The girls over at Design Boner clued me into a contest being run by an on-demand custom fabric manufacturer yesterday. The manufacturer is an online-only entity called Fabric on Demand. The contest is pretty cool and I'll get to it in a bit. But what's really cool is the company behind it.
Fabric on Demand will print any fabric you can design in any quantity you want and they will turn it around in a week. It's a neat product and a really great service these folks are up to. They have taken away a number of the barriers to entry that other, similar manufacturers have in place. Typically, on demand fabric printers require that you submit a design drawn in a vector graphic program like Illustrator. There's a pretty steep learning curve associated with vector graphics and I'm sure that's scared off a number of people interested in expressing themselves through fabric.
Rather than relying on vector graphics, Fabric on Demand allows users to upload .jpg, .tiff, .bmp, .jpeg, .tif, .png or .psd files and then specify the repeats of the file. The layout section of their website explains the process clearly and concisely. Once submitted, Fabric on Demand will generate a proof. Upon proof approval, Fabric on demand will produce and ship your order within a week.
In addition to making the layout process simpler and more accessible, Fabric on Demand has increased the number of fabric options available significantly. Need an upholstery fabric? No problem. Need some polar fleece printed up? You're covered. Need a linen/cotton blend for new drapes? Done. The price per yard ranges from $16.75 to $31.50 and swatches of their fabrics are available for $5.
What's not to love? And speaking of love, the folks at Fabric on Demand have a sense of humor and a love of what they do that's infectious. They are running a contest right now to upholster four side chairs that have seen better days.
If between now and 4 July you get a wild hair and want to take a stab at Fabric on Demand's process, you can submit a fabric design for consideration. Can't pull something together by Saturday? Fear not. On the 5th, Fabric on Demand will publish a gallery of the finalists and anybody can then vote for their favorite entry. The winning design will win $500 and have their design reproduced and then upholstered onto what will soon be very happy side chairs.
The chairs belong to a real family and will end up in their home. To provide some direction (and to show off what's possible with Fabric on Demand), the family submitted the following four examples of Fabric on Demand fabrics they like.