Friday, January 22, 2010

Print Your Own Fabric Resources

Textile artists have long bemoaned not being able to find just "the right fabric design" or "the right color" to suit what's in their "mind's eye" for their art. An increasing number of companies are using newly available technology to address these needs.

From swatch size to yardage up to 20 yards or more, having your own designs printed onto your choice of fabric is now a reality without the size, color, equipment expense and other limitations (or hassles) often associated trying to do this using home-based printers.

The choices for the type (as well as weight) of fabric on which your design can be printed are many, including cotton, linen, silk, polyester, rayon, suede, ramie, hemp and wool. Organic cottons, bamboo & cotton knits also are available.

Certainly its not inexpensive ($16.25 - $33.00/yard), but these costs are no higher than the hand-dyed and other specialty fabrics we often purchase. With exception of some of the specialty fabics (e.g., 100%bamboo and 100% organic cottons), there are no mininum yardage purchase requirements.

Following are the three companies of which I am aware that currently offer these services:

Fabric on Demand


Spoonflower - This is the first company to get into the field (in October 2008)


Wen said...

always interesting and of interest
thank you

yasmin sabur said...

So much to consider when having fabric digitally printed.

First consideration is pigment ink vs. fiber reactive dyes. Depending on how you plan to use the fabric, digital printing using fiber pigment inks can create problems with skewed designs, washing and shrinkage. KarmaKraft uses fiber reactive dyes, is run by a textile professional and produces quality fabric. Pricier than Spoonflower, but so worth it.

Kyra said...

Gwen - Many thanks - one day maybe I'll design a new print!

Gwen Magee (Gwendolyn) said...

Wen, Yasmin & Kyra,

Thanks for all your comments. Yasmin, thank you so much for your expertise - I know your comments will be very helpful to others.


Amelia Davis said...

Really inspiring stuff!!! This post is fantastic, and equally fantastic is this conversation thread. This information regarding printers and different category of printers & its machinary is so inspiring! Awesome Work. Keep it Up!
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