My surface patterns on furniture

I finally upholstered my chair (and a stool). I was fortunate enough to find a New Zealand-based fabric printer (using the subliminal dye method) to print my textiles. When Covid-19 hit, my premium membership at Spoonflower was suddenly worthless as there was no shipping whatsoever.  Over a dozen samples did not arrive until months after the lockdown in New Zealand finished, of course it was not the fault of Spoonflower, but it made me consider whether or not I should be finding local textile providers.

Within 10 days of ordering, including receiving the proof to colour check, I had received an order of 6 metres of printed fabric, a whopping 3 metres wide. Because I did not need such a width, I actually had four different seamless patterns (2 patterns with 2 colour ways) on the roll of varying widths to a sum of 3 metres, and of course all 6 metres long. Bliss.

Ordering from Spoonflower always took about 4 weeks to get the sample, and then the same again to receive the fabric. I found with a 10 day turnaround with local producers, the initial inspiration was still fresh whereas after 8 weeks turnaround with Spoonflower, I had moved on to something else, or had had to put my creative process temporarily on hold.

The downfall is that the subliminal dye printing process needs fabric of 80% polyester to be successful. However, the colours are true and non-fade and the fabric is strong. You can also get a reasonable variety of fabric to be printed for upholstery and other uses, for example I have some for a clothing item (which I will blog about when complete.)

But back to the upholstery fabric. It was alright to work with. The fabric I chose did not have a heavy weave like normal upholstery fabric but I enjoyed working with it.

And now, about the pieces I covered. The first is a relatively simple chair. I was not 100% satisfied with it, but I will not point out the mistakes I made and and maybe you won’t notice its faults. The design is my food for the soul motif which I used for an artwork here and also was used in my I wish design.

I used the design reversed as white on black with a half-drop repeat. I used the same design black on white again with a half-drop repeat on the piping (above).

I have plenty of fabric left over but I’m not sure if there is enough to cover the chaise from Ikea which I have been waiting to get onto.

But speaking of my I wish design, I used the nugget background and the curious blue background as the two colourways, but when I used curious blue, I changed the colour of the bird. So with a nugget background, the bird is the bluebird of happiness, but with the curious blue background, the bird becomes the dove bearing a flower as a gift of beauty (rather than an olive branch as an offering of peace.) I thought it worked perfectly on this little stool, and I just used black calico for the piping.

I had the little stool in the children’s room at my airbnb and it worked perfectly. There is also a little lampshade with the same design. This was from a sample wallpaper piece from Spoonflower. It could definitely brighten up a plain room.

It is my dream to continue upholstering furniture with my own surface patterns. Now that I have found some local printers, with a very quick order to delivery turnaround, I feel like this is quite achievable. Any takers?