Ashley Alford is a textile designer specializing in decorative fabrics for home fashion. Summers spent drawing henna tattoos in Louisiana sparked her passion for patterns. A few years later, she discovered Textile Surface Design at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.
It was, well, a match made in heaven.
Bringing her extensive study, experience and expertise to every project, Ashley’s ultimate goal is to collaborate with clients to create unique textiles that tell a compelling story.
Her work is grounded in authenticity every piece starts with a hand-drawn sketch before it even enters a computer. Her work showcases a bold use of color infused with mid-century modern textiles and a stylistic nod to the Bohemian.
Ashley’s spirit is driven by the artistic, culturally rich community of her home in New Orleans. The Big Easy makes it easy.
“My first step when creating a rug is to find my source of inspiration,” she says.
“The inspiration behind my new rug collection are the Colors of the Bywater. This is my favorite area of New Orleans. All of the houses are painted in bright colors, there are great cafes and restaurants and art on every corner,” Ashley says.
“Once I have gathered all of my inspiration with photos, drawings and textures, I then start creating a moodboard with all of my collected materials. This is an element of my design process that I will constantly refer back to,” she says.
Next up, her color palette.
“Color is one of the most crucial elements of creating a rug design. It is important to make sure they all flow together and can work with other colors in the space where the rug will be,” she says.
“I personally like to create my color palette from the imagery I have pieced together from my moodboard. I use the eyedropper tool and Pantone colors to pick out specific colors that work cohesively with my inspiration.”
Ashley says “finding inspiration and creating the moodboard is one of the most important parts of the rug design process. This is your design map.”
“When creating a cohesive rug collection, you want the designs to work together in the existing theme. It is important to tell your personal design story behind the collection. It makes the end product personal to the end consumer,” she says.
Ashley feels so passionate about explaining her design process she’s created a web series called “Behind The Collection.”
“I want people to understand my design process. This is important to me because it shows the consumers that the product is relatable and fun! Design and personal style should be just that FUN!”
Need help creating your own custom collection?
Check out www.textilegirl.com for more information
This article originally appeared in the October 2016 Rug News and Design Magazine.