The Art of Darkness

Custom Fabric Printing

November 24th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Beetle FabricHere’s a site I wish I didn’t know about. I already have a bad habit of buying fabric that catches my eye, even if I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. Then along comes a company that will custom-print fabric in any design I want. Ai yi yi.

Spoonflower was founded by a coalition of crafters and geeks (one of whom used to run Lulu, a print-on-demand book publisher) and is housed in an old sock mill in North Carolina. They will let you upload a file containing any pattern your little black heart desires and they will print it on high-quality cotton fabric for $18/yard (or $5 for a swatch). There is no minimum order, which is particularly awesome.

They launched as a “closed beta” in May 2008, and as of October there were over 10,000 users registered for their service. They’ve got a nice little community of crafters built up, many of whom share their patterns and the resulting creations on the site. (Your uploaded patterns, incidentally, remain private unless you choose to make them public.) They also note that they plan to eventually let pattern designers sell their custom fabrics through the site, which would be a great boon to the Etsy crowd.

This would be the perfect resource for creating truly unique and original fabrics for apparel or crafts. There have been many times that I’ve searched in vain for the right fabric; now I can design the right fabric.

If you’re an artist, you could have your work printed on fabric for one-of-a-kind wearable art. You could also turn your childrens’ artwork into something unique; it’d be fun to do a quilt made of custom swatches featuring a collection of scribbles. I know my mom would melt.

Thanks, Spoonflower. I’ll name you in the eventual bankruptcy paperwork.

(via MAKE)

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