We recently had the pleasure of attending a Duralee presentation at the Designers’ Buying Group in Jupiter, FL, in which Eileen Kathryn Boyd, a designer for Duralee fabrics, discussed the process of creating new fabric designs. We gained an entirely new perspective on the process and appreciate all of the work that goes into preparing a new line.
Eileen saved paintings and ideas for 15 years before approaching Duralee about creating a line. With 20 years of experience, a Fine Arts Degree, and 15-20 completed showhouses, she understood fabrics from a designer’s perspective as well as an artist’s. Hers became the first Duralee licensed collection.
People sometimes get so involved with the way a fabric looks; the color, the pattern, the repeat, that they underestimate the importance of the way a fabric feels. It was interesting to hear that the first thing Eileen did when sorting through a myriad of fabrics that were presented to her, was to close her eyes and touch all the fabrics. They had to meet all the senses.
Many of her designs are influenced by what she finds at textile shows. She buys pieces and pattern ideas that inspire her. From an initial piece, the fabric takes on a new life of its own.
One example of this flourished from the contemporary inspiration painting of a flower. Eileen first took the flower and created a purple color scheme around it, then added a leopard print to the background. Finding further inspiration from a Warhol painting, she outlined the flowers in a particular fashion. The end result is a fabulous pattern that will debut later this year, in July.
To Eileen, the process is very artful. It involves a lot of back and forth between she and the design department, and lots of tweaking, “like cooking,” she explained.
Here are a few of Eileen’s designs from her first collection. You can get an idea of which memory pieces carry through the fabrics. She’ll be taking some inspiration from her previous line when her next one debuts. We look forward to see all of the new patterns!