Our Textile Design Guide is back this week with some classic textile techniques: moire & tapestry.


Moiré is a visual and mathematical phenomenon created when two linear patterns are overlaid and rotated a small amount from each other to create an optical illusion. However, the etymology of this word actually comes from the textile world. Moiré, in the textile sense, refers to the technique known as watered silk. In this process, two pieces of wet fabric are overlaid and pressed together with steam. Due to the inevitable misalignment of the threads, the resulting bonded and dry fabric has a distinctive waved appearance.

With digital printing, moiré patterns can be applied to almost any type of fabric to give a unique look. These designs can be modern and geometric, take on the look of a natural wood grain, or evoke the traditional rippling of watered silk.

Shop all of our moire designs here.

Moire Wall 2

Moire Mesh Lattice

Moire Floral


Traditionally, tapestry is the creation of intricate woven pictorial designs using colored filling yarns. Tapestries were particularly popular in Europe following the Italian Renaissance. Not only did large, elaborate tapestries provide decoration, they also insulated castle walls against frigid winters. They were highly detailed and intricate.

Tapestry sample

This detail shot of a tapestry hanging in Château de Langeais, France, showcases the intricate nature of hand made tapestries.

In modern form, tapestries can be hand or machine made. Many artisans still practice the art of tapestry making by hand, weaving one yarn at a time. Textile designers can also use digital programs like Photoshop to create rich, detailed repeats that resemble tapestries.

In the digital print world, tapestry can refer to a print that is very large, spanning the width of the fabric. A tapestry print can also be one that mimics the appearance of traditional tapestries and is rich in color and detail.

You can shop our selection of tapestry prints here.

Be sure and check back next week for the latest installment of our Textile Design Guide!