An experiment in Fabric and Color

Well you all know I loved loved loved the master class at Spoonflower that I posted about here.  After the class many of us stayed in touch on Facebook and were talking about printing a single design on all the different types of fabric so we could see how the color’s differed, have a bigger version to feel the fabric and understand the stretch.  Becka Rahn our teacher helped us coordinate and we all submitted our swatches to her so she could optimize the cost for us by printing out a sampler.  Spoonflower is great in that you can print off a sampler to get swatches of many different fabrics in your collection.  She created a collection with all of our pics and then created a sampler for each of us.

For my sampler – I knew this wasn’t something I intended on sewing but wanted to evaluate multiple techniques, colors and methods of art that I use all the time to see how things turned out.  I’m still new to fabric design so I wanted to explore a little with my various mediums.

becka swatch 150 v2 First at the top of the design you will see a watercolor painting that I did with micron pen drawn over top.  Its more of an experiment and doodle but I loved the varying colors and small details and lines.  I wondered how all the shading and small lines would hold up on different fabrics.

On the left in the center is a simple color grid by pulling colors from the Spoonflower color map.  I chose a variety of colors and was sure to use their color map so I could see a one to one relationship between colors that are already known and used.

My seahorses, and sand dollars are from my recent sea life collection and I thought I’d stick them in there to see how they looked on different fabrics (and i’m so glad I did- more to come on that).  I hand drew each sea horse then digitized them in illustrator making them vector images added color for the final step.

The pinky peach flowers were a muted palate i leveraged to create a simple pattern repeat.  I thought the colors were so soft – I wondered if you would still see the detail of the flower center.

The Mandala in the lower center is something I drew using my Ipad Pro.  I am using it more and more to get out ideas and drawings to move to my computer for digitizing.  However, I wanted to see how something straight from the Ipad would look.  I believe I did have to increase the dpi.  The same can be said for my deer in the forest homage to Harry Potter’s Severus Snape Patronus also drawn on my Ipad Pro and not digitized beyond checking the resolution.

The bottom left is a damask I created using illustrator.  Its a vector file and I shrunk it down giving me delicate lines to compare across textiles.  Next to that in the center is a watercolor painting where I was grading colors together.  Then a photograph from my instagram page taken with my Iphone unedited and finally my name and one of my drawn vector owls.

I thought I had a good amount of different types of mediums on there that would give me a great comparison and I was so right!  What an outcome!

Basic Cotton Ultra
Basic Cotton Ultra
Kona Cotton Ultra
Kona Cotton Ultra
Organic Cotton Knit
Organic Cotton Knit
Modern Jersey
Modern Jersey
Cotton Spandex
Cotton Spandex
Sport Lycra
Sport Lycra
Heavy Cotton Twill
Heavy Cotton Twill
Fleece
Fleece
Cotton Sateen
Cotton Sateen
Cotton Poplin Ultra
Cotton Poplin Ultra
Silky Faille
Silky Faille
Satin
Satin
Silk Crepe De Chine
Silk Crepe De Chine
Poly Crepe de Chine
Poly Crepe de Chine
Minky
Minky
Faux Suede
Faux Suede
Linen Cotton Canvas
Linen Cotton Canvas
Eco Canvas
Eco Canvas
Performance Pique
Performance Pique
Performance Knit
Performance Knit

The basic cotton ultra and kona cotton ultra both held their colors for the most part.  I’d say the kona was a little more vibrant and definitely held the black a little better.  The basic cotton is a little thinner so I think that makes sense with the vibrancy.  Overall I was happy with both fabrics, colors and line work.

The organic cotton knit is a little thicker than the modern jersey but both held color and black well.  You can see the details in each drawing really well even thought the modern jersey is much thinner. I’d actually say the modern jersey was actually a little more vibrant between the two choices.  However I’d be happy with either in an order.

The cotton spandex was a little more muted to me than the sport lycra but the lycra does have a little bit of a sheen to the fabric.  You can still make out the designs on both but the line work and vibrancy is better on the lycra hands down.  Color to color though there are some similarities.The line work and definition that is different.

Heavy cotton twill and fleece are not comparable fabrics from a usability perspective so I’ll describe each separately.  Very impressed by the twill.  Colors and line work was awesome.  The fleece, much more muted in the linework department but the colors were there.  Both came out fabulous but expect a softer look with the fleece.

While the sateen has a great shine both fabrics held their own with definition and color vibrancy.  the black showed well in both designs and the colors were consistent.  the color blending also showed well on these fabrics making either a great choice depending on what you are making.

The Satin blew my mind.  The colors and line work were amazing with the shine of this fabric.  I was really happy with how it all turned out.  The silky faile equally impressed with vibrant colors and line work.  Less shiny of the two  it has a great feel and look to it.  I’d happily use either of these choosing the appropriate fabric for feel / look.

The Crepe de Chine’s were very comparable for use, however while the silk crepe de chine is a little more shiny it seems to diminish a little in its vibrancy of color compared to the poly crepe de chine.  The black is a little more gray as well.  I’d prefer the poly between the two.unless I wanted a softer look.

Minky, Faux Suede and the Fleece are our soft options.  the fleece and minky could easily be swapped in most patterns but the minky is much more vibrant than the fleece.  Its not as dense or has as high of a loft as the fleece. I was also very happy with the faux suede.  Its colors were a little more muted than the minky but still had a good degree of definition.  All felt wonderful.

Each of the Canvas fabric options held color nicely however, the  linen cotton canvas was much more vibrant than the eco canvas.  The definition was clearer in the line work as well.  If you were really wanting the eco know that your blacks will not be as true and your line work will be slightly diminished.

The performance fabrics had the most difference in color consistency.  The pique ended up showing some greens as blues. Noticeable differences in saturation as well.  The performance knit was far more true to color and showed black more true as well. (UPDATE: I’ve learned that the pique is a misprint and will reevaluate when I get the updated swatch!)

*** Updated Performance Pique***

Ok this is more like it – here is a side by side – the colors look normal and as they should.  The new swatch is on the left and you can see the greens next to the sea horses as green and not teal.  Spoonflower was great in getting these all reprinted for those in the class that participated!  This fabric is also quite soft. 🙂

I was blown away by the satin, silky faille, cotton sateen, sport lycra, performance knit and heavy cotton twill and canvases. They all held their color and line work well.

I love how I have these samples now and thought it was well worth the exercise. Thanks to the fabulous Becka Rahn who helped us pull all of this together.  I hope this gives you all insight when ordering!

Stasia

 

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