Spoonflower Custom Fabric Review

Custom fabric used to be a fantasy, unless you wanted to print it yourself. I did some research on the subject once and found that a “small run” of fabric would be something around a minimum of 500 to 1,000 yards, and most fabric printing houses won’t even do that small of a run. Even if it cost $1 a yard (and you can be assured it’d be more than that), you’d need to cough up $500-1000 all at once for one single print. My wallet laughed in my face.

Enter Spoonflower, offering completely custom fabric printing on a variety of fabric options. And you can order ONE YARD AT A TIME (they also have test swatches and fat quarters!).  Awesome! Amazing! I’m nearly wetting myself with excitement!

Not only can you order your own custom designed fabric, you can set up a little spoonflower shop and offer your fabric designs to the public! Every time your fabric sells, you get spoonflower credit!

About a year ago, Spoonflower had a free sample promotion, and I jumped at the chance to test it out. I could have ordered one of the thousands of awesome designs already available on their site, but I couldn’t resist the idea of designing my own fabric! So I did a little reconfiguring of the WhatTheCraft background, uploaded it, and ordered my free sample of WTC intarsia print fabric!

Crafty Intarsia print by smarmyclothes is available here.

This is a swatch of my design printed on their quilting cotton. I’ve seen some critiques that their quilting weight fabric is thin. It is a bit see-through, as you can see in the next photo.

I’m wondering if fabric printed with a dark background color would be less see-through, but either way I don’t care. It’s custom fabric, and it’s awesome. The print quality is great and the colors are accurate. If you’re planning on making clothing with it, plan for a lining or a slip underneath. Or upgrade to one of their higher end fabrics. They’ve got cotton sateen, upholstery weight twill, linen cotton canvas, silk crepe de chine, and cotton voile! But for bags, quilts, etc. you’ll be lining or backing them anyway.

What I was really curious about was the knit. Would the printing be as crisp? The colors as clear? And of course, what’s the weight like?  I finally had a chance to see for myself, as I had a customer that wanted a custom dress made of some Spoonflower fabric.

Sickly Gray Forest print by Tinet is available here.

I was not disappointed. I had been expecting a light weight tissue knit, but it’s actually a nice medium weight knit. The print looks great and most of all, it’s soft! I wondered if the print would effect the stretchiness and the hand, but it doesn’t at all.

So now all that’s left to do is to resist the urge to go design and order a bazillion different weird fabric prints from Spoonflower. I’m locking my wallet up as we speak.

6 thoughts on “Spoonflower Custom Fabric Review

  1. My fabric was horrible after washing. I did the basic fabric cotton choice. It left lines that all looked washed out. I am so upset because this was to be used as a gift for my mother coming up. I will have to call the company and see about fixing this expensive problem.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that. After I read your comment, I went and machine washed swatches of my various Spoonflower fabrics (I’d been hand washing them before). I tested the basic cotton, the cotton sateen, and the cotton knit. All of mine look perfectly fine after a wash. I even put some in the dryer to test that as well.

      My thinking after reading your comments and reading the same things elsewhere is that the problem is less the washing and more the rubbing on the other things in the washer. This would explain why my small swatches didn’t show any signs of wear.

      I would definitely contact Spoonflower about a replacement, as their customer service seems pretty excellent. And for the future, I’d recommend either hand washing or putting the fabric inside a pillowcase when you wash it. The same would go for the finished item.

  2. I was interested in this site when I first found it since I am an artist, but both the tiny % paid for your original art and the fact that it doesn’t seem to hold up to regular washing has changed my mind about using their service.

  3. I have wanted to make my designs out of my fabric, partly to avoid copyright matters and partly artistic desire, so Spoonflower seemed a pricey but possible source.

    I have had significant crocking (that’s where the ink rubs off) on almost all of my Spoonflower fabric. They are in the process of changing their printing tech, so this is hit and miss. The silk and the linen hold ink well, the kona and poplin not so much. The sateen holds ink very nicely. This is particularly bad with dark fabrics with large solid areas. It has nothing to do with the other things in the washer, it rubs against itself in that pillowcase. The polyesters hold color brilliantly, if you like polyesters…

    I have a big problem with my current order (done for a commission on a deadline). I have three two yard pieces here, a horizontal striped pattern, all printed off grain (looks like the center of the yardage pulled faster, the stripe is bowed by about an inch from side to side). The troubling part is: I sent photos of the problem with the first piece, got a “Oh No! Let’s fix this!” mail, and got a reprint that would be personally attended to. I got two reprints Fed’ex two day delivery today, and I didn’t even need to wash them; they are printed off grain even more than the first. And then it hit me: they have no idea what grain in fabric is. If the lead edge is cleanly trimmed, it’s on grain to them. The fabric is so heavily sized it cannot be squared up until you wash it, and then it grains up. And you know what that looks like.

    It would work for a random print, with nothing that had to be square. But for this, utter fail. I am guessing it’s the twill; the lighter weights have been …well, crocked but fine.

    So, if you never wash your fabric, it’s fine. They do sell wallpaper. And decals.

  4. One of my customers recently ordered fabric from Spoonflower for me to use in creating custom fitted sheets to go along with her bedding. I have never used this company before I don’t think I ever will again! For the price they charge, the fabric feel cheep (equivalent to what I can purchase at Walmart) Also, be aware that the fabric comes preshrunk. We ordered 12 yards and expected a FULL 12 yards. Instead we received 11 3/4 yards. There is no way to call the company, you have to email them and wait for them to get back to you. So far I am not having much luck getting this problem resolved with them! Buyer beware

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