There are quite a few fabric design books on the market, and I happen to have copies of a couple of the more popular titles, which I thought I'd share with you. The two books are very similar in content and your preference may come down to something as simple as the layout. I actually like both of them (for the inspiring images if nothing else!).
I'm starting this week with A Field Guide to Fabric Design by Kimberly Kight.
This one was recommended to me, but unfortunately I can't remember who by. It starts with quite a basic introduction to the fundamentals of fabric design and principles and parameters such as directionality and orientation, motif, repeat type etc.
And moves on to step by step guides to design and creating repeats.
I particularly like the images in this book - its as good for a flick through with a cup of tea as it is a text book. The sections on Photoshop and Illustrator are good for beginners (and those who are just a little scared of Photoshop!) but in many respects it is very basic and more suited to self-taught designers. For example, several pages are dedicated to colour theory.
There are a number of what I would call "discussion pages" throughout the book, where various designers are asked for their views on a particular issue such as following trends. There are brief bios of these designers at the back of the book but I would've liked more in depth interviews and examples of their work.
There's a good section on collections and a fairly in depth section on types of fabrics, followed by step by step guides to the various printing methods. There's also a short, but useful, business section at the back.
It's a nice book to look through and is useful if you want to remind yourself of a technique (or look at something that's new to you). I expect that experienced designers will however find it rather basic.
A Field Guide to Fabric Design by Kimberly Kight is published by Stash Books.