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How to Make your own fabric prints with Spoonflower

Textile design has always been a really interesting art form to me. But, after experimenting with some not-so-simple techniques such as stenciling, bleaching, RIT dying, and candle wax masking (a.k.a. “A MESS”), I reluctantly gave up the dream of making my own fabric. Luckily Spoonflower—an online fabric printing service—came along and opened the door for easy textile creation for the rest of us! I've used it for several Switch and personal projects, and I cannot recommend a better service to work with. They are fast, cheap, very friendly, and just awesome!

Intrigued but not sure where to start? We at Switch have put together a step-by-step guide to help all you budding textile designers get started:

• The first thing you need to do is create an account on Spoonflower. It literally takes less than 5 minutes.

• Next, you have to either make a pattern image or choose one that you already have. To prepare it, try Illustrator, Photoshop, or another graphic design application (a few free options here).

• The image resolution must be 150dpi (dots per inch). That is to say, for a 10" x 10" pattern, the width and height of your image should be 1500 pixel by 1500 pixel (150 dots times 10 inch = 1500 dots).

• It'd be best that your pattern allows seamless repeating (also called “tiling”). For a guide to creating seamless pattern in Illustrator click here, and here for Photoshop.

• If you don't want your image to be tiled, set up your image size to the exact dimensions of your fabric. For instance, if you'd like to order an 8" x 8" swatch, your pattern size must be 8" x 8". Check out Spoonflower's fabric sizes for more information.

• [Advanced users] Colors may become inaccurate when transferring from screen to fabric. For best results, set the color space to 8-bit LAB color. More info can be found here.

• Designer's block? Take a peek at other Spoonflower users' designs for inspiration.

• Now that your masterpiece is ready, save it in either JPG or TIF (8-bit, uncompressed) format. We recommend TIF for its image quality. However, because Spoonflower does not accept files larger than 25MB, you may have to use JPG instead in case your TIF file is over file size limit.

• Upload the file onto Spoonflower. Yeah!

• Using Spoonflower's preview window, you can experiment with different layout options and fabric sizes. In most cases I simply center the design or do a basic repeat.

• All set? Click add to cart.

• Enter your billing information and off it goes. 

It generally takes about 2 weeks for the fabric to be printed and shipped but it's worth the wait! If you have any questions or problems with your order, do not hesitate to email them. Stephen Fraser, one of the site founders, will get back to you fairly quickly with a detailed and clear answer.

 

Spoonflower can also be used for more than just textile design. You may mass-produce patterns for dolls, stuffed toys, clothing, or DIY kits. The possibilities are endless. Even more exciting, the service is still in beta; so watch out for new material choices and fabric treatments being announced later!

Comments

yay! im going to need alot of fabric because i want to make a dress to go cosplaying in! XD something that no one will own, except for me!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - 22:42


Thank you! I really like this! I can never find the fabric pattern that is in my head. :o)

Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 09:26


Go for it Noam!

Alison Lewis

Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 07:10


I wanna make one full of vacuum tubes :)

—Noam

Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 01:43