I came across a mention of a company called Spoonflower on Apartment Therapy last week and I haven't been able to get it out of my head since. Spoonflower is an Internet company that prints custom fabrics. It's an amazing thing, really and their process is really wild.
Say you're looking for a fabric but no matter where you look you can't find the right one. Imagine too that you're willing to take a stab at designing your own fabric. So instead of hunting for the next couple of months for the right pattern, just make one. Take what you can already see in your mind's eye, recreate it in a drawing program as described on Spoonflower's website, upload it and then two weeks later, a fabric you designed arrives in the UPS. Sounds pretty simple, right? I suppose it is a simple process but the idea behind it is revolutionary.
For now, Spoonflower is printing on 100% cotton broadcloth with no minimum order and no set up fee. They are selling their fabric (actually your fabric) for $18 a yard and $5 a swatch. Amazing!
A children's clothing designer writes a blog called Mama Made and she has some really clear instructions on how to best use Spoonflower as well as some pretty cool insights into her creative process. Her Spoonflower instructions are broken into five separate postings:
Rachel's blog is full of interesting ideas and examples of Mama Made's clothing and fabrics. It's worth a look if for no other reason than to see what's out there. It's also a pretty compelling read.
Spoonflower's onto something big. The fabrics they print are intended primarily for use in clothing construction and craft projects. Though it's only a matter of time before the selections and intended uses of the base fabrics increases. Some day in the not too distant future, you'll be able to reupholster an armchair in a fabric of your own design. Something that started as a vision in your mind then made real in the form of a piece of furniture. That's the sort of thing that gets me out of bed in the morning, I swear.
Oh, the images scattered all over this post are actual samples of some of the designs in Spoonflower's public gallery. These are just folks uploading their designs and I'm flabbergasted by the whole thing. Bravo Spoonflower!