For an invisible seam, hand finish the gap with a blind stitch

Option 2: For a beginner option, topstitch along the edge of your letter, making sure to close the hole.

There you have it! A love letter that will withstand the test of time! Children!

Fabric keepsake - topstitch
Fabric keepsake - angled letter

What is Poplin Fabric? All about poplin, cotton poplin and other fabric blends

Exactly what is poplin fabric? This material has to be one of the most versatile fabrics, pairing a soft consistency with a durable, resistant fibre.

So what is poplin fabric? We also call Poplin fabric 'tabbinet'. We make this plain-weave fabric out of cotton or a blend of cotton and polyester. It has very fine horizontal “ribs,” or threads. 

These yarns have a tight weave that allows the fabric to be strong and silky at the same time. No wonder we find poplin fabric literally everywhere!

If you are wondering what to use poplin fabric for, read on. We basically use it in all forms, shapes and sizes, from classic shirts and dresses to sportswear. We also use it for lining for home decor, bedding and raincoats.

Poplin fabric features a canvas weave that gives it a light, very fine ribbed texture with a soft drape. At the same time, because of poplin’s weave, it is incredibly durable. So you can use it to create tops, trousers or lightweight coats. This natural cotton material is your first choice to work with, as it’s a soft sewing fabric that performs impeccably in whatever design you’re going for.

How poplin fabric was made

Introduced back in the 15th Century in Avignon, France, poplin derives from the word “papelaine,” which refers to the papal town of Avignon and an obsolete fabric with a similar weave. Since then, this fabric has grown in popularity. Manufacturers replaced silk and wool with pure cotton. Now it’s a staple of day wear and elegant outfits - you can’t go wrong with sewing with poplin.

In those days, we made poplin out of silk and wool and used we used the fabric for winter attire. Today we manufacture high-quality poplin fabric from 100% natural cotton, or a mix of synthetic and natural fibres such as rayon, satin, silk and wool.

Poplin fabric characteristics

Poplin fabric has 7 distinct characteristics:

  1. Durable: Although sturdy, this material has a soft feel. This is why the fabric is a popular choice for summer clothing. It’s also water-resistant, which is a big advantage.
  2. Smooth: Poplin’s distinctive smooth texture make it easy to wash time and again. The fabric holds its shape and doesn’t crease or stain. It’s often used for homeware items such as tableware, quilts and light upholstery.
  3. Tight weave fabric: Poplin fabric is a plain weave material characterized by crosswise ribs. This means we weave it in a simple over-under pattern (contrary to the complex texture of weaves that are used for fabrics such as satin and twill). This gives the fabric its signature versatility and flowy texture. 
  4. Lightweight: Thanks to this tight weave, poplin is lightweight, which is why it’s a popular choice for summer garments, especially shirts for men and women. Because it’s thin, it can be a little transparent, so it often needs a lining or undergarment.
  5. Affordable: Manufacturing poplin is relatively inexpensive, compared to other natural materials. Obviously, the more luxurious fabrics like silk poplin will cost more.
  6. Ideal for warm climates: It’s crisp and lightweight and has a natural drape, and all those reasons make poplin perfect for summer wear. Clothing made from poplin is cool, breathable and dries quickly. 
  7. Great for printing: This fabric is made for printing on! In fact, it’s known for printing and dyeing extremely well. Its versatility makes it a great choice for a number of clothing and interior design products.

What do we use poplin for?

We have always used poplin for all occasions or purposes, because it’s so versatile. It combines durability and a sleek look, so it comes as no surprise it became the number one choice for women’s dresses.

In the 19th century, people started using poplin for upholstery as well, and in the Second World War, it was a common fabric choice for soldiers’ uniforms. Today, this extremely comfortable, durable fabric is a stylish choice for a number of different products.

Sewing material
Poplin is the perfect fabric for making dresses for kids and adults alike

PPoplin fabric has a nice drape, and since it’s 100% natural, it’s cool to wear. These properties have helped make poplin an excellent choice for all manner of clothing, from shirts and skirts to trousers and jackets as well as several homeware items. It’s an inexpensive fabric but highly performative. It’s subtly shiny, which adds an elegant appearance without looking too dramatic or overly formal.

How does poplin fabric print?

This fabric is a dream to print on. Its texture is so smooth it won’t cause any problems during the printing process, making it effortless and satisfying. It can also hold its shape quite well, is wrinkle-resistant, and your final product will be neat.

Because of the material’s structure, colour prints vibrantly on poplin. 

Whether you are a high fashion pro looking for your next signature look, you’re looking for your dream fabric for a made to measure dress or want to renovate your interiors; poplin fabric is an all-rounder. It’s an unproblematic, soft and elegant choice to explore your creativity together with impeccable high performance.

Pick the right poplin fabric

Shop maake’s selection of  poplin fabrics…

Cotton poplin fabric

This 100% cotton poplin fabric is perfect for shirts, dresses and light outer wear items. We also use it for bedding and crafts. Perfect for wearing year-round, it’s sturdy, lightweight and smooth with a plain weave. Sews beautifully and irons well, too. Print face and back are identical.

Stretch Poplin

Similar to cotton poplin (above), we make this popular lightweight fabric from 97% cotton and 3% elastane, which gives it a slight stretch. This makes it perfect for shirts and blouses as well as dresses and outerwear.    

Organic Poplin

Made from 100% GOTS cotton fabric, this classic lightweight material is the organic version of our cotton poplin dressmaking fabric. It’s the perfect choice for shirts and other crisp items of clothing. We also use it for dresses and outerwear.

Printing on maake's poplin fabric

We print on all our printed cotton poplin material in the most sustainable way possible, using special Digital Pigment inks. We use no water when printing on these fabrics and the printing process involves using about 95% less energy than traditional screen printing.

Create your own design

Design File Types for Fabric Explained: How to use different formats

File types for design explained

Planning to design for printing on fabric using digital technology? Here’s everything you need to know

The first thing you need to know before you print your design on fabric is how to save your files once you have created the design. 

What is a design file and why are these graphic file formats so important?

Editable file types are often a key part of your design process. They give your computer information about what they are and which format you have created them in. Graphic file types also inform you of which software you need to use to view and edit the graphics file. 

File types for design explained

Now, the graphics file format and sizes can also affect the quality of your design content. Some files are better for text, and some are better for an images, a logo or a photo. We have compiled information on different graphics formats of files you may use when you create your design project. Take a look…

Graphic file types

When you save your design, the format you use to create your design image will dictate the file type. 

  • JPEG: This is a most common image format. The image is a compressed raster (pixel-based) format used for photos and graphics. The compression levels are adjustable. JPEGs are perfect for all types of print projects. These raster images are ideal for editing and printing graphics, artwork and photos.
  • PNG file format: This is short for "Portable Network Graphics". One of the main reasons a designer may use a PNG image is that PNG images support transparency. This allows the designer to have a clear and transparent background on their graphics. This is rather than having a coloured background that can be tricky to remove.

We call the file compression of a PNG image ‘lossless’, which means there is no loss in the quality of the PNG image. These graphic image file formats are ideal to use on the web, but are not ideal for print. 

Information on other File Types

When we embark on designing for printing on fabric these are the image formats we usually discuss. This is by no means an exhaustive image format list, but it's a great place to start getting familiar with information about the different types of image files and to find out when to use them. 

  • AI - If you use Adobe Illustrator, AI (which translates to Adobe Illustrator) will be your default image format. Adobe Illustrator works well with vector graphics editing. AI files can be exported in another format such as PDF for printing and reviewing the image and TIFF or JPEG for web use and extra image editing.
  • PSD file format - If Adobe Photoshop is your software of choice, PSD (Photoshop document) will be your default image file format. Printers will usually not recognise graphics saved in this image format. You will need to export your image files into TIFF or JPEG before you print.
  • EPS – This image stands for "Encapsulated PostScript" which is a vector-based image file that is used to create high resolution graphics for print use. It is a universal file type which is a great advantage and can be used in different software, unlike other files. These image files are not ideal for photographs or artwork.
  • TIFF- A large raster image file. These image files produce a high-quality image for printing. All the original data is always maintained no matter how many times you copy or compress these quality graphics files.

The main difference between TIFF and PSD image files is the size limits. Tiffs can handle over 2GB. TIFFs are extremely high quality raster images that we usually use to print high-quality photos. You should avoid these quality raster image files if you're creating files for the web because of their huge size. We create both of these image files in Photoshop.

Which Graphic Image File Format should You Choose?

We’ve given you the list of the most frequently used graphics files used by fabric designers. There are plenty more, which designers create in Photoshop and other formats. We divide these files into 2 separate groups of files. 

The most important thing to remember is that, when a designer creates a pattern, they save the graphic in a particular format that is an image file. Each image file format has a specific use – and using the right file format for your print project will help in making sure your designs or graphics print clearly and with vivid colours. 

Certainly, the type of fabric you choose to print on will decide the end result of the print job. But knowing upfront about your file format will make all the difference to your final product.

A designer uses graphic image files in 2 distinct file formats, the raster format and the vector graphics file format. We have mentioned these graphics file formats already, but let’s explain them in detail so you will be more familiar with them.

Raster File Formats

These image raster images are: JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, RAW and PSD.

We make Raster image files in Photoshop. We create each image file from a set grid made of dots that we call pixels. Each pixel is a different colour. When you create these image files in Photoshop, they exist at one particular size. If you want to edit raster images to make the raster files larger, you will have to stretch the raster format’s pixels. And this is where the term ‘pixelated’ comes from – when making the raster image too big, it becomes pixelated, and isn’t clear. It’s best to rather leave the raster image at its original size, rather than try to enlarge it.

Raster files are usually the format we use to save photographs, graphics, digital designs (like patterns to print on fabric or a logo) and some web graphics and designs for social media and emails using Photoshop. We use Adobe Photoshop to create, design and edit these high quality raster images. We also use Adobe Photoshop to add specific effects to these raster images like texture and shadow or to edit the original images.

Printing Raster Files

We’ve discussed the colour models RGB and CMYK in depth in our blog on Colour Theory (read it here). These are the 2 models we use in colour printing. For CMYK we use 4 colour inks (cyan, magenta, yellow and black), while for RGB we only use the primary colours red, green and blue – these RGB shades reflect the exact colours we see on the screen; this is why we often use this format for creative web design for marketing and advertising purposes. On the other hand, CMYK can create a whole kaleidoscope of gorgeous quality colours for your images or high resolution logo. We can mix both colour models together to create numerous other colours.

The Vector Image File Format

These files are: PDF, EPS, SVG and AI

Vector images describe digital artwork that we have created on computer – almost like a vast mathematics equation that transforms various shapes into art. Vector images depend solely on resolution. This means that if you increase or reduce the size of a vector image, it won’t lose its clarity or detail. We use the vector format a lot for format setting, or creating and editing a logo and digital illustrations in Adobe Illustrator (AI files), but not in Photoshop.

Important Factors when Creating Files

  • File Resolution

For printing, you require a file of a reasonable quality, with a minimum file resolution of 150dpi (50 dots per inch or DPI). 

  • File Size

This determines the size of the final print on the product. 

If you have more questions about graphics, designs, patterns or images, you can always get in touch with our designer team who will be more than happy to help.

Once you have chosen the fabric you are going to print your pattern or images on, it’s a good idea to find out about how to print on fabric, which will explain maake’s printing processes.

What's next?

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Using the Colour Atlas

We Match Your Colours

How to Pick the Right Fabric for Your Project?

An Introduction to Colour Theory and the Colour Wheel

Colour theory gives you the definitive guide to color so that you can print your designs clearly

To understand the processes of color matching for your fabric printing project we first want to explain the basics of color theory.

Creating aesthetically pleasing prints often begins or ends with color. Evoke emotions and creativity with color and color palettes.

What is Color Theory?

Yes, it’s another rule book – the introduction to colour theory. But where would we be without guidelines? Colour theory is like a textbook that outlines all the points designers need to use color effectively. It’s a collection of information about color: how we see color, the psychology of different shades, how color is different according to our cultures and much more.

Developed many years ago, this concept is a science and art unto itself; it puts color into perspective and gives it a structure.

Look at it as the collection of rules and guidelines which designers use to communicate with users through appealing color schemes in visual interfaces.

Why you need to know about color 

Research has shown the importance of color choices when it comes to marketing your brand. In fact, “People decide whether or not they like a product in 90 seconds or less. 90% of that decision is based solely on color,” according to the online graphic design marketplace 99designs

That’s why you need to worry about color in your small business! Having a background in this concept can help your marketing; it can help build your brand and get more sales. All you need is the basic know-how about colors, color schemes and which color works best when it comes to evoking specific feelings. 

Positive reactions based on the color scheme will make your brand stand out and help you sell your products. For instance, we associate yellow with happiness and blue with dependability (think about how many banks and insurance companies have blue logos!). That’s where this theory comes in…

Let us help you brand your company – read on and find out all about color theory.

What exactly is color?

We all perceive color in a specific way. We learn that early in Imagine you’re looking at a stretch of green grass. Your eyes send information to your brain telling us that the grass is green.

That's how the light reflects the light waves. Every color has different combinations of light waves, which we translate into specific colors. 

We create different colors by mixing wavelengths or light waves of different intensities, for instance red and yellow make orange, blue and yellow green, and so on. We get bright colors by adding more light.

Now imagine you’re in a store looking for a tin of cold drink. How do your eyes land on the Coke tin? It’s because it's a red tin. Coke sells billions of cans with its iconic red and white brand colors.

The Basics of Color Theory

A discipline about color was first developed by Sir Isaac Newton in the year 1666. Since his first creation, the color wheel has changed over time; modern versions feature several variations.

The colour theory behind the wheel? It contains pure colors that build the basis of all colors. You can change each color on the wheel by mixing it with white, black, or black and white.

It’s important to understand exactly how the color wheel works. And you need to know which colors harmonise together, and which colors don’t. Let’s take a look…

Interpreting the color wheel

The wheel is a set of color rules that help us understand how different colors behave and interact with each other. 

There are three primary colors: red, yellow and blue. We combine these colors to make secondary colors. So, blue and yellow make green, red and yellow make orange and red and blue make purple (we create these colors created by mixing those primary colors together). There are also 6 tertiary colors. We create these shades by combining primary and secondary colors. They include blue-green, red-violet and others.

If you draw a line down the middle of the color wheel image, you’ll find warm and cool colors. Notice that the warm colors (orange, red and yellow) are on one side, and the cool colors (purple, greens and blues) are on the other side.

Now here’s something you may not know: color has a temperature. So we divide the wheel into cool and warm colors. Think about the psychology of color. You'll notice that warmer colors are equated with energy, movement and brightness, while cooler colors symbolise calm and tranquillity. Now you can imagine how you can change your brand’s message to paint a picture by using a specific set of colors!

colour theory explained

Hue, tint, shade and tone

The 4 elements of hues, tones, tints and shades make up the 4 basic parameters for colors. By combining them we are able to create a limitless amount of colors. Check this out…

·      Hue: It’s another word for ‘color’ and it explains the different colors we find on the color wheel. 

·      Tint: This is a color on the wheel that has white added to it. For example, purple and white make lavender and red and white make pink.

·      Shade:  Here we have a hue where black has been added to a color on the color wheel. A shade is a dark version of an original color. So, a combination of black and blue will give navy blue. 

·      Tone: This particular hue is a color on the color wheel which has had black and white (which make gray) to it. Adding white and black results in a muted, less intense tone of the original color. In this example, if you blend red and grey, you will get a muted, dull red.

A color scheme for patterns and designs

The colour combinations you use to create a design or pattern will change the way your customers perceive your product or brand. Let’s take a look at the different color scheme options, so that you can make patterns that will be particularly appealing:

·      Analogous colors: These colors sit next to each other on the color wheel, for example purple, blue and green or yellow, orange and red. This maximises the contrast between the colors.

·      Complementary colors: These are contrasting, opposite colors on the color wheel, examples would be red and green or yellow and purple. We usually use 2 complementary colors.

·      Monochramatic colors: This is where you take one color, or hue, and make other shades or tints from it. 

·      Split complementary color scheme: These colors are created by adding colors from either side on the color wheel of the 2 complementary colors you have chosen. This will soften the contrast between the two complementary colors.

·      Square colors: Similar to tetradic colors (see below), this color scheme involves 4 colors that are evenly set apart on the color wheel, approximately 90 degrees apart. This color mix works well when you use all 4 colors evenly.

·      Tetradic colors: This color scheme involves 4 color ways – 2 sets of complementary colors, for example yellow, orange, blue and violet. Creations made from these colors will be rich and unique.

·      Triadic colors: These 3 bright, dramatic colors are equidistant on the color wheel, ie about 120 degrees apart. When you use triadic colors together, they offer high contrast and create a harmonious accent. This color scheme creates extremely appealing designs.

What to look out for when combining colors together

It’s very important that you use colour theories to get the right colour mix so that your designs, logo’s etc are appealing to your target audience. 

1.     When it comes to color, we do this through contrast. If the contrast is correct, your audience will be attracted to your product. 

2.     Vibrancy is very important. The color you choose needs to create a positive emotional response. The more vibrant the colour, the more likely you are to achieve the response. Of course, you do need to know your target audience at the outset to get the right response.

3.     Take color-blindedness into account. Many people are color blind and don’t see red and green color the way they really are. 

4.     Think about the culture of your audience. Make sure that the color has positive associations for your audience. Color has very different meanings. It’s important to know about colors, particularly how people see them in Eastern and Western cultures. For instance, Chinese people consider red to mean good fortune, while Americans associate the color with danger.

How to create harmony in your design or logo

Colour theory teaches us the science of color. It also gives us a background in the art of how using color effectively. This article already explains how humans perceive color and how we can mix colors together to create different effects.

But it’s also important to understand the effects different colors have on each other. Harmony involves blending warm and cool colors to reflect your message and depict your brand’s personality.

Designers often use the additive color models for visual designs; this involves the 3 primary colors: red, blue and green. They use this color model to create the design that will appeal to the audience. They also do this so so that they can use design extensively. 

Your end goal when it comes to color and color theory is to use color to reflect the personality of your brand and also to get a positive reaction from your target audience. 

The primary color settings 

There are 2 basic primary color settings – RGB and CMYK. 

·      RGB: Color is an essential part of human-computer interaction. We make RGB from 3 primary colors – blue, green and red, which are the colours we see on our computer, TV and mobile phone screens. We also combine those RGB colors to create other colors that we see on our screens. Remember: we always use RGB colors for screens.

·      CMYK: We make these colors using a combination of 4 primary colors - cyan magenta yellow and black (key). Printers mostly use CMYK – we use this setting for signage, magazines, printing on fabrics etc. The reason is simple: you can make other color combinations on fabric using those 4 colors. CMYK printing is how colors print bold, clear and vibrant.

Why is Color Important for Fabric Printing?

Our eye can see billions of colors. Your screen can display millions. The best fabric printer can make thousands.

So, when it comes to designing your ideal fabrics for your project or company, choosing the right color can make or break your printing results. 

Setting up your design files with the correct color settings will definitely affect the way the color may print. You’ll find out how to do that on our website when you upload a file for printing.

How to use the maake Color Atlas

We created our iconic color atlas using more than 2,400 colors and their color codes. We have designed this atlas to fit on 1m of fabric so that you can see exactly how you will see a particular color when we print it on fabric. 

The color atlas gives designers the opportunity to select particular colors to use when printing patterns. It is essential for color matching and color selection. 

Once you have done your color matching and selection, we always recommend that customers get a sample print from our color sample book. It features swatches of our 80 base fabrics that you can print on. Order a sample of your design to see exactly what the design and color choice will look like on your choice of fabric once we have printed it. 

It’s time to print color on fabric

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Choose from our library of 15,300 designs

Create your own design

Design Tips : How to create Patchwork in Photoshop

Today, making a colourful patchwork piece doesn't take hours of sewing in material leftovers.

You can let your imagination go loose and create the most wonderful combinations with some fabric printing. The most important step is to create a playful design using Photoshop.

It may be easy for an advanced Photoshop user, but to a rookie, this patchwork photoshop tutorial will come in handy.

Step by step photoshop patchwork tutorial

1. Open a square RGB

Open a square RGB with 150 dpi ( on this example 60 cm x 60cm as the 20cm square size is visually engaging)

 2. Create 4 guides

Create 4 guides to place the 9 square designs. Go to View, New guide … Choose orientation horizontal, position : 20 cm.

Repeat with horizontal 40cm, vertical 20cm, vertical 40cm. You should have 9 perfect 20cm squares :

3. Place the squares into slots

Place the 9 different squares into their different slots. Open the square design in Photoshop, with the tool Move (v), drag the design into the patchwork file. It will create a new layer that you can rename. Open the Properties window by going to View, Properties. It will show the size of your design in the patchwork. Change the X to 20cm, Click on the link pixel width and height if it isn’t active. It will change H to 20 cm as well. Place the design on the first slot.

Repeat the same action for the 9 different designs. Your patchwork should look like this.