I thought I would write up a little review of my experience designing and printing fabric with Spoonflower. For those that aren't familiar with Spoonflower, they are a fabric printing company. Anyone can upload a design and have it printed on fabric for your own use or for sale. You can buy sizes from 8" samples up to yardage. There are several fabric options from quilting cotton to organic cotton sateen to cotton voile.
I decided a few months ago to try my hand at some designs that were floating around in my head. I used Photoshop to develop my designs, but I also thought it would be cool to for people who draw to use something like a Wacom tablet. I found the trickiest part of the design process was creating an image that can repeat. Once I had that down, the designs really came together.
I'd recommend remembering a few things when you are designing fabric. Your minimum dpi (dots per inch) should be 150 dpi. Also, it helps to use the Spoonflower color chart to select colors that will print well. Finally, because this fabric is digitally printed, it will fade some over time. I took that into account when selecting the colors of my designs and didn't choose anything too saturated.
After you have your designs uploaded into Spoonflower, you are required to order swatches to proof your design before you can order more fabric or offer your designs for sale. So, there is some upfront cost involved. Spoonflower is set up where you can create a "collection" of designs and then order samples of that collection for a discounted rate. As a designer, you can order up to 8 design samples for $20. Below is my fabric sampler:
After your sampler arrives you can see how your color selections print out and also the scale of your designs. Seeing the designs on fabric versus the screen is so helpful. I saw on my designs that the one print with the yellow background was just not working for me. I changed the background to blue and scaled the design down. I also could see that the light yellow dots next to the white just weren't showing up, so I darkened those dots. I then reordered samples of those two prints.
The turn around time for the fabric is 10 days. It feels like forever. And I know that to artists that design for places like Moda, 10 days is nothing. But to the layperson, it's a long wait. :)
Spoonflower has a great Help/FAQ section on their website. Check it out and design some fabric! You can see my profile here. Feel free to leave a comment with links to your designs, I'd love to see what you create.