Spoonflower is a new company that specializes in printing textiles for the individual. It’s a unique service that gives anyone the opportunity to have any design printed, with no minimums. At $18 a yard, and only one type of fabric, a student of textile design might need to choose a design very carefully; for those testing a design, and unwilling to commit to it, printed swatches can be ordered for $5 each (unfortunately with an extra dollar per swatch shipping charge).
Along with the standard components of a small online business (designs must be submitted to their specifications, are submitted online, and are printed at their headquarters in North Carolina) like a blog for announcements and a small history (they launched May 2008), they have created an online community, where people can create an account and share low resolution images of their textile designs. The social networking aspect provides endless inspiration for textile design, and quite often, though sites like flickr.com, where there is a spoonflower group, people that designed their own fabric also share images of the final application of that fabric, which multiplies the inspiration exponentially. Fabric designs are printed on the lightweight cotton Modal blend, sent to its designer, and through crafting, fashion, and interior design, are turned into anything from a soft baby book to framed wall art. Textile design is more complicated than it might seem, but luckily, the online community, tutorials, and faq list can help with the learning curve involved in using this new tool.
Reviewer: Caroline Bautista, FIDM Library Staff Member