Have you ever wondered how your favorite Spoonflower fabric was designed, how your wallpaper was printed or how your home decor was shipped? Now you can find out thanks to our first ever Virtual Field Trip video!
Join Alexa Terry Wilde (Spoonflower’s Maker Community Manager) and Samarra Khaja (artist and Spoonflower designer) as you walk you through our factory and discover the steps of the Spoonflower production process – from surface design to the finished product.
Watch the full tour video below or read the highlights listed after the video.
When coming up with Spoonflower designs, artist and designer Samarra Khaja is inspired by the world around her, from the beauty of the great outdoors to personal collections of toys and trinkets. Once an idea, like adorable balloon animals, is finalized, the next step is turning it into a design! Designs on Spoonflower can be created with a variety of mediums, such as pen and paper, a digital tablet or even collaged from recycled materials.
Samarra used her Wacom One tablet and a computer to draw Barking Balloon Buddies one element at a time. Balloon dogs are composed of three different shapes: rounded rectangles, circles and small triangles. When these shapes are compiled together into multiple balloon dogs, positioned as a repeating pattern and uploaded to Spoonflower – the design is ready to be printed on fabric, wallpaper or home decor!
Spoonflower fans, like Sarah and Lilah, can search for and discover millions of designs in the Spoonflower Marketplace. Should Barking Balloon Buddies be printed on wallpaper, on fabric or sewn into a throw pillow? Why not all three?
With just a couple of clicks any order can be placed! The only thing left to do is wait for the items to be printed and shipped to your doorstep.
Spoonflower’s Durham, NC factory processes thousands of orders every day and is nearly as big as two football fields! Once an order is placed, one of our print workers loads the requested design into a printer and the magic begins.
Our printers use tiny drops of ink to distribute the design all over each cut of fabric. After printing, the fabric runs through a drying machine to ensure all the ink stays in place. The last step is to cut and fold the fabric, sometimes right as it’s coming out of the machine (known as “team cutting”)!
Finally, the fabric is sent to the cubby area, an important part of the factory we’ll get to later!
Our highly skilled sewists use the fabric produced in the print room to create beautiful home decor products for customers all over the world.
Sewing Specialist Fran and her team start the day by heading to the “ready to sew” area, where freshly printed fabric is waiting, to choose what orders need to be stitched together that day. Sometimes a product is created from start to finish by a single person, or one person will start and another will finish. After sewing, numbers are tallied and the home decor products are brought to the quality assurance area to make sure no mistakes were made.
Our wallpaper machines can print four rolls of wallpaper at once! After a roll is printed, it’s placed on a shelf in a particular arrangement, where another team member will bring it to a cutting machine and carefully watch as it gets spliced depending on the customer’s order. Then, each cut of wallpaper is fed into a nifty rolling machine and a label is stuck on before sending it off to the next station.
Once a cut of fabric is folded, a home decor product is sewn or a roll of wallpaper is labeled, it heads to the cubby area. Cubbied items will wait for other products to be completed so they can join the same order. Once everything is ready to go, it’s time for the last destination of our field trip – shipping!
Spoonflower has a few different carriers to get products to customers based on a variety of criteria. Some products may ship in a small bag, while larger orders and spools may ship in a big box. We count on our amazing shipping team to pay strong attention to details to ensure every customer gets exactly what they ordered packed neatly and organized.
Thanks for joining us on our Virtual Field Trip – next time you receive an order from Spoonflower, remember the journey it took to get to you!