Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Field Trip: Spoonflower

Yesterday was the first Monday of the month, which means it was my art quilt bee's meeting day. The agenda was a field trip to Spoonflower in Durham, NC. Spoonflower is a company that prints fabric from your own designs or photographs.

The company used to be in a former sock manufacturing plant in Mebane, NC, but is now located in a beautiful campus in Durham. We found lots of delights behind the cheerful red door!

As is often the case in the summer, many of our members had conflicts, so only Ruth-Ellen and I were able to participate on this outing. We were met by Darci, who gave us the tour and explained their processes.

They have a choice of seven fabrics, including quilting cotton, a linen-cotton canvas, an organic cotton sateen, upholstery weight cotton twill and are soon to come out with a cotton/silk blend fabric.  You can request a fabric swatch book at the above link.

For you selvage lovers, check out the selvage on this baby:

Their printing process uses pigments, and is similar to printing on your home printer, but in wide fabric widths.

There were about twelve printers in use. The printers are named after movie characters. This one is Shemp from the Three Stooges.

This printer was printing samples of the new cotton-silk blend fabric.

If you want to try having your own designs printed on fabric, you can order a printed swatch of any of the fabrics for only $5.00. You can order fat quarters or yardage. The website walks you through the design process and allows you to preview your creation. There were many samples of fabric on stretcher strips used for wall art.

Other fabric samples were used for these cloth umbrellas

and origami fabric birds.

This fabric banner welcomes you to another room.

There are online contests each week with a theme.  You can vote for your favorites.  They had a skirt contest and there were some very cool entries, such as this peacock skirt.

Here is another fabric skirt, along with some fabric mounted in embroidery hoops as wall art.

The front lobby has a display of modern wooden chairs, each upholstered with a fabric print cushion.

Here are two that I really liked.

I also WANT this soft upholstered chair.

Why not design the perfect fabric to cover a lampshade?

Or a mega-sized floor cushion?  My grandchildren would love this!

When you design your fabric and print it at Spoonflower, you own the copyrights for your design.  If you choose, you may offer yardage for sale through the company website.

We appreciate the time Darci spent showing us around.  Ruth-Ellen is an expert at photography and photo editing with Photoshop Elements, and is eager to try Spoonflower for some of her favorite shots.  I have an idea to make a collage of my quilts or journal paintings and use them for fabric.

If you decide to try creating your own fabric designs via Spoonflower, I would love to see your finished product!


Michele said...

I want that chair too!!! It's fabulous.
Thanks for sharing!

Elizabeth said...

What a fabulous outing and to have such a private tour!!! I have been looking into Spoon Flower for a bit- very cool company!! Thanks for taking us along with!!

Katie said...

I had no idea they were in Durham! Thanks for the tour. :-)