Melanie Bowles is a printed textile designer whose research and publications focus on textile practice and digital textile design.
Her book Digital Textile Design with Ceri Issac offers invaluable advice and insight into how digital design can be harnessed by textile designers. Smorgasboard, a project with Kathy Round, offers a way for practitioners to experiment with pattern and inspiration. Continuing this theme, The People’s Print, in collaboration with Emma Neuberg, encourages people to create and produce their own bespoke prints using digital textile printing.
Melanie Bowles own work utilises many traditional textile design motifs but utilises the possibilities of digital print, such as removing repeat, placing designs so they suit the object they are designed for, transforming traditional elements (for example embroidery) and scaling them up into printed motifs.
One project Bowles worked upon tracked the initial design inspiration (flowers from a garden) through to production of the garment worn by the person who grew the flowers. These bespoke possibilities are what makes digital textile printing very exciting.