In May the Guild learned about a new fabric digital printing company called Hello Fabric located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our stellar steering member, Jeannie Bosko, offered to try them out and share her experiences with us. Here is what she discovered...
Hello Fabric uses reactive dyes when printing fabrics on their large format printers. This gives the fabric very good wash and light-fastness properties. They have a broad selection of 16 fabric types, with many available in 58" inch widths, the two exceptions being their 10-12 oz. denim at 52", and poly cotton fleece at 56". If you are looking for a wider fabric or heavier denim twill, Hello Fabric would be a good choice.
Next I uploaded three of my designs for fat quarter swatches. They request a minimum of 150 DPI, RGB color, JPEG no larger than 40 MB if you are uploading your own design. Since fiber reactive dyes work their best on cotton or flax (cellulose fibers), I did my test swatches on cotton. The results were quite satisfactory, with correct colors, and soft "hand." The swatches arrived within 5 days, while yardage takes 2 weeks. I asked a question via the contact page, and customer service got back to me in 24 hours. All good!
Hello Fabric has a Designers' Studio where customers can choose a design to print on fabric, or have made into products. Designers can submit collections for consideration, and if chosen, are added to the Studio. the designer receives 10% commission anytime one of their designs is used.
Products available on the site are manufactured by small businesses in the USA in partnership with Hello Fabric. They have traditional items like napkins, place mats, accent pillows and wall art to name a few. In addition to that there are also ottomans, bean bag chairs, pet beds and small throw rugs made with your choice of fabric. How fun is that! Above is one of their specialty totes with a design added.
For comparison I sent the same 3 designs over to Spoonflower where they use water-based pigment ink dyes. Swatches from both companies were excellent quality with no real visible difference between dyes.
-Jeanne Bosko, Guild Steering Member