order, so there is no waste or over-runs of fabric. There is also no setup fee or minimum order, making digital printing an affordable option even for small quantities of custom-designed fabric. The North Carolina-based business ships worldwide, and features a marketplace where you can purchase fabric with other people’s designs—now the world’s largest showcase of independently-designed fabric. Here’s a look at my first experience designing fabric.
the content. I wanted something that highlighted the beautiful colors found in nature; ones that you wouldn’t necessarily put together on your own. I was also looking for something that could
be blown up really big to become an abstract print that would make viewers wonder what they were looking at. I decided on a photograph of the under-wing of a Black Arch Agrius
Creative coordinated butterﬂy print fabric designed by Kathryn Brenne, available on spoonﬂower.com. Top and pants, V9063.
Working with the spoonflower.com interface made it easy to design my own fabric, but there are some things you need to consider before working with a printing company. You can begin with a photograph, sketch, or something you’ve created using software such as Adobe Illustrator. For copyright reasons artwork for fabric must be original, so you cannot use anything from magazines, newspapers, or the internet, unless it is copyright-free. Each printing company will have a preferred file format for artwork. Common formats include JPG, TIF, PNG, GIF, SVG, AI, and EPS. Specifications for size and format vary by company, so check these before you make the artwork selection for your design. If you are using a photograph, it should be shot in high resolution for the best results. Resolution is measured in dpi or dots per inch when printing, or pixels when referring to a digital photograph or computer image. Most companies will require a minimum of 150 dpi for a design. If the resolution of the original artwork is poor, it is impossible to resize the design without compromising the quality of the print. This is especially important if you are enlarging the photo. All of our butterfly photos were high quality, so I was able to focus on
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