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Take a look behind the seams

Did you spot the exotic animals roaming over our latest styles? Well, guess what? Each and every Mini Boden print is hand-drawn in London by our talented in-house design team. This season we’ve gone wild for the creatures on our new jungle design, so we spoke to the person who brought them to life: print designer Laura Shelley.

Leaping Tiger Leaping Tiger

Tell us about the journey from sketch to stitch…

“The brief was to create an animal-filled jungle print with lots of tropical colour. Every new range starts with mood boards and a colour palette, so these were the background for my ideas. After that, I avoided looking at too many pictures –

Peacock illustration
I had a vision of how I wanted the print to take shape, so I just started sketching using my imagination.

“In our team, we’ll spend days drawing and painting until we get to a design we’re happy with. Then we map out the repeat – that’s how all the elements of the print sit together on a larger scale.

Leopard illustration
On the jungle print, there are 10 different colours, so I had to re-trace each layer and paint them all individually.

“From there, we take our drawings and turn them into artwork for screen printing, which means separating out all the individual colours into layers.

Elephant illustration development

“I like to do all of this by hand, because you just can’t get the same finish with a computer. Like the brush strokes on the elephant’s ear – I find it’s much nicer to create this exactly as I want by hand. It feels more authentic, and it really works with the aesthetic of this range, which is quite soft and nostalgic. Only then will I scan in the images and transfer the print into a digital file. That’s when the production process starts.

Crocodile illustration
We spend about 12 weeks getting the colours absolutely perfect.

The colour library contains fabric samples for every hue in the Mini Boden range, such as ‘Coral Crush’, which you’ll find on our tiger’s vibrant coat.

“This print runs across different fabrics and styles, and there’s a specialist supplier for every type of clothing, each with their own dyes. They have to create bespoke colour recipes just for us. There’s a lot of back and forth where we comment on samples until we finally get to a point where we’re 100% happy.

“We also spend a lot of time refining details like the engraving on the screen print – things like the tiny scales on the chameleon. It all adds up to an end result that feels truly unique.”

Chameleon illustration

Explore the new range

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