Wednesday, August 25, 2010

On Demand and Custom Fabric Printing

Spoonflower is not the only site that will print custom fabric, but at the moment it seems to have the best combination of price and easy to use site/ordering. I figure, however, I should spread my business around where it seems appropriate and try to promote competition.

Following is a list of the current set of sites I have looked at (or rather found) thus far for custom fabric printing (in small amounts).

These are sites primarly focused on fabric on demand. (Not in any particular order.) Also, TrueUp had a nice post comparing swatches from four of these companies, along with a comparison chart (out of date at this point, but easier to read than this list).

  • Spoonflower

    • This is the site I've spent the most time on; they have weekly contests, as I've mentioned in other posts. After purchasing a swatch you can make your design available for purchase to the general public; you receive 10% for purchases larger than a swatch (this includes your own designs and is called a 'designer discount' in this case).

    • The fabrics are of natural fibers -- I have no idea if they are actually using fiber reactive dyes however. A list of fabrics, printable sizes, and prices can be found here.

      • A swatch booklet of their fabrics is available for $1.

      • 8"x8" swatches are $5 each. If you are the designer, you can organize your fabrics into 'collections' and order swatches at a reduced price: $20 for up to 12 swatches and $30 for up to 24 (the max size of a collection). More information on collections.

      • Fat quarters range from $11 for quilting weight cotton to $17 for upholstery weight twill.

      • Yardage prices range from $16.20/yard (if you're the designer, $18 otherwise) for quilting weight cotton to $28.80/yard (designer, $32 otherwise) for upholstery weight twill.

    • Shipping is $1 for a single swatch or fat quarter, and increments thereafter according to fabric weight.

    • Uploaded images can be up to 30Mb in size.

    • They occasionally have free swatch days; keep an eye on the blog. If you are looking for previous posts, however, the tags on their blog seem porely organized.

  • Fabric On Demand

    • Ordering is a somewhat complicated process, which involves placing an order for the fabric (amount and type), then paying (via paypal), then uploading or submitting the actual image file. After all that, they will email you with an image showing how it is going to print out, and wait for your approval before actually printing. Turn around time is pretty fast however.

    • Fabric selection is a nice mix of natural and synthethics. In particular, they offer printing on polyester 'micro suede' (seemed more of a low loft velour), polyester fleece, and lycra.

      • A swatch booklet can be requested for free; it seems to contain more fabrics than they have currently listed on the site.

      • 8" by 8" swatches are $5

      • Fat quarter prices range from $10 (cotton, organic cotton, poly/cotton, micro suede, fleece, and cotton duck) to $15 (polyester satin and linen/cotton canvas).

      • Yardage prices range from $16.25/yd (4oz cotton poplin), to $16.75 (6oz cotton poplin, and 62" wide!), to $26 (organic cotton), to $34.20 (lycra)

    • Shipping is $2 for a single swatch, $2 for a fat quarter, and $5 for any yardage (1 to 10 yards). Shipping costs appear to increment by number of items ordered.

    • Uploaded images can be up to 8Mb (maybe 10Mb depending on where you look on the site). They can handle larger image files in a few ways, if you contact them: you host and send the link, they host (ftp) and you specify the image, and email (the max attachment size for both Yahoo and GMail is 25Mb).

    • The site seems kind of unfinished/unprofessional, but they have been very good about responding to emails (usually within a day).

  • KharmaKraft

    • Fabrics are mostly natural fibers, but include animal (silk) along with the plant based selections. They also offer a polyester satin and a polyester suede.

      • A swatch booklet ("Base Cloth Set") can be ordered for $9.

      • Yardage prices range from $30/yard (polyester satin), to $36/yard (light weight cotton, 3.7oz), to $37 (silk dupioni). KharmaKraft actually prices by square yard: $20, $24, and $33 for the previously mentioned fabrics.

    • Shipping is $12 for orders less than 1 pound in weight.

    • Uploaded images can be up to 25Mb in size.

    • They offer a 'cut and sew' service for pillow shams, bags, scarfs, and table cloths.

  • Rooms By You

    • In addition to household products, they also offer printing on kona cotton, cotton sateen, and linen yardage.

      • 10" by 10" swatch is $5 for Kona cotton, cotton sateen and polyester duck. Linen and heavy cotton duck swatches are $9.

      • Yardage price is $18/yard for Kona Cotton and Cotton Sateen. Linen fabric is $32/yard. All three fabrics are 48" in width.

    • Shipping is $0.44 for a swatch, and $4.90 and up for a yard (depending on location -- California ~$5, Michigan ~$8). Appears to increment by weight.

    • Images can be up to 25Mb in size. All designs (currently) must be 12" by 12", but you can crop after your design is uploaded. They have plans to allow full product images (and hopefully non-square images), but that is supposedly at least another 5 months away.

  • Candey Store

    • Fabrics include cotton broadcloth (3.5oz) and cotton duck (8oz).

      • 10" by 10" swatch is $6.75 for broadcloth and $9 for duck.

      • Fat quarter prices are $10.50 for broadcloth and $16.50 for duck.

      • Yardage prices are $24.74/yard for broadcloth and $31.50 for duck. 3 yard maximum uncut length.

    • Shipping is $5 for a swatch or yard of fabric.

    • They also offer printing on T-shirts and mousepads, as well as paper goods and buttons.

  • DPI

    • The offer a range cotton, linen, silk, and polyester fabrics.

      • A booklet of fabrics can be requested for free.

      • Yardage prices range from $23 (cotton sheeting and poly silk), to $25 (Kona cotton, poly fleece), to $60 (silk charmeuse 19.5mm). Yardage prices decrease if ordering more than 5, 10, and 25 yards.

    • They also offer custom printed scarves, bags, pillows, and laptop sleeves.

Other sites with sometimes unknown minimums. I have not contacted these companies to ask about prices (none are listed on their sites).
  • First 2 Print: This may be one of the companies that never responded to my inquiry about minimum order sizes and prices.

  • Advanced Digital Textiles: 5 yard minimum according to website.

  • Dream Digital: Their website claims no minimum yardage.

  • Designer Prints: They don't mention minimums, so they probably have them.

  • Craigs Prints: More and more sites seem to keep popping up... This one claims a one yard minimum.

  • JBC Textiles: Two yard minimum (supposedly).

Sites that print fabric and make a finished product (not really in any particular order). This isn't an area I've really looked at, but have instead found in the process of looking for fabric specific places.
  • Rooms By You: household items mostly, such as baby blankets, duvet covers, dog bedding, bean bags, laptop sleeve, etc.

  • Printed Fabric Products: Pillows, blankets, wall hangings.

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