Many people contact me with questions about fabric design.  Its hard to answer all those messages well in detail, but here is a list of resources to check out.    People get into it from many directions, and it is a competitive field.   I went through a formal textile design program, but if you are not near any, and whether you want to learn about it just to print things for yourself or actually work in fabric design, there are some good resources available.

Recent Books:

A Field Guide to Fabric Design by Kimberly Kight, author of the popular fabric blog, True Up

The Complete Guide to Designing and Printing Fabrics by Laurie Wisbrun, fabric designer for Robert Kaufman

e-books:

How to Enter the World of Textiles for the Quilting Industry   by Lizzy Huse, fabric designer for Andover fabrics

Online Courses:

Camp Pikaland, The Sellable Sketch

From Rachel Taylor, Do What You Love

Other (many older) Books:

Textile Design by Carol Joyce 1993 (I love this book)

Textiles, A Handbook for Designers by Mary Paul Yates 1996

Surface Pattern Design by V. Ann Waterman 1984

Textile Print Design By Richard Fisher and Dorothy Wolfthal 1987

Design Your Owen Repeat Patterns by V. Ann Waterman 1986

Adobe Photoshop for Textile Design by Frederick Chipkin 2007

Articles:

Portabellopixie, How do you design fabric

Creating Repeats 

ebook:  Repeat After Me by Claudia Brown and Jessie Whipple Vickery of Pattern People

ebook: How to Create Repeat Patterns in Photoshop by Tara Reed

Camp Pikiland: Online Course:  The Ultimate Guide to Repeats

Organizations

Surface Pattern Design Guild