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How to fake sun-faded florals

Vintage trends are hot at the moment. Every influencer worth her Chanel slingbacks has frolicked in a pretty frock that looks pre-loved.

Longina Phillips Designs for By Malina

From delicate Liberty-inspired ditties to bohemian William Morris flowers, decades old, sun-faded fashion will be this summers must-have.

Designer Lyndsay explains how to recreate the look, no time capsule required.

1. Get inspired

Look at reference books to source original prints from the 70s and 80s, visit vintage stores to get your hands on the real thing, or keep an eye on brands such as Zimmerman, Etro, Tigerlily and Ulla Johnson, who do gorgeous vintage ethnics.

2. Choose typical tones

“Colour is key!”Lyndsay says.  “Soft pastels with a pop of pink or yellow to draw the eye work well in a vintage ditsy, or go for beautiful washed out earthy tones.” A muted colour palette can completely change the look of your design from right now to retro, she adds.


Struggle with colours? Steal our pre-made palettes for polished and professional designs that look instantly current.


3. Add a weathered texture layer

A faded fabric overlay texture can ‘age’ your print instantly. “You want to achieve the look of a fabric that’s worn out from years of love and washing,” she explains.

Source your texture from a stock photo library or make one using a non-printed fabric. To do this, scan your fabric and create a repeat from it so that it can fit over your whole design.

Place the texture over your design and then use a layer filter (go to the drop down menu inside the Layers window) to apply the texture to your design. Lyndsay has used the Soft Light filter here, but suggests you experiment with few different ones as there’s lots of effects you can achieve.

Have fun faking your vintage designs!

How are you going with Photoshop, anyway?

Is there an area we can train you up in, specifically? Throw us a line over here, and we’ll wind your reply into upcoming content. If your answer to the former is ‘Oh my god, I don’t know where to begin,’ you’re not alone. We’ve all felt overwhelmed by this complex program at one time or other, which is exactly why we’ve set up THE BEST Photoshop courses for textile designers who want to fast-track their careers and learn how WE commercial designers actually work.

Hint: it’s more time efficient and job-specific than textbook Photoshop.

Studio Workshop: Watercolour Florals for Textile Design. 19th October 2019


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