It may not occur to most people that this year’s college graduates stand at the leading edge of fashion design. In fact, as parents drop their children off at a specialty summer camp, they may not realize that their child is helping decide next season’s wearable trends. The next generation has an incredible amount of technology at their creative disposal. Today, we connect with two fashion design programs offering unparalleled access to digital technology and advanced design instruction. Justin LeBlanc, professor at North Carolina State University and runner up on Project Runway All Stars, discusses how his students are pushing innovation in the fashion world, and Rob Younkers, co-founder of STITCHED youth fashion camp, shares the incredible talent he discovers in his young designers.
Are you excited about Spoonflower’s recent addition of Fleece, but not sure what to make? Fleece is remarkably easy to work with, prints vivid color and high detail, and doesn't fray! Spoonflower’s Senior Graphic Designer, Robin, is here to show us how to make a custom zippered laptop case using a combination of Fleece and Eco Canvas.
Last Friday, Spoonflower co-hosted a celebration of the annual, national recognition of the manufacturing industry, also known as MFG Day, with NC State's Industry Expansion Solutions team.
On a rainy morning, we opened our doors to about 50 industry and university leaders from around North Carolina, including students and professors from the NC State College of Textiles, to learn more about Spoonflower and the history of textiles and manufacturing technology in North Carolina.
Gart Davis, co-founder of Spoonflower, told the origin story of Spoonflower, and spoke about how digital printing has transformed the textile industry, and ways that Spoonflower is a tool for self expression.
Kerry King, director of R&D at Spoonflower, spoke to the technological platforms that Spoonflower uses to print custom-designed fabric, wallpaper, and gift wrap, and how digital printing creates less waste and uses less water than traditional textile manufacturing processes.
Spoonflower co-founder, Stephen Fraser, noted, "As a successful startup, Spoonflower represents the intersection of North Carolina's new technology economy and its rich history in textile manufacturing. The Spoonflower website has given creative individuals all over the world the power to harness this on-demand technology to purchase unique fabrics with no minimum quantities."
After the colorful presentations, everyone got a tour of Spoonflower's operations floor and was able to see how we do what we do here at Spoonflower HQ! Cheers to hard work, creativity, and determination! Happy MFG Day!
This week's contest delivers another amazing top ten list, at the top of which is "Say Good Night, Gracie," a design by first-time contest winner Brandy Dopkins of Wisconsin. Among the other winning fabrics you'll find odes to old radios, abacuses, lava lamps, pod chairs, cassette tapes, turntables and — my personal favorite — punched tape (which is how folks used to store data for computers, believe it or not).
The final votes this week:
1. 679 votes for Say Goodnight, Gracie by vicky_s
2. 649 votes for Plastic Fantastic!! by inscribed_here
3. 600 votes for Abacus-Cadabracus! by gsonge
4. 568 votes for Retro radio by cjldesigns
5. 527 votes for Hot Wax by spellstone
6. 505 votes for Vintage Screens by demigoutte
7. 491 votes for Mix Tapes (80s) by pennycandy
8. 471 votes for heeeeey dj! by amel24
9. 446 votes for Needlework for the ragpile by zoebrench
10. 435 votes for Pink Punch Tape by meduzy
Our competition this week centers around yet another topic near and dear to the hearts of geeks, outdated technologies. Whether it's Atari joysticks, rotary phones, cassettes or computer punch tape you remember most fondly, you're guaranteed to find at least one fabric to tickle your nostalgia in this week's design contest.
Our intrepid designers this week are:
1. my desk is a total shambles! by mariao
2. Plastic Fantastic!! by inscribed_here
3. 1851 Singer by spiringsdesigns
4. 1951 bulletnose Studebaker by edsel2084
5. 3 1/2" Floppy Disks by robyriker
6. 45_RPM by mammajamma
7. 50s kitchen devices gone mad by kikibaai
8. 70's phone… "Yello!" by luluhoo
9. 70s chic by blboutique
10. 8-Bit Good Times by ravenous
A textile artist in California named Corinne Okada Takara has taken on the ambitious project of trying to figure out what kind of surface design would be the Silicon Valley equivalent of the Hawaiian shirt. To that end, she's working with the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles on a contest called Fusionwear SV, which is basically a textile design contest with Silicon Valley and its culture as the central theme. Surely there are creative minds in the Spoonflower community with creative energy that can be harnessed for this cause! Prizes for winning designs include three yards of Spoonflower fabric.