Little over a year ago we launched our own line of womenswear sewing patterns, aimed at the new generation of DIYers and makers. After a wild ride so far, we have decided to add an entirely new facet to the brand: print-on-demand fabrics!
We owe our success so far entirely to the immense and ever growing network of home sewists: women and men all over the world who have reclaimed control over their own style, relearning forgotten skills and crafts and sharing their journeys and techniques through sewing and DIY blogs. We've seen the do-it-yourself bug officially go not only global, but commercial too, with everyone from bloggers, television networks and fashion magazines getting in on self-sufficient style. This resurgence of traditional DIY, crafting and home sewing is largely motivated by the growing demand for customisation and one-of-a-kind products that stand out from mass production. To this end, with our move into fabric printing, By Hand London will be giving our customers the raw ingredients to make anything - from clothes, to homewares, to accessories - completely tailored to the individual’s style and taste.
Sounds good! So what will you be offering?
- Custom print
Feel like you know exactly what you want on fabric and reckon you can create it yourself? Well, great! You can simply just upload your file to our website, arrange how you'd like it laid out onto your fabric and we'll print it out.
- Curated gallery of ready made designs
Love looking for and thinking about new fabric designs, but not sure you're up to creating it yourself? Well, not a problem either! Driven by design and community, we will also be offering a tightly curated gallery of exclusive designs in two ways:
1. By working closely with and championing emerging designers and students.
2. Through regular design competitions, open to one and all and with the winning fabric design voted on by the online community.
And, we want our talented designers to be complicit in the success of their own design! Which is why, anyone who's work ends up in our gallery will be paid an upfront fee and get a lump sum every time 500m of their fabric is ordered.
Okay, now tell me a little bit about the printing process
All designs will be printed using digital textile printers and eco friendly pigment inks. This print-on-demand method is particularly excellent for a variety of reasons:
1. Small minimum orders (as small as fat quarters, for all you quilters out there!)
2. No limit on the amount of colours per design
3. Print-on-demand means less waste
4. Pigment inks are kind to skin and to the earth
5. We will be printing right here in our hometown of London (England)
What fabrics will you be printing on?
Good question! We will start with a medium weight cotton poplin, because it is suitable for a whole range of uses, from dressmaking to quilting. From then on we intend to expand our range of fabrics to include a wide variety of (predominantly natural) woven and knitted fabrics. It really depends on what you want to see! At every stage we will be making sure to ask and find out what our customers want the most.
Anything else we should know?
Oh, why yes there is, thanks for asking!
1. We want to offer wider width fabric as standard. This means that all of our fabric would be approximately 60" or 150cm wide.
2. Pigment ink printing is not traditionally completely colourfast. We are currently busy doing some experiments to see if we can try get it that way with a 100% natural post treatment. Watch this space!
It is in order to fund this exciting new venture that we have launched this very Kickstarter campaign! The aim being to raise enough money to buy our very first textile printer and the accompanying shiny web and app development needed to make it fun, easy and beautiful to create your own fabric.
Obviously, all pledges are so so so incredibly gratefully received. However, we appreciate that this is not possible for everyone. In which case, any kind of telling all your friends and family or general shouting-from-the-rooftops kind of activity you could do would be wonderful too!
Hugest of thanks for stopping by,
Charlotte, Elisalex and Victoria
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenges we face are: 1. creating a really beautiful and easy-to-use website on which to create or select your fabric designs which makes the whole process enjoyable, 2. Linking up the printing technology correctly to get the best possible replica of the on screen design.
We have partnered up with an amazing user design agency, which specialises in exciting, dynamic content (most worked on BBC iPlayer together) who will help us work out the nitty gritty of the tech side.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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