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I have experience only with Adobe Photoshop, but I'm looking for something easy to use, a program that will let me focus on the design process and testing many concepts without having to do a lot of "craft" work/clicking.

Are there any templates available on the Net that I could use?

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There's a similar question here: How to create a fabric pattern. I would use the same technique I posted there up to Step 4, then do some skewing and some copying and some reflecting them some more copying to achieve something like this: i.stack.imgur.com/IyILh.png. If that's what you'd be looking for, let me know and I can elaborate more in an answer. Otherwise, a photo of the tweed fabric you'd like to replicate would be helpful! –  JohnB Jun 12 '13 at 21:53
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3 Answers

A big part of design is craft. That said, it sounds like you're asking how to ideate quickly, which I'd call something more akin to creating thumbnail sketches to get ideas down.

And for that, I'd suggest the old fashioned method: pencil and paper.

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I've used this to design some color schemes and background/wrapping paper patterns: http://www.colourlovers.com/

The site lets you crate an account, design color schemes, and it's free (at least at the moment). Beyond that you will have to play with it a little to see if it meets your needs. One of the few, useful, fine art / design oriented sites i think, simply worth exploring too. Goes a lot deeper than some of the 'color picker' ones.

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Symmetry Shop.... http://www.artlandia.com/products/SymmetryShop/

It provides standard pattern transformations within Photoshop which allows you to quickly see any artwork in a number of basic pattern types.

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