How-To: Tribal-Inspired Pattern Printing

Craft & Design
How-To: Tribal-Inspired Pattern Printing

Add some trendy tribal-inspired patterns to your favorite shirts, totes, or fabrics with this tribal pattern painting tutorial with free downloadable template from Katy at Sweet Verbena!
More projects with bold colors and geometric shapes:

16 thoughts on “How-To: Tribal-Inspired Pattern Printing

  1. jess says:

    Someone’s gotta say it. This is at least a little bit racist.

  2. Nicky says:

    I concur–I feel like this piece is totally culturally appropriative. Boo!

  3. Haley Pierson-Cox says:

    Thanks for your comment, Jess. Unless the design in the tutorial was inspired by a specific cultural influence that the author could then share with her readers, I think it would have been more appropriate to describe the pattern as geometric rather than tribal.
    -Haley @ CRAFT

  4. Haley Pierson-Cox says:

    Thanks for your comment, Nicky. The author of the tutorial may very well have been inspired by her own cultural background, but I probably would have chosen to describe the pattern as geometric rather than tribal to avoid confusion.
    -Haley @ CRAFT

  5. colleen King says:

    Pretty tired of everyone slapping a “DAS RACIST” label on every well intentioned craft.

    1. Fisher says:

      I understand that it seems overly sensitive, Colleen. Yet cultural appropriation is a serious problem for Native American Tribes/First Nations (and for lots of other peoples, too), as there have been several recent fashion and clothing designs that have used traditional designs in their (i.e. Urban Outfitters use of Navajo branding and traditional weaving designs –

      The biggest problems with cultural appropriation are 1) that sometimes the patterns borrowed are traditionally used by a Nation for very specific, sacred objects; 2) the Nation and its members lose out on credit and possible monetary compensation for the use of their traditions; 3) the meaning behind the pattern is lost to those who are using it out of context; and 4) it encourages people to view important and sacred designs and art as trends rather than an important part of someone’s life – those people who are appropriating are not looking at a Navajo or Hopi or Lakota or Cherokee as a real person.

      The above design looks like a fairly broadly used design amongst many different southwestern Tribes, but I am not an expert in said designs. As Katy notes in the tutorial and comments, she is part Native American and she wanted to share her love of that part of her heritage. I do not think she meant to hurt anyone or encourage cultural appropriation.

      1. Haley Pierson-Cox says:

        Thanks for your input and for adding such useful information to the conversation. -Haley on CRAFT

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Haley Pierson-Cox from Red-Handled Scissors is a maker of crafts, a lover of cats, an avid swearing enthusiast, a cross-stitch book author, and a general purveyor of quirk. She's also sometimes an irritable cartoon named Tiny Cranky Haley.

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