Idea flows



Decorative designs on fabric, apparel and furnishing can be categorised into 3 types (in terms of how they are arranged and the areas they cover). They are:

  1. Motifs
  2. Borders
  3. All-over


Motifs cover a spot or a little space of a big area of the Design. Individual motifs could be as tiny as ½ square cm and as big as can be fitted in a design. The different ways in which motifs are placed on fabric are:

  • Logo – is a motif associated with a Brand or identifies a name/cause/organisation. Logo are used on all types of garments whenever a identity needs tobe displayed prominently.
  • Motif on Pockets of Shirts / Tops / Shorts /Jeans / Casual Pants 
  • Motif on Chest of T-shirts / Tops
  • Motif on thigh area of Shorts /Jeans / Casual Pants
  • Motif on crown or arm  of sleeve of Shirt / Sherwani
  • Motif above hem of sleeve of shirt, t-shirt or ladies top / Kurti / Lehenga
  • Motif on Centre Back Shoulder of shirt, t-shirt or ladies top / Kurti
  • Motif on Centre Back of shirt, t-shirt or ladies top / Kurti / Lehenga
  • Motif on Cushion covers, Sofa/Table Covers, Bedsheets and Curtains
  • Motif on Bags and purses


Borders cover a length of space in a design on the edges of fabric or apparel or furnishing. Borders are usually made up of a series of motifs repeated in a continuous line. Motifs may be connected to one another by way of connector designs to form a border. Motifs or part of motifs along with their connector that are repeated to form borders are called ‘repeats’. Borders may be placed at / on

  • Border on Edges of Stoles, Dupattas, Sari
  • Border at Hems and Cuffs of Ladies Tops / Kurti / Lehenga
  • Border Cushion covers, Sofa/Table Covers, Bedsheets and Curtains
  • Motif Bags and purses

All–over Designs

Embroidery is made all-over the width and length of fabric or article. A set of motifs and/or borders are repeated in a pre-determined sequence. Motifs are placed individually or are connected with connector designs. All-over Designs may be made with 'repeats'.


Most common methods of making decorative designs on fabric surfaces are:

  1. Weaving
  2. Knitting
  3. Printing
  4. Dyeing
  5. Embroidery - By hand or By machine
  6. Painting
  7. Drawing by hand
  8. Embossing