How to Add Patterns to Clothing in Photoshop

On this basic video tutorial Aaron Nace from Phlearn demonstrates how you can add a specific pattern to a clothing in Photoshop in a realistic looking way.

Although many photographers might not be very accepting to this type of Photoshop manipulation, there are situations where you might want to use some of the techniques explained in this video for other purposes (and of course most graphic designers have no “moral” issues with these type of changes to an image).

The first step is to scale the pattern that you have (after you bring it onto your image), make sure it is a little bigger than the area you want it on. You can use  CTRL/CMD + I to invert the pattern if you want.

Now use the pen tool for ultra accurate selection of the area you want to cover with the pattern (here are some tutorials we published on using the pen tool in Photoshop). Once you are done right-click and turn it into a selection and feather the edge by 0.5 pixels and load the selection as a layer mask making it only visible where the original piece of clothing is.

To get it to look more realistic and not flat you can use the liquify tool to bring in the edges of the pattern to wrap around the piece of clothing.

To re-create folds of fabric, use the freeze mask tool to paint over one-half of the fold. Then use the forward warp tool to push the pattern under the freeze mask. If done correctly, it will look like the original pattern curves around the folds of fabric.

Finally you can add highlights and shadows from original Photo by changing the blend mode to ‘Multiply’ and lower the opacity to 90% and follow the rest of Nace last steps.

You can find many more Photoshop video tutorials on LensVid’s Photoshop section (and you can find a lot more Phlearn videos on our special Phlearn subsection).