Is AI a threat to the world of fabric design?
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We went to a website that creates pictures based on text descriptions. The program was asked to draw a springer spaniel going down a hill on a sledge. Salvador Dali-inspired.

After sending the image to a local printer, all we had to do was send the cards to our bemused friends and family.

Using AI to create a specific design you have in mind has spread to the world of fabrics. Eight months is a long time in AI.

UK textiles business The Millshop Online was one of the first to enter this field. Using its AI-powered Fabric Genie tool, you can turn your text description into a pattern, which will then be printed onto cotton or cotton-linen blends.

According to Carl Fisher, the company’s director, “My mother worked out of our garage as a curtain maker.”.

My dad was a textile retailer, which is how they met. We started out as wholesalers and then I went into engineering, so now all the elements have come together.” The Northamptonshire-based business partnered with an AI consultant named Danny Richman to create Fabric Genie.

Mr Richman says Fabric Genie is a classic example of artificial intelligence encroaching on so many fields. The process runs on a lot of code. I built it for Carl, but I’m not a coder.

The AI generated the code that runs the platform, so it’s enabling anyone, not just designers, to transform an idea into a reality without any friction.

I decided to test Fabric Genie by having it design a tartan curtain for our camper van.

My initial request was for a grey-green and beige base with stripes in orange, electric blue, and shocking pink.