The image below is an example of a multidirectional repeat pattern I designed while at a previous college. Please excuse the surroundings of the print, it was a last minute photo before hand in; and I no longer have the piece to take a more professional photo.
In the textiles industry, especially any area that isn’t fashion – repeat pattern is a big part of the design process. Repeat pattern still makes an appearance in the fashion industry, but what we would call a placement print is much more acceptable in the fashion industry than other areas. A placement print is a singular motif/image, for example a t-shirt with a photograph on the front.
For my current studio module, Design Process for Surface Design, we have worked with simple repeat structures to create printed lengths. I have taken pictures of the grids I drew out to help us create the repeat structures.
The two examples I have photographed and added to this post are examples the basic repeat structures within our industry. The way they work is we work our design within one of the full squares, going over the lines is fine but it complicates things a little more with the repeat, and then whatever is within that square is repeated in the other squares. Easy!
Obviously, as these are the basic structures, there are quite a few more complex ones. For example, the print I pictured is a multidirectional print. To do this you would create and obscure shape that tessellates, design within that and then repeat the design within the tessellated shapes.
I have found an article from Grays School of Art that explains some of the more complex structures and pattern formations.