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Spoonflower experiments

I told you about Spoonflower, the site for custom-printed fabrics quite awhile ago, but I only recently got around to trying them out.  I learned a few things in the process!

Have a sample printed!  That's actually all I did, and I'm really glad, because for just $5 each, I got little 8x8 inch tests of two prints.  Very reasonable price to try out your design, I think. 

Don't use an image that has too much detail.  It just won't come out.  Wherever detail is subtle or begins to pile up, the fabric will just appear to be printed with a solid muddy color.  This is not their fault!  I needed to pay more attention to the image size and the printing resolution.

Color is tricky.  I will need to do color calibration on my monitor before having anything else printed.  Also, remember that there will not be light shining through your fabric like there is on your monitor, so the colors will not be quite as bright. 

Read up on fabric design. This series deserves a special place in your bookmarks: Mama Made Designs has a FABULOUS tutorial series for aspiring fabric designers.  Start with the link above, and then just click to the next in the series near the top of the page:
- Part 1: Thinking About and Creating Your Design
- Part 2: Computer Art Programs and What They Do
- Part 3: Getting to know Inkscape, a Vector Art Program
- Part 4: Finishing Your Design and Creating the Perfect Tile
- Part 5: Color Calibration Part A & B

Here are some other services to try out:

Karma Kraft

True Up does a digital fabric printing guide, comparing 4 companies

Copyright 2010 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Genevieve said…
Thanks for the tips on Spoonflower. I haven tried it yet but I've been planning to. Another useful reference is a book called Pattern Design by Lewis Day, originally published in 1933, and reprinted by Dover Publications. Lots of techniques for creating repeating patterns.
Cyndi L said…
Thanks for the tip, Genevieve!
This is great Cyndi...what a wonderful thing to be able to have done, I can think of so MANY great uses!
Cyndi L said…
Yeah, I'm thinking I'll have to try it again now that I understand a little better how it works...and how it *doesn't* work :-)
Great tips, Cyndi. Thank you.

I'm looking at fabric designs in a new way and trying to trying to gauge how some of my graphic designs would translate.

It would really be fun to make totes or pillows from my own "designer" fabric.
Sherri said…
Thanks for sharing your experience with custom fabric printing... Trying Spoonflower or a similar service has been on my to-do list for quite awhile....
Cyndi L said…
It's kind of embarrassing to have to admit that what you've done ended up looking like a muddy mess, but at least I didn't spend much to try it out. I'll be better prepared next time...and there WILL be a next time!
Linda Augsburg said…
Cool that you gave it a try and thanks for sharing all the things you learned!