Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A trip to the fabric printer

Today I went for a walk to the fabric printer to check out some colour samples they'd prepared for me. And I did something I've been meaning to do for ages - I took my camera with me!

I think it's true that if you're buying something handmade, it becomes so much more valuable when you feel connected to the process. It's the background if the product that's interesting - how it came to be. I reckon that's why almost all of my customers have found me through my blog. Because you're not just buying something by a nameless, faceless company, you're buying from someone you know, who you've listened to rambling about stuff day in day out.


The printer's building, formerly "The Mighty Apollo Gym" ! They're on the top floor. If the building looks familiar at all it's because it was used in the filming of the TV series "Last Man Standing". The main character supposedly had his funky warehouse apartment in this building, hehehe.


When I arrived, Nadia still had the mixing dishes out, containing the 4 colour samples I requested. This is for a dusty "robins egg" colourway. (The design in the background isn't mine).


Here's one of my screens, standing up against one of their printing tables (note big long tables in background). This screen has the birch forest and riverside adventures designs on it.


Choosing colours for the "teal" colourway. The ones on the fabric are a little too blue, so we're trying for something a bit greener.


The final samples for the robins egg colourway. I totally love that one in the foreground. However it's actually supposed to be the birch/riverside designs in this colour, and on a slightly lighter basecloth. Still, yummy. I might print this combination next time :)


Not a great photo, but when I got there they'd already printed the riverstones + flowing dots designs in the raspberry, on the cream coloured linen (it needs to be heat set first, before I can take it home). Looks really nice in person, not so much in the photo :)

And that's it! I'd love to take some photos of them actually printing but we'll see about that. They didn't seem too keen on the idea, not sure why.

23 comments:

Jessicah said...

How neat you got to see the process! The old building is great too :)

Hollabee said...

Looks great! Can't wait for the yummie linen to be 'released'. It's such a good fabric for summer!

Funny to see the printer's place in pics too ;)

Heather Moore said...

Wow! And look at all the samples your printers give you! Mine show me a sample, and when I demur, spend ages trying to convince me why I should go with their wierd version of the colour I requested. Sigh. That said, they are sweetie pies and I couldn't do without 'em.

de vliegende koe said...

Thank you for sharing the process of.. It feels like being back in artschool. I loved to make silkprints. When will the wonderful new fabric for sale?

Hyena In Petticoats said...

Lara, the teal looks gorgeous!
I'm so pleased you're printing on linen - can't wait to get my hands on some of that!

xxx

Sidsel Gaustadnes said...

looks great - great idea - I can almost smell the paint

stephanie said...

oohh..raspberry and robins egg..two lovely color choices ! bravo!

Becky O. said...

Hooray, I just finished sewing all the birch fabric from the last round!
The linen looks wonderful.

lekkercraft said...

It's very cool to see the process. I used to screenprint, but just on paper, not fabric (which I hope to try someday).

I was wondering how do they do their color mixing for the inks? It looks like they mix and then match to Pantone chips, but do they do it by hand? Do they just re-mix and match again when you do a second run?

casey said...

Oh! Thank you for the little "tour" of where you get your fabrics printed! I find this kind of stuff fascinating; as I'm sure many creative types do--the process is the coolest part! lol.

Victoria E said...

With all these pictures and info, it feels like your fan and buyers are actually a part of the process - rare these days, but a very good thing for you :)

Meet Me at Mikes said...

Oh.. i'd just hang that screen on my wall! It's super gorgeous and look at your generous nature, Miss.. sharing all this with the crafty world! You are awesome and are certainly living the crafty ethos of 'passing on traditions and techniques'. (Quoting a little bit of Gemma Jones there!) Showing everyone how its done, Ms Lara.

Tina said...

Hi Lara! Thanks for sharing! It really helps to see what's going on. I hope they will let you show us more! Not to change the subject, but :) Are any of those fabric packs coming out soon?

Jesse said...

Thanks for sharing the process! I love these peeks behind the scenes. You're right, it does make the finished product mean more.

rifferaff said...

i love to see this! thanks!

of paper & thread said...

this is a great post - thanks lara! i'm used to printing away in my little backyard shed, so it is fascinating to see it all on a larger scale! and the new fabrics are looking fabulous!

ShiriMe! said...

lovely entry again lara! let's hope this time i get a chance at the fabric packs. i finally have some photos up of the cards i make on my blog. been too busy with exams to maintain an active blog. but love reading yours! and your friend lynn suggested a wonderful place for me to learn about letterpress right in the city i live in! she's wonderful.

ShiriMe! said...
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elly yap said...

Thanks for sharing these, a great insight into your process!

The Mighty Apollo Gym... could make a great band name. ;}

Corrie said...

wow that is so great to see the printing process! I love it! I'm now more excited than ever to receive the fabrics and thank you so much for sharing

Corrie:)

clara said...

Thanks so much for taking us to the printer's! I had always wondered what actually happens there!

Little Bitsys said...

Very cool to see the print process. That building looks familiar for another movie though, was it The Castle? When the wacky guy has to go see his lawyer? Or was it Rabbit-Proof Fence, one of the city scenes? Anyway, love the old building!

J. said...

This is FANTASTIC!! Thank you for showing this process.