The Art of Spoonflower: crowd sourced fabric design

Sara D. Davis for The New York Times

Sara D. Davis for The New York Times

Check out, a website where you can design and print your own fabric.  What’s more, there’s a Fabric of the Week Contest in which the community votes on a design that they’d like to be able to buy. Only designs submitted specifically for the contest will be eligible and each winner will get five yards of free fabric.  Spoonflower will then offer the winning design for sale for exactly a week – no longer – to anyone and everyone through its Etsy shop.  Customer-made design where everyone benefits!   

According to The New York Times:

“You don’t have to be a crafter to appreciate, a Web site for designing and printing custom fabric. Anyone with a dream and access to the Internet can upload an image, decide how it should be arranged (repeated, centered, tiled, etc.) and have it printed on combed cotton. Although do-it-yourselfers and professional textile designers are flocking to the site — printers at the company’s headquarters in North Carolina are churning out 40 to 60 yards of fabric a day — Stephen Fraser, who founded the site in May with his wife, Kim, and Gart and Anne Davis, said Spoonflower would be in beta, or test, mode until there were more fabric options (upholstery-weight canvas should be available soon, he said). Until then, the winner of each “fabric-of-the-week” contest on the site’s blog, written by Ms. Fraser, can be purchased, for seven days, at Spoonflower’s Etsy store ( Information:”

To learn more, check out the post, Spoonflower in the NYT + a brief overview,  from the Spoonflower blog.

Stay tuned for future posts on the phenomena of “crowd sourced fabric design,” “crowd sourced innovation,” and “customer-made design.”  It’s the latest trend: the Wisdom of the Crowd!

Spoonflower Fabric of the Week Contest


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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ken Januski
    Jan 14, 2009 @ 04:21:50

    A fascinating story and a reminder of one of the good things about business on the web: come up with a good idea and you might soon find customers.

    Sometimes it’s easy to get jaded by the web. It’s very refreshing to see something like this.

    MadSilence responds: Watch for the next post on this topic. You may get jaded yet…


  2. leafless
    Jan 15, 2009 @ 02:20:50

    Good find.


  3. Andre Sammartino
    Jan 15, 2009 @ 06:34:47

    It is an intriguing and exciting site. I also mentioned Spoonflower in a recent post about the scope to shift the “Threadless” model into surfwear. See:


  4. Trackback: The wisdom of the crowd fails « MadSilence
  5. How to Get Six Pack Fast
    Apr 15, 2009 @ 23:56:48

    Not that I’m impressed a lot, but this is more than I expected when I found a link on Delicious telling that the info here is quite decent. Thanks.


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