Materials in Illustrator CS

Hello Athletic gurus…
I thought maybe you could offer some assistance for me.

I need to make the following textures in Illustrator;


I know what perfs are but if I make a swatch of circles/dots, for example…when I fill the selected area with them, I can see the outline of the swatch square. Would it be better to make a swatch and then make a clipping mask of the selected area? If so, could you refresh my memory for making a clipping mask, it’s been a while.

Also, nylon mesh…any ideas on how to illustrate this properly?

I appreciate any help, THANKS!! :wink:

Richard K and Yo have real nice rendering tutorials posted in this section somehwere. I am sure Richard’s had details on how to make Nylon texture or something very close which would illustrate the materail with a call out note


make a white box. NO STROKE NO FILL
(this serves as a placeholder)

make a black circle. no stroke, just black fill
(this makes the perf)

Center these two shapes. Make the black circle inside the white box which has no stroke or fill.

select both of these at the same time and drag them to your swatches pallette. This is the pallette that shows all your default colors.

Make a new shape (the shape you want to fill with perfs. Select it, then fill it with the new swatch you have made by clicking on the appropriate swatch (white no fill no stroke with black cirlce).

Your area that you desire to have perfs in it will now have little black dots and NO STROKE or FILL. The reason you want NO FILL is becuase if you copy and paste the selection into Photoshop, you will not have the white background in there, just black dots. You can then bevel and emboss them or do something cool with the blending options menu at the bottom of the layers pallete.
has some examples in which I used perfs. A golf bag and some I pod cases I believe.

The nylon mesh takes too long to explain…I will try to come back, but I have some nylon in the I pod cases. Just not nylon mesh. If you can get the nylon look, just add the perfs to it.

Hope that helped a bit.

Thanks for your help. Nylon would be fine too, not necessarily mesh.

The perfs- I’ll give that a shot. I won’t be using photoshop with this however, does that change things?



You can make patterns out of shapes the way david explained.

All you need is a box to define the pattern.

In illustrator:

1 > Make a no fill square (no fill, no stroke), this will define the perimeter of your pattern

2 > Draw the pattern (for perfs I usually make a 50 percent grey circle to show up on black and white, for mesh, some cross hatched lines, you will have to experiment here)

3 > Scale the entire thing to the size you want (including invisible perimeter)

4 > drag entire thing over onto color/pattern swatch palette, it might ask you what you want to call it.

5 > select that as a fill for whatever shape you want.

You will have to play around a bit. Have fun.

Thanks everyone. Will test this out now and see how it goes.


as for mesh textures i usually export to photoshop and use texturizer. you can find a lot of free textures on to use in texturizer.

Ok, so the perfs worked out great. I’m not sure how nylon should be illustrated though. I found this swatch in a previous post, but it doesn’t do me any good because it is warped a bit, as opposed to flat, and the size is awkward (I’m not pro enough to be able to work with it). I’d rather just make a swatch and fill instead of a clipping mask. Anyone have any examples of simple nylon illustration or ideas of how I should approach this?

Much Thanks!!! :wink:

If you can find a swatch of the actual material or image online, just use that and manipulate it if it’s just for rendering/illustrative purposes. No need to get caught up in the program/techniques if it’s just a look you’re after. All of the tips here work pretty well. Also a more manual way is to make the one segment of the pattern you want then copy-drag it to the next horizontal position. Command-D to repeat it however many times you want. Then select that whole row, group them, then copy-drag to the next vertical position. Command-D to repeat again in that direction, then group them all together. You’ll be able to use those in a clipping mask or whatever you want and they’re individually editable if you want them to be.

You could also just make the first part of the pattern. Then copy-drag to the end location in one direction. Then use the blend tool (w) to connect them. You can edit how many steps (copies) it’ll make in between the 2 shapes at any time so you can adjust your pattern easy if it doesn’t look right or if you want more instances or less.
Take that row and do the same thing in the vertical direction.
You can leave them as blends or if you need to edit anything individually, select them and then “expand appearance”.

Good luck

Looking at that image I don’t think the perforation is warped at all. It looks like the perforation is flat but it is an optical illusion that it it warped b/c of the shading that has been applied.

I could be wrong…but all the shapes appear consistent from top to bottom to me.

skinny- don’t understand at all. I just want to use the pen tool to DRAW a nylon pattern…is a bit difficult though. I’m not a pro at Illustrator.

ip-wirelessly- I know, looks great. I don’t know what to do with it or how to use it. I just want a simple pattern of nylon. Nothing fancy. I wouldn’t know what to do with that at all.

Thanks guys for your input but I’m just wondering what tool to use to illustrate a simple nylon pattern.


Watch this to see two different techniques on how to get what you want:

Start by creating, scanning, or photographing a swatch of nylon.

how did my perf tourtoial work out for you?

nylon mesh.

this is actually really easy.

  1. create a white square with no stroke or fill
  2. draw a black line from the top of the square to the bottom of the square. you may want to use the rectangle tool instead of the line tool. thin rectangles are lines essentially.
  3. drag this swatch to the swatches box
  4. make a huge box.
  5. fill this box with the new swatch
  6. make sure when you fill the new big box with the swatch, the lines are VERY THIN and VERY close together. you will have to make sure you make your original pattern small to achieve this thin line affect
  7. copy these pixels into your photoshop render leaving the lines where you want the nylon effect
  8. bevel and emboss this layer. it will look like a really nice thin nylon.
  9. add another layer with whatever holes you want if necessary.