Textile pattern as a form of communication

April 5, 2018

 

We at A&L are passionate about textile patterns. In addition to being an important tool for us in communicating our customer's brand narrative, the world of pattern art is an endless source of inspiration, that we'd like to share with you.
 

Photo: Jendrek Prusak, Peru 2006

 

Textile pattern as a form of communication

The history of using textile patterns as a media is probably as long as the history of textiles itself. Through history, knitted, woven and printed patterns in garments have had a purely aesthetic purpose, but also an important communicative role as an extension of spoken and written language.

Narrative is filtered through the expression of a pattern designer. The aesthetic attraction of a beautiful pattern is set to lure your attention, and open the gate for a deeper thought, a story, an emotion, an opinion, a political or social standpoint, or a marketing message. 

The history of fashion is coloured with textile pattern art people have used to expressed their thoughts and feelings with. Men in the Inca culture, and modern Peru have used knitted caps to communicate their profile and marital status. Their life story written in beautiful knit ornament, easily accessed by potential partners. 

In Irish folklore, clans adopted Aran knit sweaters as a symbol of their clan. Knit patterns were safeguarded within families and passed down generation to generation. Communication with Aran knit patterns is deeply rooted in the history of Irish social structures.

The history of mankind is full of fascinating examples of textile prints and patterns used as a communicative tool.

 

Spring/summer 2013 "Greenwash". Photo: Jan Burchard / Indie Magazine

 

The modern tribal culture

The role of communication in textiles has probably even increased through the history. Modern streetwear culture is scattered with codes referring to different subcultures, music genres and groups of people, who share a social bond, just like in the tribal culture of our ancestors.

Merchandise is probably one of the most obvious textile based forms of communication in our time. The basic logo t-shirt is a template for a banderol - a highly efficient media for letting other people know, that you are aware of the value, that a certain brand stands for. The logo t-shirt also enables you to confirm, whether a complete stranger is part of your "tribe". The communicative attribute of the basic logo t-shirt has even surpassed in importance the initial purpose of a garment; to protect, cover, keep you warm, and make you look attractive. 

 

A relationship with patterns

Communicating narrative with printed, and knitted artwork has been a core part of our design expression since long before Apparel & Lovers. Ranging from a collaboration we did with Artist Jenni Hiltunen, to a critical design collection commenting on the superficiality found in the environmentalism of today, prints and patterns have always bound together the core message of our collections.

Greenwash collection

 

 

A concept print collection inspired by modern architecture.
Above: A knit pattern inspired by Mies Van Der Rohe, glass skyscraper concept. 2011


Modern architecture inspiration

 

  

A concept print collection inspired by modern architecture.
Above: A knit pattern inspired by Mies Van Der Rohe, glass skyscraper concept. 2011


Artist collaboration with Jenni Hiltunen

 

Jenni Hiltunen. Pink Mania, video 3:47 min. 2009

 

The Royal Academy of Arts

 

The Royal Academy of Arts, artist Rose Wylie capsule collection. Apparel & Lovers 2017

 

The National Museum of Art

 

 

 

 

The National Museum of Finland logo pattern, Apparel & Lovers 2015. Photo: Kristiina Männikkö/
The National Museum of Finland

 

Substance is the core essence of pattern design. You need to have something to say in order to create print pattern art that stands out. Beautiful garments with graphical print patterns will turn your message in to a 4D experience - something your audience can live.

We bring creativity and skill of fashion design to the marketing communication of your brand. We offer you our expertise in the language of fashion, for making your value proposition tangible.

Would you like to find out, what would your brand narrative look like, distilled to a beautiful collection of print garments? Let us know. We can illustrate some ideas for you free of charge.
 

 

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