Goodwill Design Sequence – Prints

by Henry Galvin, Seattle Goodwill
December 18, 2013

Vintage Print

Choosing textiles for interior spaces doesn't have to be tricky, nor does it have to be expensive. My rule is, don't worry about the rules. Instead go with what you like, unless you don't trust what you like, then get help from a friend or just stick with the basics.

If you're lacking ideas, take a look online or at some design magazines for inspiration (the international ones are best). You may also want to research current or past designers. A few I recommend include:

Orla Kiely
Alexander Girard
Suki Cheema
Susan Collier
Sarah Campbell

Eventually try to decide on a color palette or style and group your ideas together so it becomes cohesive. If your place is neutral then it's easy, just use color and pattern for accents. And if your color palate is decided by whatever you can get for a bargain, then things become very simple and possibly the most fun way to go.

Depending on your needs Goodwill can offer quite an array of fabrics to choose from. Frequent trips are best because the good stuff can go fast.

If you’re selective with prints you choose, vintage fabrics can be current and timeless. It all depends on the environment or overall theme.

One simple yet effective way to utilize a quality textile is to put it on a basic wooden frame. Pictured directly below is a large scale (over 4ft tall) Marimekko fabric by Katsuji Wakisaka.  

One last thing, it's good to start with small projects. That way you aren't overly invested if things go awry, yes this happens... 

Below are some of my favorite textiles I’ve come across lately at Goodwill.

Wax PrintWax PrintWax Print
The variety of colors available from wax print fabrics is outstanding.

Vintage FabricVintage FabricVintage Fabric
Pictured directly above are a few vintage fabric pieces.


HenryHenry Galvin is a writer and Goodwill employee.  Formerly based in LA as a fashion designer, photographer, and writer, he’s now turned his eye to the realm of current and retro industrial design products. He is the author of the literary fiction/science fiction chronicle Near Future on North Eternity Street, Henry focuses on design-oriented posts ‘Goodwill Design Sequence.’ 

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