Take a Virtual Field Trip with Spoonflower

and download a free BINGO card!

OCT 8, 2021
Balloon animal fabric rolling out from machine

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.

Play as you tour!

For more fun while watching the video below, download this Virtual Fild Trip BINGO card activity for yourself, your little one or your classroom.

Video BINGO Card

Watch the full tour video below or read the highlights listed after the video.

Designing

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!

Samarra and her design workspace
Samarra drawing balloon animals on her tablet

Purchasing

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 fans Sarah and Lilah shopping on Spoonflower.com
Ordering a yard of balloon animal fabric from Spoonflower.com

Fabric Printing

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!

Cutting balloon animal fabric with rotary cutter

Sewing

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.

Spoonflower factory sewing stations
Sewing curtains with a sewing machine

Wallpaper Printing

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.

Balloon animal wallpaper under printer light
Roll of wallpaper on shelf

Cubbying

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 team member scanning in a cut of fabric
Spoonflower team member carrying fabric to the cubby area

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.

Placing a spoonflower sticker on top of packaging
Person holding a wallpaper shipping box

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!

Shop the Featured Design

Barking Balloon Buddies by sammyk

Fabric
Wallpaper
Home Decor

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7 comments

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  • Jasmine Pearce

    Wow I really enjoyed this video. Although I wish there was a secondary one targeted towards adults (I felt a bit weird watching it). Adults find this fascinating too! 😀

  • Lisette Lieberman

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I need only need enough fabric to have a baby blanket made by a friend for our upcoming grandnephew. The size will be either 30×36 or 42×50 depending on what my niece wants. I know the pdf I want to be used but I am having problems figuring out how to go about sizing it for printing or if such a small amount can be done. there are 6 different images. Is this possible or will it so darn expensive to do I should I just settle for something else 🙁

  • I ordered a duvet cover with Polish Lowland Sheepdogs. It is simply adorable and so unique! We own this rare dog breed so was thrilled that we could custom order it. The fabric and workmanship is very high quality and I have recommended Spoonflower to my friends and family.

  • Thanks for doing the tour! I’ve been wanting to visit your facility for more than a decade, so it was fun to watch the process. Any time you feel like digging down further into the nuts and bolts of dye-sub printing and fabric bases, I’m here for it! Believe me, lots of kids will be here for it, too 😉