Monday, 21 June 2010
An enticing idea today.
An American company, Spoonflower, offers something quite unusual: the opportunity to have fabric printed to your own design. You can have your design printed onto a range of fabrics, ranging in price from $16.20 to $28.80 per yard (£10.98 to £19.52) which you can then sew yourself - or persuade / pay a talented tailor or seamstress - into the clothing of your dreams. There's even a cotton knit, a soft t-shirt fabric which would make darling baby clothes. There are lots of ideas on the site, but I've had a little play with some photos and pictures to give you an idea of what you could do.
The built in design software allows you to repeat your pattern with a horizontal staggering - as at the top of the post - a vertical drop, as above, or a simple repeat, as with this old map of London below.
You can choose a single design to cover the whole width of the fabric, but it would have to be at a minimum resolution of 150dpi. Alternatively, you can easily reduce the size of the design for more repeats on the fabric. There is also the mirror effect, which reverses your image through its horizontal and vertical axis and creates something quite unusual.
I'm not sure photographs would look quite right, but there's all kind of scope to get creative - scan in a child's drawing, alter an image using one of the many effects engines available online, make a collage out of the concert tickets, keepsakes and ephemera of your life... And turn it into... a bag, a skirt, a headscarf, a cushion, a dress, a shirt... anything you could imagine.
Yes the company is in the states, but postage is reasonable. For a fat quarter (that's a yard divided in half lengthways and widthways, as opposed to a thin, quarter-yard strip) of the lightest weight fabric it's $1 domestically and $2 to the rest of the world - that's experimentation price! To ship a whole yard of that weight is only $7 internationally - which is £4.75. I should point out that there is always the risk of your package attracting a customs fee too, but that's always a risk when buying from overseas... it's the luck of the draw, essentially.