Design Process: Making of the Spotted Deer Print

All Safomasi prints are inspired by our travels around the world. It’s a long process. We travel and gather inspiration and ideas, before coming back to the studio and spending weeks (often months!) drawing prints and patterns that tell the story of our experience. In this series of posts we wanted to take you behind the scenes of our Tiger Safari Collection with an insight into the design process of the Spotted Deer print. 

Inspired by Deer in the Forest

The prints in our Tiger Safari Collection were inspired by Pench National Park in Madhya Pradesh, India. Even if you don’t spot a Tiger you’re guaranteed to see Spotted Deer roaming in the forest and meadows. This scene unique to Pench. If you’ve been to other National Parks (like Ranthambore, Kanha and Bhandavgarh), you’ll surely have seen them too!

Designing the Spotted Deer Print

We looked at the landscape and started by sketching a very rough composition. We wanted to capture the watering holes, rolling meadows and forest, with Spotted Deer dotted amongst the trees. Sarah draws directly into photoshop with her wacom. Once she has an idea of a layout she refines the illustration, adding in details and making sure the repeat works.

Sampling The Print

Once we have the finished design the colours are separated for screen printing. Each colour is printed on a separate layer, so each one requires a separate mesh screen. The Spotted Deer print has 6 colours, so that means 6 screens! We select a Pantone shade for each colour as a reference to work to. It’s then a process of trial and error to get the colours exactly right. Once the fabric is cured (passed through a machine to heat set the print) the colours can change slightly so we’ve always got to wait to see it at that stage as that’s when we know what the final print looks like.

Printing The Design

The next stage is to print the full run of fabric. Fabric is laid out on long tables and markers are placed so the printers know where to position the screens. All our designs are screen printed by hand and we love this creates small variations in the printed fabric.

Stitching Spotted Deer

After printing, the fabric comes back to our studio where we work on selecting trims and details and stitching up final pieces.

Spotted Deer Quilt

We paired the Spotted Deer Print with Arid Earth, a pattern inspired by dry, cracked earth, to make quilts, and cushions. We used a brown leopard spot print for piping and edging.

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