Basic textures in GIMP: Stitches

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This tutorial shows how to add stitches to your texture using GIMP.

Required tools

Adding stitches to your texture

Paint the stitches

Selecting the Path tool
Drawing the paths for the stitches
Stroke Path window
  1. Open your base texture in GIMP. For this tutorial I am using a solid grey image but you can use any base texture.
  2. Now add a new transparent layer on top of the base texture. This is the layer where we are going to paint the stitches:
  3. Select the menu option Layer -> New Layer
  4. Add a name for the new layer, select Transparency on the pop-up window and click OK
    Note: To see and work with the different layers that you have in your image:
    • Select the menu option Windows -> Dockable Dialogs -> Layers '
    • This will open a window with the layers stack for your image as the one shown in picture Layers stack'
      • To work on one of the layers, select the corresponding layer in the stack and then work in GIMP main edition window: all you do (painting, erasing, resizing, etc) will be done on the selected layer.
      • To hide/show one of the layers, click on the eye icon at the left of each of the layers in the layer stack.
  5. Select the Path tool from the Toolbox as in the picture Selecting the Path tool.
  6. Draw the paths that the stitches will follow as shown in picture Drawing the paths for the stitches. If you want to draw two differents paths that are not connected between them, as in the picture, press Shift when beginning the second path.
  7. Select the menu option Edit -> Stroke Path and a window like the onw shown in picture Stroke Path window will pop up. In this window:
    1. Set the width of the stitches in the Line width box.
    2. Expand the Line style section and paint the Dash pattern as shown in picture Stroke Path window
    3. Press the Stroke button.
  8. Now your texture will look like the one in picture Stitches.

Add volume to the stitches

Bump map window
Final Stitches

The next step is to add volume to the stitches you have just painted. For doing this we are going to use the Bump map technique explained here: Giving sense of volume to textures using GIMP.

  1. Select the layer that contains the stitches.
  2. Select the menu option Colors -> Invert to turn the stitches into white.
  3. Select your base texture in the layer stack (a solid grey image in this tutorial)
  4. Select the menu option Filters -> Map -> Bump Map
  5. A window like the one shown in picture Bump map window wil pop up
    1. In the Bump map box, at the top, select the layer that contains the stitches you've painted.
    2. You can change the values of the properties, and see how if affects the original texture in the Preview window (check the Preview box to see this changes). For stitches, I find that I get better results by:
      1. setting the type map to Lineal
      2. checking the Invert bumpmap checkbox
      3. setting the Elevation to a higher value than the default one, like 70 for example
    3. but you can try the other values and see which one looks best for you.
    4. Once you've got the results you want, click OK.
  6. Select the layer that contains the stitches.
  7. Select the menu option Colors -> Invert to turn the stitches back into black.

You can now change the colour of the stitches using any of the colouring tools GIMP has and you are done. Your texture will now look like the one shown in picture Final Stitches.