From Creative Concept to Final Fabric: Our Textile Design Process
Blog • March 15, 2023
At Pallas, we proffer the greatest care and attention to detail throughout every phase of our design process.
Embarking on the design journey for each new collection turns into a sophisticated story of art and industry intertwined, of weaving a designer’s imaginative vision into tangible textiles for commercial interior spaces.
But what does it really take to launch a new Pallas collection?
Explore the process behind our purposeful and pulchritudinous designs with leaders Dean Lindsley and Géraldine Blanchot Fortier. In this interview-style exposé, they take us behind the scenes of the creative process for our handcrafted patterns, textures, and colors.
What inspires the design of a new Pallas collection?
Géraldine Blanchot Fortier: To begin the design process, there needs to be a spark of inspiration. Through focusing on tactility and leveraging the technical aspects of weaving, I like to think about what kind of story we can tell by using unique constructions. I’m inspired by designs that are altogether beautiful and simple.
The concept of Cirque, for instance, originated early in the pandemic. I wanted to craft a collection that would exude happiness and speak to bringing people back together. Dean and I spoke about Cirque du Soleil – about the emotions attached to the show and the attention to detail. We felt this detail-oriented design approach offered a striking similarity to the Pallas brand identity.
How does an initial concept become a final textile?
Blanchot Fortier: Many artists have an initial creative concept and design from within that theme. Our process at Pallas is quite the opposite. We often let the collection evolve and become what it wants to be throughout the design journey.
We love artistic freedom. We don’t demand perfection from the very beginning; instead, we focus on craftsmanship. And craft is not always about the end goal. It’s truly about the process itself.
With my experiences working at a textile mill, I can envision how the end result can be translated through the development process. This is often the most exciting and rewarding aspect of the design journey for me.
Dean Lindsley: Géraldine also contemplates the various layers of design. Is this concept meant for a woven or a non-woven textile? What construction can bring this artistic intent to life? I find that to be the most intriguing part of the entire design process. It’s the most critical as well.
How do you choose which textile mills to pursue?
Lindsley: We’re constantly challenging ourselves to look at the landscape of mills and identify new relationships. Pallas partners with a core group of mills, and Géraldine has an intimate knowledge of each of their yarns and construction capabilities. We also look to align with mills that are willing to go beyond their current toolbox.
Blanchot Fortier: For example, I’m in conversation with one of our primary mills to discuss augmenting its color palettes. Since Pallas has been such a strong partner to this mill over the years, there’s openness to these requests. However, we know it can be a huge undertaking for a mill to build more colors within its palette, so we want to make sure we propose an addition that’s mutually beneficial.
Lindsley: One of the core pillars of the Pallas brand is timelessness. While we’re always pushing the envelope, any additional color needs to have a timelessness to it as well. I know our mill partners appreciate that. And so, it becomes a collaborative process.
What factors influence your final color compositions?
Blanchot Fortier: Color selection is a delicate balancing act. We seek to create original design stories through our textiles while still appealing to interior designers and their discerning tastes. While navy and grey hues are safe and necessary, they often don’t represent the full story or range of our crafted compositions.
When it comes to color, there’s a purposefulness in our process. We essentially let the patterns tell us what colors they want to be, rather than following a formula. This organic freedom results in compelling design stories that underlie our success.
What are the critical stages of your design and production process?
Blanchot Fortier: After we finalize a design concept on paper, we meet with various textile mills to identify constructions that take our designs to the next level. Once we’re pleased with the vision of the physical composition, we collaborate with the selected mills until the final textile output is completely satisfactory.
After constructions are determined, we develop our color stories. We initially aim for broad-stroke color palettes, but we’re also not afraid to step away from the original color concepts, regardless of where we’re at in the process. This is our opportunity to strategically design stories that can be told within interior spaces through the use of color.
Once finalized, we fashion names for the patterns and colors. This creative process is another way in which we communicate the design story of our textiles.
We then look forward to sharing the comprehensive narrative of our new collection. To bring the collection to life, we engage a team of storytellers who creatively extend the vision of our original concept through the lens of our final product with stylized imagery and brand collateral.
What’s the secret—or most special element—in your process?
Blanchot Fortier: The final reveal is so special. The creative process is strategically shaped throughout the entire design journey, and seeing how the initial design inspiration ultimately comes to life brings such joy and fulfillment.
When I receive a production sample of a new textile from the mill—the first iteration of one of my design concepts—I’m elated. I open that box with such eager anticipation, like a child opening a present. Even if the sample isn’t perfect or not quite where it needs to be yet, it doesn’t diminish that initial experience with a new fabric design.
Lindsley: For me, our secret lies in uncovering a truly unique, one-of-a-kind story. Each collection is unique and fresh, featuring patterns that strike with never-before-seen intrigue.
As we release our new collection to the public, we share a video to give our audience an exclusive taste of the creative process. That moment is the most satisfying because it brings the entire design process to life.
Defining Pallas Textiles By Our Process
Our design journey results in sophisticated, stylish, timeless textiles that continually evolve in color, pattern, and texture. View the video below to hear Dean and Géraldine describe the crafted culmination of our textile design process.