Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Visit with Spoonflower

I had heard about Spoonflower -- the site that lets you submit designs for your own custom fabric, then prints it and mails it to you -- but had never really thought about trying my hand at it. But now, I think I'll be diving into the world of fabric printing on demand, especially after I got to visit their "factory"!
It was really a lucky coincidence that I was in the area. I was visiting with a friend in Wake Forest, NC, and the topic turned to sewing. She asked if I had heard of Spoonflower, and I told her I had. "Did you know they're close by here?" Why, no, I didn't. A quick map search showed that not only were they nearby, but visiting them was only about 2 miles off my planned route. Imagine if I had found that out after the fact!
So, last Thursday morning, I dropped by their shop in Mebane, NC. It's in an old sock factory, right next to the railroad tracks, and is staffed by the most delightful people.


This is the view from the entrance. The rack in back on the left holds the raw fabric, waiting to be printed. There are several printers, and all were humming with work.


Here's one of the printers, hard at work. What's so amazing is that the smallest custom fabric order is a mere 8" square! My tourguide, Danielle, showed me a few jobs they had run recently, including some custom fabric labels, calendar tea towels, and more.

Once printed, the fabric goes through a heat setting process, leaving it completely colorfast.

My head is swimming with possibilities!! It's hard to know what to try first. To help me get started, Danielle showed me a book she had just purchased:

Of course, that one went in my Amazon basket as soon as I got home. It just arrived today, and I'm working through some projects so I can curl up with it and learn the ins and outs of designing my own fabric.

3 comments:

  1. How amazing! I saw a few months back that Spoonflower is in Mebane--my parents live there--so my next trip up north will include a stop in to see the set up. I think I even know which building they are in, from previous visits to my parents. Thanks for the pics--I can't wait!

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  2. congrats on the visit to the factory:) this is so crazy i was just googleing spoonflower to find info about the fabric options and reviews and came to your blog. i just reviewed the book on digital textile design, then won fabric from spoonflower. i feel like i am on some kind of wacky cotton candy acid trip ( of course say no to drugs) :) thank you for the review and so happy you enjoyed your trip.

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  3. How cool is that? Recently, I couldn't remember the NAME of the company that lets you design your own fabric, so I thank you for the reminder!

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