From pattern to product

Published: 05/02/2018

Patternsfrom Agency sell rights to use ready made patterns both on an exclusive and non-exclusive term. Also the designers make patterns by a customer brief. A third way for us to operate is to fix ready made patterns according to customer’s wishes. We want to tell you how designer Ilana Vähätupa‘s Pihlat transformed from pattern to product in Japan.

1. Idea of a pattern

Ilana lives in Salo, in a small city between Helsinki and Turku. Her working space is located in the same house where she lives. The wild nature, one of Ilana’s source of inspiration, is just outside her window as she sits by her desk.

While both agents and all designers were preparing for Heimtextil 2016 as crazy, Ilana had a walk in the nearby forest and decided to draw one more pattern to her Heimtextil 2016 collection, one with sorbus tree leaves. She drew a sketch by hand and finalized the pattern with her computer for the pattern to be in repeat.

2. Catching the eye

In January 2016 a hectic week at Heimtextil was in its half when a delegation of Japanese businessmen stopped at Patternsfrom Agency’s booth. Ilana’s yellow pattern with sorbus tree leaves had caught their eye.

3. Re-designing for the purpose

Despite that the pattern was appealing, it was not perfectly suitable for its end use: the production method did not tolerate empty areas of color, so they needed to be filled. Ilana knew immediately what was missing – sorbus berries and birds feasting with the berries. The pattern was sent to the customer for an approval.

4. Fixing the colors

The areas were filled now, and the customer was happy. As the pattern was coming out for the Christmas season, the colors had to be fixed still. Ilana did two colorways with light tones and two with dark tones, in pink and blue.

5. From pattern to product

Finally, the customer received the final versions of the pattern as production ready, layered data files in the end of March. As the sampling, pre sales and production itself generally takes quite a long time, the final products, bed sheets, were launched at customer’s showroom in October for the Christmas season 2016. The bed sheets are sold in Japan still – check out Dinos and the availability of Ilana’s Pihlat.