Digital Fabric Printing Options

After I wrote about Spoonflower’s fabric printing services Ann Scott kindly sent me links to several videos about reactions to Spoonflower’s products. They were most helpful in deciding what fabric(s) to choose.

In these two videos the artist talks about her own art pieces produced by Spoonflower https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHvxadcOYpA, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHoKZcHWcxk At the very end she talks about not being satisfied with some printed on the Kona cotton.

In this one the designer gives her impression of the cheaper basic cotton. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5l_9fCGLMcI

I looked into other online fabric printing services that I found through a search engine. I investigated three that are based in the U.S. One I found, Fingerprint, is based in the UK. Their offerings are mouthwatering, but I don’t know about dealing with customs, duty, and other such import issues. The site notes you’re on your own for that.

Fabric on Demand

Skip the video for this outfit and go to the FAQs. Also try out the sample customization using Monroe, their monkey. They claim their process is great for printing photos onto fabric, and they offer 18 different fabrics. I suspect sewers and quilters would be most interested in 4 and 6 ounce cotton and cotton duck. The remaining fabrics are some form of poly. All fabrics are more expensive per yard than Spoonflower. If you need help they can assist for a design fee.

WeaveUp

Like Spoonflower, WeaveUp offers you the option to purchase others’ designs as well as offering your own for sale. The image editing options are like Spoonflower’s, and they offer no design assistance. I like that you can customize the number of repeats of your image across the fabric. I don’t like that you’re hit up with lots of legalese to agree to before your image loads to their site. Lack of cotton or other natural fabrics probably makes this outfit a non starter for quilters. Prices are comparable to Spoonflower.

TechStyleLAB

I only know about this service because it’s based at Kent State University in Ohio. It’s hard to find information on how to order and the fabrics available without logging in. I suspect they are small enough to treat each order as custom. They offer 5 types of pattern repeats and use fiber reactive dyes. On the plus side, the minimum order is 4 inches. I’ve seen a sample of their work, and it was lovely. They are to do a presentation at an upcoming guild meeting, so I’ll know more after that.

I think I’ll stick with Spoonflower (price, ease of use, fabrics) unless Kent State knocks my socks off. In my next post I’ll show what came in my order.

4 Comments

Filed under Commentary, Fabric Printing

4 responses to “Digital Fabric Printing Options

  1. Thanks for the research. I’m not at the point now of needing printing, but I’ve considered how that might work in my life. In particular I’ve wondered about printing the MacNeil tartan on cotton, since I can’t seem to find it that way. Anyway, it’s good to know there are some options, though not a lot. Six ounce cotton would be quite heavy, probably more like decorator fabric, I’d think. Let us know about the Kent State printing when you find out more. Thanks for the post.

    • They may well be more options out there, but these are the ones I could find relatively easily. I would suggest ordering fabric samples before you have any fabric printed. And specialty printings like your tartan would be a great use of digital printing.

  2. Excellent post and thank you for doing the research (and of course the mention and linking to my website). I look forward to seeing your order and hearing what you think of it.

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