if you’ve followed my previous posts, you probably came across one that details my foray into silk screening fabric for a little side project of mine called cartoon boyfriend. the limited collection itself has finally been sprung onto the world and yet, there is always room for feedback and special requests. some of the talk has been about the textiles and a wish for print only pillows as an option.
with silk screening by hand, it would require an epic expenditure of time and labor to crank out that much printed fabric, not to mention quality control, quantity, resources, etc. it’s one of the reasons why hand screened goods are priced the way they are. so, how do i answer demand, keep the costs reasonable and the quality high?
enter spoonflower! spoonflower is the answer to a creative’s dilemma in that they will print your original textile designs in MINIMUM quantities both for your personal use or for sale! order a fat quarter, a yard, ten yards or just a swatch.
i remember getting my feet wet in fabric printing nine years ago when you were able to convert your large format epson with colorfast inks. it took FOREVER to print and you could never revert back to regular inks not to mention what fabric fibers did to your printer nozzles.
spoonflower makes the process soooooo much easier and for those who are not familiar with building textiles in illustrator or photoshop, they have a connection to a design site called PICNIK.com which is a very basic repeat tool. i can’t say that i’m familiar with how it works as i’m used to utilizing illustrator. but, on top of this, spoonflower has many other tools to help with regards to resolution, repeats, color, etc.
the easy to use interface allows you to view your textile repeat in a swatch, fat quarter, yard, etc. giving you the ability to check the repeat according to yardage. you create your design sets, determine whether they are private or public, and create your profile and store front. one of the key ideas behind creating with your own prints is also the opportunity to sell yardage to others. you get 10% of sales of your fabric to others not to mention a 10% discount on purchases of your own. you retain all rights to your work and having a background in licensing, i can honestly say the 10% is fair.
so now that you’ve got a design, how do you know what it will look like in the end? spoonflower won’t let you sell without your buying at least a swatch to proof and okay the purchase. $5 swatches are a great way to preview your design on different fabrics as the light showing through the weave affects color and you’ll want to check the drape. you can even order swatch samplers of multiple designs at reduced prices. after okaying the fabric, you’re good to go with impressive high quality results!
now how fantastic is that? at the height of diy, combining a true opportunity to say, “made in america” once again and have it mean something, leaves me appreciative of home grown businesses like spoonflower and the possibilities they open up for creatives!