Oct 29, 2008


Textile design by Betsy Childs, custom printed by Spoonflower.

A few days ago, I was blogging about how textile manufacturing could be on the brink of a production evolution towards "mass customization" and flexible, small-scale production, thanks to new technologies in digital 2D and 3D printing.

Here's the 2D version, and it's here today. A new US company, called Spoonflower, based in North Carolina, is selling digitally printed custom fabric, with no minimums, and no set-up costs.

Textile designers -- or anyone who has an idea for a fabric -- can now have multi-color designs printed on 4.5 oz cotton (42" printable width, 3 yard piece length). Prices are $18 per yard, or $5 for a sample swatch, and turn-arounds of two weeks or less are reported. Designer/customers retain ownership and all rights to their designs.

An ironic twist: Spoonflower is headquartered in a former, out-moded textile mill.

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