Nomads Local Print Designer
Designing surface patterns for print is something I love doing. And seeing print designs come to life in the 'real world' is a thrill. There's little that beats walking into a shop and spotting a rail of clothing made from a fabric that I've designed, apart from maybe wearing the clothes myself and seeing others in them too.
There's a lot of variation in my working life, which always keeps things interesting. I'm often inspired by plants and flowers in my garden or the surrounding area. I live on the beautiful North Cornwall coast, and working with a Cornwall-based, fair-trade clothing brand is a privilege.
Franca Westaway Design
When I begin a design I will often spend some time talking with Kate, the Senior designer at Nomads, look at a range of ideas, collected images and maybe a colour story that are the starting point for that season's collection. Fabrics, print designs and colours are one of the earliest stages of the design process for a clothing range. Once I have an idea of what Kate might be looking for I will draw and paint motifs and pattern ideas, mainly by hand using inks and watercolours. Next these get transferred into my computer, where the fun really begins. Digital software enables me to put motifs together, change scale, colour, background, add in other elements and generally play with patterns until I come up with a selection of ideas that I am happy with. The Nomads team will then decide if there is something that they feel is right for that season. It's always a pleasure to hear that they want one of my designs.
Working freelance like this also allows me to produce my own design collections and I produce and sell ethically sourced fabrics, cushions and silk scarves as well as working on commissions and individual projects with customers. I sell through my website www.francawestaway.com and through selected galleries, shops and events. This Autumn I'm lucky enough to have been selected to show at Make 2020, the designer/maker event running from the beginning of November at Devon Guild of Craftsmen at Bovey Tracey and online.
Franca's Top Pick
I have always loved the womenswear range from Nomads, I've got some pieces that are years old now and still going strong, so it's a pleasure to work with them now as a freelance print designer. This season's collection featuring my 'Gypsy' print is great. I'm especially enamoured with the cotton cord 3/4 sleeve tunic dress - gorgeous fabric and a really flattering cut.