How do I prepare a file for printing on fabric?
Updated on 5-30-2012
Acceptable file formats: JPG, PNG or TIF (8-bit, uncompressed).
FILE SIZE: Your image must be smaller than 40MB.
RESOLUTION: Set up your image at 150 dpi (dots per inch). If you want to design an 8"x8" swatch, for example, you need to upload an image that is 1200 pixels x 1200 pixels. The print size of your image in pixel dimensions will be 150x the number of inches.
We will tile your design to fill the space of the fabric you order. If you upload an image larger than the area of fabric you order, then we will crop it from the lower left corner.
FORMAT & COLOR NOTES (for advanced users): When printing a design onto fabric using Spoonflower you'll get the best results when you upload a file in TIF format that consists of colors that fall within the LAB color space. You can create a design in the LAB space or convert it. You can also upload a JPG or PNG, which we will convert to a TIF before printing.
Tip: In Photoshop you can switch to LAB format by going to the Image menu and pulling down to Mode, then checking LAB color. You'll also want to make sure that in the same menu 8 bits/channel is checked rather than 16.
Converting to LAB is not enough, however. After changing to the LAB color profile under the Mode option in Photoshop, in CS3 you can can then go to the 'View' menu and see any of the colors in your design that are 'out-of-gamut,' which means colors that do not fall within the LAB color space that our printer is capable of reproducing. Using the Color Replace option, it is possible to shift out-of-gamut colors to in-gamut colors.
- Spoonflower Color Map A digital file of our color map comprised of 1500 color chips and their hex codes. This is an advanced color tool to assist designers with general color selection in a design program. Purchase a color map on your choice of one of our fabrics here.
- Download spoonflower_colors.ase. The ASE file is an Adobe Swatch Exchange file, which you can read more about in this blog post by designer Keith Gilbert.
If you don't have Photoshop and talking about TIF and LAB color make you anxious, don't worry. You can upload a JPG or other common image format and it will still print nicely. There may be colors in your image that can't be reproduced by pigments on fabric in our printer (very bright colors, absolute blacks, and very saturated colors, for example). If that is the case you will sometimes see all of the colors in an image shift and the colors may end up appearing different from what you expected.
Uploading an image that you know uses only LAB colors offers some protection against all of the colors shifting. In LAB color, if the printer encounters a color it can't reproduce it will shift only that color rather than all the colors.