Printing your own fabric designs in the UK
We were recently invited to visit a fabric printing factory in North London called Contrado. The first thing we thought was, why have we not heard of this place before?! With companies such as Spoonflower printing fabrics in America and posting them all round the world, we were excited to discover a family-owned business on our doorstep that has been doing this for years.
Along with Tree (StitchlessTV) who initially emailed us about visiting and Rosie (DIYcouture), Momtaz and Barley (Fabrications), we spent a day with Chris who owns the factory. Chris and his wife started the business over 10 years ago on their kitchen table and the business has evolved into the gift market and printing any design you want on hundreds of different products. They are expanding the business and have created a separate website now just for printing your own fabric designs. It’s not just the fabric printing they do, it’s everything else as well, all under one roof – no risk of sweat shop here. Some of the fabrics are also made in the UK too, others are directly sourced from from the person who weaves them.
Chris kindly gave us a tour of the factory and allowed us to print 3m of our own design. Check out this quick video of our fabric being printed! VERY EXCITING!
Here is the design room where the graphics are processed and printed out on the fabric of your choice. The system is set up to be as efficient as possible so orders are fitted onto the width of fabric to minimise waste.
After we had sent our design through to be printed, we went on a tour of the factory. Look at all those fabric types!
Here we are watching the fabric being finished, pressed and rolled.
There is also a sewing room where all sorts of products can be made using your own designs, including espadrilles!
This is the sleeve of a jersey t-shirt printed out and ready to be cut out and sewn up!
Here are some of the lovely designs being printed out by the other ladies.
There is a whopping 75 different fabricsyou can have your designs printed on and they are really nice quality. You can get a swatch packof all 75 to fondle at home and test out for yourself. You can get samplesprinted too as small as an A5 piece of paper. You can also have your designs printed on fabric transfer paperand design your own labels!