25 August 2009

My heart still belongs to Spoonflower

On demand fabric printing appeared on my radar last November and on 1 December I wrote a profile of Spoonflower, the world's first online, on-demand fabric printer. Spoonflower started as an idea hatched around a kitchen table in May, 2008 and by the time I got wind of them, they already had 15,000 registered users.

When they first started, Spoonflower ran its fabrics on a quilting weight cotton and had a couple of restrictions on the files they'd accept. It's understandable, Spoonflower was blazing a trail after all. Now that they're past the learning curve, the file types they'll accept have increased significantly as have their fabric options.

Kim Fraser is the voice of Spoonflower and I heard from her again a couple of weeks ago. Kim wanted to let me know some of what they've been up to since the last time she and I had corresponded. She offered to send me some samples of fabrics they'd printed recently and of course I jumped at the chance. The samples arrived in short order and I photographed them to run here.

Danielle Hazen is the head printing operator at Spoonflower and she designed the following two fabrics. Her design reminds me of candy corn. That's a compliment!

The gold version was printed on organic cotton.

The blue version was printed on their linen/ cotton blend.

This is a re-worked vintage fabric Kim found on a '60s-era smock at a garage sale. Kim had Miss Black Pepper of Etsy fame recreate the pattern and Spoonflower printed it on their linen/ cotton blend.

It's clearly a vintage pattern and the fabric its printed on makes it feel vintage. It's uncanny. When I pulled that sample from the envelope it arrived in it was like having a visit from my Grandmothers.

This is Birdie Friends by Magda Russel from Craft Pudding. Birdie Friends is one of the most popular Fabrics of the Week Spoonflower's ever featured. Birdie friends was printed on quilting weight cotton.

This is LM by Mike Dawson. Mike's a regular contributor and fan favorite at Spoonflower and he has a photostream on Flickr and it contains more of his designs. LM's been printed here on quilting weight cotton.

This is Alle Autos by German graphics designer Susanne Bochem. Susanne lives in Mainz and keeps a blog, Susalabim. Alle Autos is a series of repeated water color illustrations and it was printed on upholstery weight cotton.

I took two more detail shots of Susanne's fabric.

I swear, the fabric itself looks as if it were painted in water color. You can still see the brush strokes! Now that's some quality printing.

So look over Spoonflower if you're considering taking a crack at this and if you're serious, drop them a line. Kim and the whole Spoonflower team is all too willing to help you realize your vision. Kim writes the Spoonflower blog and she keeps it updated with the latest goings-on with the company and she shares a lot of Spoonflower successes there too. Give it a look.


  1. Hey, are you trying to start a custom-made fabric smackdown?! ;-)

    These fabrics look great. You're right about the candy corn design on the first two -- very nice :-)


  2. It's an embarrassment of riches Kelly, and embarrassment of riches.


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