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Fabric

F.A.Q

General Info

Who illustrates all these designs?


Me! I'm Lauren. The one woman sewing factory and fabric designer of Thistle and Fox. When you send an email to Thistle and Fox, I'm the one who reads it, writes and sends a reply. When you place an order for something handmade, I'm the one who makes it and sends the parcel to you. When you purchase my fabrics you are supporting an independent designer and maker, so thank you from the bottom of my heart. Aside from a few designs based on vintage illustrations from the public domain, all the designs in my portfolio are based on my own hand drawn illustrations and designs. Illustration, design and making are my passions. When I read feedback and see the wonderful photos from customers who are loving using their handmade products from my little business I could not be happier! You can read more About me and follow me on instagram @thistleandfox for a behind the scenes look at Thistle and Fox.




Do you have any fabric in stock in your studio?


Sorry, no. ALL fabric in my shop is printed on demand. This means there's no waste which is better for the environment and the design can be customized (design scale, orientation, colours) so it will be perfect for its intended use. With a portfolio of over 2000 designs and more than 20 choices of materials to be printed on, I could not possibly keep them all in stock in my little studio. Need a customization or want to order a design from my portfolio that you don't see in my shop? Get in touch.




I'm not sure which material to use... can you help?


Detailed info about each material is located on the Choosing Materials page. Materials are divided into Wovens & Knits, or Fabrics Printed in Australia. If shopping for fabrics printed in Australia please note that you need to choose the correct shipping option during checkout. These orders do not ship for free. I always recommend ordering a swatch first if you would like to feel what a material is like and to see how the colours will look when printed on a particular base material.




Do you have a retail store I can visit?


Not yet... but I'd love to one day! Local shoppers can visit me at various handmade markets on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales. The next market I'll be visiting is the Made With Love Markets in Coffs Harbour at the Park Beach Plaza Level 1 Carpark. Dates posted on their website. Usually once a year, I open up my studio for High Tea parties and private art shows where you can take a peek at all I've been working on in my studio and get a closer look at some of the fabrics I've designed. Studio Open Day for 2021 - postponed for now due to COVID safety measures. If you are local to the Coffs Coast, make sure you receive an invite to my next event by joining my mailing list.




I have more questions... how do I contact you?


Email is best and you will find my contact details here. I'm often online and check messages every day so you wont have to wait very long for an answer. If no reply is received after 3 days please check your junk mail folder!




Do you do the fabric printing?


No. I am a surface pattern designer, not a printing service. Fortunately, there are amazing print on demand companies and small businesses which allow designers like me to print fabric & wallpaper as we need them...unlike wholesale fabric printers where the minimum quantity for a single print run is typically 500m. This wouldn't work at all for a designer like me with very limited space in my studio I couldn't possibly store the hefty rolls of printed fabric (let alone lay out the cost for printing it all upfront!) and with a portfolio of more than 2000 designs and colourways, well, you get the idea... I currently have my designs printed by the yard or metre via Spoonflower and Next State Print. Spoonflower: located in Durham, North Carolina and Berlin, Germany. They print everything digitally on large format printers that are not unlike desktop printers (only much bigger) using non-toxic, water-based pigmented inks. Once printed, all the fabrics are run through a high-temperature heat setting process to permanently bond the inks to the fabric. Next State Print: located in Melbourne, Australia. Print process is as above, though the range of materials is a little different. You can read more about their printing services & the process on their website




Where are your fabrics printed?


The majority of my fabrics are created in the United States by Spoonflower. All of my designs are available on a stunning range of natural fibre fabrics and eco friendly textiles, custom printed on demand. If you are located in Australia, my website & Etsy customers receive their fabric orders from the Durham North Carolina factory (free shipping) while if you place an order directly via the Spoonflower website, it will be printed in Berlin. For customers in Europe or the UK, your fabric will be printed on demand in Berlin by Spoonflower. For most other locations, the production location will be the Spoonflower factory closest to where you live.
You can learn more about the fabric printing process & eco friendly practices on the Spoonflower website. In Feb 2021 they moved to a much larger location, allowing a more efficient production process. Read about it here: https://blog.spoonflower.com/2021/02/factory-move/ ​​For a full list of the types of fabric available on my website and printed by Spoonflower, please take a look at the Choosing Materials page There is a new section of my shop for fabrics Printed in Australia by Next State Print in Melbourne, an ECA accredited printing business with some of the most beautiful fabrics I've ever had the pleasure of sewing with. These fabrics ship only within Australia at the moment. A small selection of my most popular designs are available to order direct from their website using their handy print on demand online software, you can customize the scale of the print yourself! I also have a small selection of my designs available for sale on fabric bases from a custom fabric printer in the UK called Fashion Formula. Yes, they ship worldwide. Free shipping does not apply for fabric produced by Next State or Fashion Formula.




What is your minimum order?


The smallest amount of fabric you can order is a Swatch - 8x8" (20cm square) of any base material printed with any of Laurens designs. Samples available HERE If you would like to try a little more fabric, a FAT QUARTER is a great place to start. Single fat quarters are only available for the range of materials printed by Spoonflower. A fat quarter is equal to 1/4 of a yard but is printed in a fat rectangle rather than a narrow strip of fabric. It's a common cut used by quilters and crafters. Ordering a set of 4 fat quarters is better value and is possible for ANY of the base materials. Shop HERE For full yards or metres of fabric, the minimum order quantity is 1 yard/metre. In case you're not familar with the terms, a yard is 90cm in length x the width of the material (widths vary for each type of material from 105cm Petal Cotton to 130, 135, 140, 145 and 150cm for most fashion & upholstery fabrics or up to 295cm for the specialty wide width fabrics ideal for sewing bed sheets, duvet covers, drapery and quilt backing) Shop materials printed by Spoonflower HERE Shop materials printed in Australia by Next State Print HERE





Production Info

How sustainable are your fabrics?


By offering my designs as printed on demand rather than selling fabric 'off the roll' there's no need for warehousing and there's no pre-consumer waste as only what is ordered is printed. The majority of the fabrics I prefer to work with are made from organic cotton or sustainably sourced natural fibers such as linen. All organic materials are certified organic by Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS). Organic Cotton Knit, Organic Cotton Sateen and Organic Cotton Double Gauze (Muslin) are some of my favourite materials to use in my own sewing projects. Fabrics are printed on demand using water based pigment inks and dyes tested as safe for use with infants and children (Oeko -Tex 100 certified). The digital printing process is eco friendly, using almost no water, any fabric offcuts are either shredded and composted or used as stuffing for other products. You can read more about the sustainability practices of the fabric printers I work with on the Spoonflower website and on the Next State Print website.




Where are your fabrics printed?


The majority of my fabrics are created in the United States by Spoonflower. All of my designs are available on a stunning range of natural fibre fabrics and eco friendly textiles, custom printed on demand. If you are located in Australia, my website & Etsy customers receive their fabric orders from the Durham North Carolina factory (free shipping) while if you place an order directly via the Spoonflower website, it will be printed in Berlin. For customers in Europe or the UK, your fabric will be printed on demand in Berlin by Spoonflower. For most other locations, the production location will be the Spoonflower factory closest to where you live.
You can learn more about the fabric printing process & eco friendly practices on the Spoonflower website. In Feb 2021 they moved to a much larger location, allowing a more efficient production process. Read about it here: https://blog.spoonflower.com/2021/02/factory-move/ ​​For a full list of the types of fabric available on my website and printed by Spoonflower, please take a look at the Choosing Materials page There is a new section of my shop for fabrics Printed in Australia by Next State Print in Melbourne, an ECA accredited printing business with some of the most beautiful fabrics I've ever had the pleasure of sewing with. These fabrics ship only within Australia at the moment. A small selection of my most popular designs are available to order direct from their website using their handy print on demand online software, you can customize the scale of the print yourself! I also have a small selection of my designs available for sale on fabric bases from a custom fabric printer in the UK called Fashion Formula. Yes, they ship worldwide. Free shipping does not apply for fabric produced by Next State or Fashion Formula.




What is the turnaround time?


For fabrics & wallpaper printed by Spoonflower: Printing = 5-10 days Shipping to Australia = 21-28 days (some delays may occur unexpectedly due to changing COVID restrictions) For fabrics printed by Next State Print in Melbourne: Printing = 10-15 days Shipping within Australia = 2-7 days (occasional delays may occur unexpectedly due to changing COVID restrictions)





Colours & Samples

Can I get a pattern I like in another color? Can you change the scale of the design for me?


Yes to both! ​I am happy to make simple adjustments to background colors or the scale of any of my existing designs.* You'll need to contact me before checkout so I can make these changes for you before the fabric order is placed as it automatically goes into production when ordered via the Spoonflower site. When contacting me please include in your message: the name of the design ( a link to the design is even better!) your color preference or tell me how large or small (in inches or centimeters) you need the design to be. For example: "I'd like to order 2 yards of the 'White Pony on Mint' with a baby pink background and I need each pony to be 1 inch wide." * There is no charge for small changes to scale or background colour. For more extensive changes there may be a small fee to cover my time. Please get in touch if you're unsure.




How can I get samples of your fabrics?


Because all my designs are available for printing on demand, samples are also printed on demand. Printers offer individual swatches printed on your choice of base material, or if you are keen to sample many of my designs all on the one base material, you can order a 'swatch sampler' from my Spoonflower portfolio or Etsy shop. If ordering via Etsy I take care of arranging the order so most prints can be customized, scaled up or down or a curated collection of themed designs can be printed for you. Just get in touch with your requests and some info about the project you had in mind. Eg. "I'm located in Australia and planning to upholster my dining chairs. I'd like to sample a natural fiber upholstery fabric printed with a collection of your Australian botanical designs. I prefer natural, earthy colours and light, neutral backgrounds"




How can I be sure the design colours will look the same in person as they do on screen?


To answer this I've been a bit cheeky and included info here from the Spoonflower blog where this question was answered in great detail: When it comes to the printing process and the different materials we print on, there are many variables involved. Unfortunately, this means it is not always possible to get an exact match. For instance, the base fabric selected has a large impact on the appearance of the printed colours. Some colours may appear differently on certain fabrics due to the weave and/or thickness of the threads. When it comes to our natural-fiber fabrics, large areas of black can often read as a dark gray when printed. You are probably also aware that colours can vary slightly from monitor to monitor, as well as from printer to printer. And when being digitally printed along with other colours in an image, design elements may sometimes pick up hues from the surrounding colours. We discuss this and other details that might be of interest, in this blog post: COLOURS If you are hoping to recreate a very specific colour, we would suggest ordering the extensive colour map on the fabric you intend your designs to eventually be printed on. You can select the hex codes from the colour map and > request a customized design alteration from Lauren < You can order one of the Spoonflower colour maps here: https://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/509390-spoonflower-color-map-by-spoonflower OR/ order sample swatches to test the colours & material combinations BEFORE ordering larger quantities of printed material.





Special Materials

Do you print specialty fabrics...waterproof, upholstery, outdoor, light blocking fabric?


The short answer, yes. I can have my designs printed on a large range of specialty fabrics printed in London, UK. I am happy to create custom orders. Contact me here on my website. Include the details of what you would like and I can create a printing and shipping quote for you. Let me know your shipping address (state/county, postcode, country), which fabric print/s would you like? Printed on what type of fabric? or what will you be using the fabric for? This will help me provide a complete answer for you quickly. Thankyou





Shipping & Delivery

Do you ship fabric to the UK or Europe?


Yes. My designs are printed on fabric & wallpaper in Berlin by Spoonflower. Shop for fabrics and wallpaper on the Spoonflower website. If you are having trouble locating one of my designs in my Spoonflower portfolio, please Contact me. UK customers can also order some of my designs on fabrics printed in London by Fashion Formula.




How long will it take for my fabric to arrive?


The answer to this question depends on where you have ordered the fabric from and which location the fabric will be shipped to. If you live in Australia and have ordered your fabric via this website or my Etsy shop your fabric will be shipped from the USA 10-15 days after you placed your order. It then takes between 3-4 weeks to be delivered to most locations in Australia. If you live in Australia and need your fabric order faster, please contact me. There are faster shipping options available. Price for express production and shipping starts at an additonal $15 for the first yard of fabric. If you live in the USA and have ordered your fabric via Spoonflower, this website or my Etsy shop, your order will likely arrive within 15-21 calendar days after placing your order. If you live in Europe or the UK, your fabric order will usually be shipping from the Berlin Spoonflower headquarters. I am currently working on opening my UK fabric shop via FashionFormula which should significantly speed up production and shipping times for my UK customers.




Are you shipping internationally?


Australian customers: orders can be placed via my website or Etsy shop as normal. International customers: please order via my Etsy shop or direct from Spoonflower. My website is currently set for shipping within Australia only as this is where most of my handmade custom orders and ready to ship items are available for sale. Shipping logistics are tricky at the moment with many items sent internationally taking many weeks to be delivered and tracked shipping costs from Australia are often more expensive than the item being sent... However, you can shop for my designs from suppliers and makers located closer to where you live! Please shop for my fabric, wallpaper & homewares designs via Spoonflower. There are also many printed on demand products available via Society6 & Redbubble. Want something handmade using my fabrics? Many makers will create custom orders using designer fabrics requested by a client. Get in touch with a maker first to ask if they are able to take on your project then you can send them to my Spoonflower or Etsy shop to order the fabrics they need. Still keen for me to create your project? Get in touch via my Contact form.





Selling What You Make

Can I sell items I've made from your fabrics?


Yes, of course you can! You are buying fabric from an indie designer but its just like buying fabric from any store (only much much better!), its yours to use as you wish for any project, either for yourself or for your shop.

I always appreciate a mention as the print designer (though its not a requirement!) and I really love to see what you create when using my fabrics so get in touch with a pic or link to your finished projects or products online.
Discovering a photo of my fabrics being used is a highlight of my day!





Design Licensing

Do you do design collaborations?


Absolutely! Perhaps you make and sell baby clothes and you'd like an exclusively illustrated fabric? I'd love to work with you! Please contact me so we can discuss the finer details. Make sure you include in your message as much info as you can about your proposed project and a link to your shop or website if you have one. Absolute confidentiality is assured. Please also read this page before you get in touch as many of your questions may be answered here on my website.





Print my Designs for me?

If I send you some fabric can you print your designs on it?


I am primarily an illustrator selling a few things printed with my designs on the side... I don't print these fabrics myself - it would require a huge warehouse, hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment and stock... I'm one artist and Thistle and Fox is a cottage business. I outsource the printing of my designs to the custom digital 'print on demand' services listed below.
Some of the materials for sale in my shop are printed by Spoonflower in the USA, some are printed in Australia by Next State Print. There are two sections of my website for these two printing sources. Digital printing is very different to screen printing. You can read all about the process here. While some digital printers accept base materials sent to them by clients, not many offer this service and those that do charge accordingly.
You might like to check out the materials already on offer from the printers I regularly use to print my designs.

For Australian residents, you may like to look into Digital Fabrics Australia for custom printing of 'customer supplied' materials. They provide lots of info on their website about this service & the fabric requirements: https://www.digitalfabrics.com.au/fabric-requirements/ If you would like my designs to be printed on any of their base materials, please get in touch to discuss licensing my designs so you may print the fabric you need for your project. My Design Licensing page has more info.




Can you print my designs for me?


No, I am a surface pattern designer. I'm not a wholesale fabric shop or fabric printer. I do not do the fabric printing myself as this would require lots of machinery, very expensive technology & a huge amount of space! All my printing is outsourced to professional fabric printers. I sell only my own designs printed on fabric, wallpaper and handmade homewares. I am happy to point you in the direction of some great print-on-demand companies and custom digital fabric printers where I get my designs printed and where you can potentially order your own printed materials. ...Please refer to the info in the question below.




Can you help me get my design file ready for printing?


If I had all the time in the world (or a vast team of minions) I would gladly take on more design assistance work. Unfortunately there are no minions here. Just me, running it all on my own while also working a day job on the side. I do know of some pretty cool teachers and tutorials online and classes you can take at home to learn more about creating surface pattern designs and getting files ready for printing. To begin with, go check out Skillshare.com I highly recommend the classes by Mel Armstrong. Although I've been using Photoshop to create patterns for many years, I learned quite a few new techniques in Mel's classes and love her teaching style.





Placing an Order

I need help placing an order!


Have you read the info for the item you are looking at? Still need help? Please reach out with your specific question or let me know if you're having a technical problem viewing my website. I highly recommend shopping via a laptop or desktop computer instead of a phone. You'll be able to see the full site & all its features much more easily. For help with shopping my designs on Spoonflower, please see their ' How to Place an Order' page for a step by step tutorial.





Wholesale

Can I buy your fabric at wholesale prices?


I would love to be able to offer competitive wholesale prices for my fabrics... unfortunately I'm still quite a tiny fish in an enormous pond. If you would like to order larger quantities of my fabrics, I am happy to make a special listing for you here on my website. Custom printed fabric costs alot to produce (more than 90% of the retail price you pay is the printing cost) As a designer I receive 10% minus the cost of processing your payment via my website. I do not manufacture my own fabrics or print in bulk for my own use so all wholesale orders are custom printed on demand just for you and ship directly to you from the printer - all fabric orders placed in my shop and all fabric printed for my own use is produced in this way. FABRIC WHOLESALE is possible at the following rates: ✔ BULK ORDERS of 20+ yards or metres
For fabric printed in the USA via Spoonflower (shipped worldwide) 10% off orders of 20+ yards of fabric 15% off orders of 50+ yards of fabric 20% off orders of 100+ yards of fabric This can be any number of designs but must be ordered in a single transaction. Free shipping applies to Spoonflower fabric ordered via my website. ----------------------------- For fabric printed in Australia (shipped only within Australia) Order 50 metres or more and receive 5% off. No further discounts apply. ----------------------------- You are welcome to license my designs if you wish to have your own base fabric printed if you have your own sources for doing this at a lower cost ☺️ Contact me with any further wholesale questions. I'd love to hear from you!





Choosing Materials

Which fabric is best for upholstery?


Whoa, so many options here! Half of these options are only available within Australia so I've marked these with *AU just to be clear. Spoonflower prints all the other materials. Linen Cotton Canvas (Spoonflower) mid weight, for your first (small) upholstery project I recommend using this fabric. It is strong, smooth, durable enough for daily use but looks best when cared for properly. 100% natural fiber fabrics are not as colourfast as synthetic materials. Follow the care instructions and these fabrics will look amazing for many years. Cypress Cotton Canvas & Panama Canvas *AU - heavy, strong and durable. Panama is made from organic cotton. The even dense weave is great for upholstery projects and holds the print beautifully. Denim - also 100% cotton, durable - and no, it's not blue denim like jeans... it's undyed white denim, printed with custom designs! Hey, if you can cover an ottoman with recycled old jeans, then printed Denim can also be used for the same kind of projects. Use this fabric if you like that denim weave texture and need a tough cotton. Lightweight Cotton Twill - a little finer and more uniform in surface texture than Linen Cotton Canvas but the twill weave creates a completely matte finish so prints tend to look slightly less vibrant on this fabric. At 145cm (58") wide, it is a wider fabric than any others listed here. There is also a Twill * AU fabric option. Belgian Linen - I have one word for you: luxury. Special order only at this stage. Or, order direct from Spoonflower. This is a new material and the price point is much higher than other fabrics I have available. I'm sure it's worth it because the pictures I've seen of it sewn up into products are BEAUTIFUL. Nora *AU - Linen Cotton blend. Woven in England providing true heritage to this fabric. A thicker yarn and textured weave adds a beautiful dimension to printed designs. The natural colour provides a rich look to artwork re-production. This is a luxury fabric perfect for interior usage such as cushions, wall art, domestic upholstery, lampshades and accessories. Aspen *AU - polyester upholstery fabric with slight surface fuzziness, soft feel like velvet but looks like a woven fabric with a visible weave under the softness. Velvet (Celosia Velvet via Spoonflower) & Velvet *AU These fabrics are very similar. Celosia Velvet is a little more shiny or shimmery perhaps? Both very plush, smooth short pile polyester velvets which print beautifully. Every colour looks amazing on these fabrics & the weight of the backing fabric creates a very durable no-stretch base perfect for upholstery. Bear in mind, dry clean only is recommended for these materials. However... I wash the velvet cushion covers I have sewn up in my studio and quite like the way it creates a gently wrinkled or roughed up rustic look. This fabric has a nap (it looks different when viewed from different angles) - so you will need to take care when cutting out pieces for your project that the nap is all laying in the same direction. Recycled Canvas (was Eco Canvas) - partially made from recycled materials, it is ideal for seasonal outdoor cushions, pet beds, collars, banners... read more about it and order a swatch here. You can find all the detailed info about each material at a glance here: www.thistleandfox.com/woven-fabrics & here: www.thistleandfox.com/fabric-info-printed-in-australia

The Quick Guide to Fabric page could also be helpful
www.thistleandfox.com/quick-guide-to-fabric




Which fabric is best for curtains? and roman blinds?


>>>Velvet is great for heavy style curtains with a backing fabric to line the curtains. As velvet is an upholstery fabric the reverse side is not meant to be visible in finished projects.
>>>Linen Cotton Canvas: I use this material to make cushion covers and have used it to sew roman blinds for my studio. It is great to sew with!

>>>Longleaf Cotton Sateen: Ideal for curtains as its a matte sateen weave medium weight cotton. Think of expensive cotton tablecloths used in fancy restaurants. It is a wide width fabric (295 cm printed width = 116 inches) so it's easy to create curtains with plenty of fullness. More info: www.thistleandfox.com/wide-fabrics

>>>Organic Cotton Sateen: much more lightweight than the Longleaf. Has a subtle elegant sheen and feels very soft and smooth once it has been prewashed. I use this fabric for sewing cot sheets and for dressmaking. It can be used for lightweight curtains.

>>>Belgian Linen: very fancy homewares fabric. It isn't listed in my Etsy shop as it is a new addition to the Spoonflower range of materials. You can read more about it here: www.spoonflower.com/en/belgian-linen

>>>Denim &/or Cotton Canvas: both quite sturdy cotton fabrics, they could be used for curtains and wouldn't need to be lined.




Which fabric is best for cloth bags?


Lightweight produce bags (for fruit & veg) = Organic Double Gauze, Cotton Lawn Drawstring bags for lightweight items, toys etc = Petal Cotton, Cotton Poplin Tote bags = Linen Cotton Canvas, Lightweight Twill, Recycled Canvas Duffel Bags, Gym Bags, overnight bags = as above &/or Denim, Cotton Canvas, Upholstery Velvets, Performance Linen If unsure about fabric requirements for your project, please get in touch and share a screenshot of the item you ill be making... perhaps the pattern or DIY instructions will have a list of suitable fabrics. I can help you work out which base material is a good match for the material types listed in a sewing pattern.




Which fabric is best for sewing face masks?


For the outer layer of a face mask, you can use any of the following materials: Petal Cotton. Organic Cotton Sateen. Cotton Lawn < may need lining with another layer of plain fabric behind the design as this is a lightweight semi sheer material Classic Organic Cotton. Como Cotton Sateen Cotton Poplin