There was much to enjoy about making the cushion covers for the couch. Moving on from plywood to work with another material, attempting to sew for the first time since I was in school, sourcing foam and finding a suitable fabric with a pattern that would match the frame. I knew the cushions would make or break the whole piece of furniture. I also wanted to explore the possibilities of digital printing onto fabric.
My initial plan was actually to choose a patterned fabric from somewhere and ask an upholsterer to make the covers. When the quotes came in at about $450 just for the labour, I thought it was worthwhile (and more fun) to tackle the it myself.
After spending hours in Spotlight and on various websites I couldn’t find a pattern I was happy with. Like with many things, I wasn’t happy enough with what already existed in the world, so I took up the challenge of making something of my own to add to it. Through online research I saw that companies now offer digital printing onto fabric, so with Adobe Illustrator at the ready, I started coming up with ideas.
I wanted a pattern with at least a subtle link to something native Australian, which feels fresh and with a balance of detail and simplicity to complement that of the frame.
I thought I could use triangles to represent shapes to echo the angular aspects of the frame. I drew sketches of kangaroo paw in an attempt to convert them into a pattern. These didn’t work.
Eventually I honed in on the idea of using a silhouette pattern so I searched for pictures of Australian native plants and flowers but I had a hard time finding one in a form that could be made into a silhouette. Eventually I found a picture of a fake young eucalyptus branch that was perfect - I guess only people selling a manufactured eucalyptus branch would make the effort to take a photo with it arranged so nicely on a white background.
After a lot more work processing and developing this in Illustrator, I ended up happy with the pattern I’d designed:
I was now ready to use it for my couch design.