Your Guide To Fabric Printing
Our range of 4 fabric swatch packs are here to help you make an informed decision as to what fabric will work best for your projects. Each swatch pack features a fun and vibrant print on each of the fabric samples, to show you how a print will come out against the different surfaces and compositions of each fabric.
Introducing the Contrado Fabric Swatch Packs:
The Classic Swatch Pack
This selection features our wide range of man made fabrics. From stunning polyesters and luxurious lace to sumptuous velvet and contemporary neoprene. There are so many unique choices, that you might find yourself ordering a bundle of fabric samples to try out.
The Natural Swatch Pack
The natural selection features our collection of beautiful natural fabrics. Featuring the likes of organic cotton, half-panama, linen and real silk, these naturally gorgeous fabrics will breathe new life into your creations.
The Leather Swatch Pack
The leather swatch pack is made up of 100% real leather. Our specialist printing method gives high-quality color reproduction and fine detailing up to 2 pts. With leathers from both goat and cow, you are bound to find something that has the grain and the texture that you are looking for.
The Paper Swatch Pack
As well as fabrics, we also offer a bespoke range of customized papers. Thick and luxurious paper with a textured face, glossy satin finished paper and even a selection of wallpapers; you will love how your designs look printed on these chic paper options.
For a full list of the fabrics that we have to offer and their names, in multiple languages please click here.
ID reference numbers
When you get your pack in your hands, you'll see there's an ID reference number on each fabric swatch. Use this number to look up each individual fabric on our website. Just enter the number into the search bar on our full fabric range list to see the properties, uses and fabric information. You can also enter the name of the fabric, as an alternative to using the ID number.
Discount and Offers for Fabric Printing
Purchase a Swatch Pack and receive a $10 gift voucher to redeem against your next order of fabric or leather prints.
*voucher cannot be used for test prints or samples. Minimum spend: $25. This offer is for new customers only who have not previously ordered with us before. Voucher can only be used once and expires after 30 days.
Please note: The first time customer offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount. This includes the wholesale discount and any other offers.
Frequently asked questions:
Are all the fabrics inside the swatch pack?You can choose from the Classic, Leather Natural and Paper swatch packs. We have a wide range of fabrics to print on and the packs show the whole range. All 100 examples are included, apart from a few specialist fabrics, such as the 0.12" felt, printable leather and our needlepoint tapestry. These are hard to accommodate due to their format mass, but you can order tests prints directly of each.
Is it clear which is the heavier of the fabrics?We think that by having the samples and simply handling them personally will tell you so much about our range of custom fabrics, including the weight, and texture. If you can't decide by handling the fabric, then you can check out the specific fabric product page on the website for further details, or make a custom test print.
Is the print example a good representation?We think that the print example is a very good representation. We use a design that has solid full color and fine detail. The samples give a full representation of what the print quality is like on each textile. The surface textures very useful when deciding which to pick. You can try a test print as the next step in your selection.
You have the amazing designs, but do you have a unique range and place to sell?
All you have to do is design what you love and we bring your creations to life. We take care of the hand crafting and manufacture, the sales and the shipping. You the designer, control the products and designs from wherever you are, from home, the office, even on the go. Meanwhile the orders start to roll in and you get commissions fast.
What's the best resolution to print in?
We print at 200dpi, which is a good combination of quality and file weight. Ideally, your image should be scaled to 100% at 200dpi; this means that no resizing of your file occurs, preventing any interpolation. Our design interface will have a quality marker next to the design that you have uploaded, this will change color using a traffic light system and display a message. The message will let you know if the resolution is too low or if you have a good quality image.
How will my image scale?
When you upload your design our system will automatically scale it to fit your chosen fabric dimensions. In the ‘Product Options’ tab, the displayed dimensions under ‘Print Size’ will show the dimensions of the piece of fabric that you are ordering. For image/design dimensions you need to see the ‘Images & Text Tools’ tab. You can see and edit the dimensions of the image under the quality information next to the thumbnail.
Which color model should I choose? RGB or CMYK?
We advise providing images in the RGB color space. Specifically using the sRGB image profile, to achieve best color results. What does this mean? In your editing software, choose RGB as the working space and assign the image profile as sRGB (full name sRGB IEC61966-2.1)
For most of our fabrics, there is no limit on the length of the fabric that you can order. We have a preview design window set up to 10 yds max to visualize the print, but that's not a print limit. If you'd like to order more, increase the quantity (x2 for 20 yds or x4 for 40 yds for e.g.) and then you can order as much as you'd like, with a built in automatic volume discount too. The maximum print width of each fabric can be found on the individual fabric pages or in our design interface.
Do I need to incorporate white space within my design if I want a border or some cutting space?
Yes, that might help you! Always incorporate any extra space or borders into your purchased fabric size. We trim squarely around fabric samples and fabric prints, leaving approximately 0.2" white space. Cutting neatly on the line has an additional fee.
What is crocking and why might it occur?
Crocking, which is fading along the creases, often after washing or heavy use, occurs when you digitally print on natural fabrics - more so when dark or dense colors are used. It can be minimized by using a cool hand wash instead of machine washing as the tumbling of the machine is the main cause of this. To avoid entirely, we would advise using a poly fabric.
Why do the colors appear lighter on organic fabrics?
Our organic fabrics do not have any coatings that the non-organic fabrics have. This means the ink absorbs into the fibers, reducing the color strength slightly (by approx. -40%). For super strong colors we recommend a non-organic natural fabric.
Do you print on fabric a customer supplies?
Unfortunately not; we like to test meticulously so that we know what gets the best results on our fabrics, and our facilities cater perfectly to them. We do however print sublimation transfer paper to order, and if you have access to a heat press you can press your own fabrics easily.
Should I save my file as a TIFF or JPEG?
For multi-colored or very detailed files we recommend using a tiff format, but they must be flattened. For simple colors and low detail files, a jpeg is fine.
What is the situation with material shrinkage?
Just like many fabric printing processes, there is the potential for shrinkage. Depending on the fabric, please expect and allow between 2-8% shrinkage which you need to plan for in your dimensions. This percentage can vary from print run to print run and between fabrics, so we would advise to order a little more material than you require for your project.
Can I print on both sides of the fabric?
We do not offer to print on both sides of the fabric, as a lot of our fabrics are semi-transparent or have some show through. This wouldn't work with double-sided printing. This is not a service that we offer on any of our fabrics.
Can I order labels in another fabric? Will you cut them like you do with the normal fabric labels?
At the moment no, our labels are all printed on the same satin fabric. We may introduce more in the future, but for now, this is the best choice. The labels are all cut the same way. You can order the fabric of your choice and make the labels yourself, but we do not cut different fabric into label format.
How is your fabric printing eco-friendly?
With environmental consciousness in mind, our fabrics are all printed using completely water-based inks. This means no chemicals or solvents are used. Our heat fixing procedure fixes the colors and prints, avoiding the downsides of steaming, such as excess or contaminated water returning into the waste system. We have one facility where we conduct all the printing, production and fulfillment. Rather than roll the fabrics, or send them in a tube, we fold them before they are sent out to you. This saves over 150 tubes a week, as well as a lot of space on the delivery van. (For delicate fabrics we ensure to package appropriately).
Why are there slight color differences between my orders?
We work at improving our color profiles all the time. Though rare, it may happen that from one print run to another, and there could be slight color differences, this is normal and part of the process when we are constantly improving. It is extremely unlikely that there will be a huge difference (like orange instead of red for example). Please bear in mind such color variations can be intensified from fabric to fabric due to the varying grains and textures of the fabric. This is due to the construction of the materials as well as the print methods that have to be altered slightly for more delicate, natural textiles.
Sizing For Hemming And Shrinkage
We have a full Cut & Sew service here at Contrado, and are able to hem your fabric prints for a small additional charge. We create a small one- or two-fold hem that typically uses 0.2" to 0.75" (5-20mm) of material, depending on the thickness of the fabric. So, for example, if you want a finished piece of fabric that measures 39.37" x 39.37", you will need to order a size of 39.96" x 39.96" to allow for the hem (on top of that please also allow for shrinkage of min 2%). The thicker the fabric, the bigger the hem will be. You can choose to have your prints hemmed with either Black or White thread. On our silk and other light woven fabrics, one hemmed edge will be straight (vertically down the roll) and the other will be slightly rippled. The hemming material allowances are as follows and you need to make your print bigger to accommodate the hem:
- Light Fabrics (0.59oz-2.95oz): For silks and other light fabrics, we use 0.24" - 0.32" / 6mm-8mm in the hem (2 fold), so overall width/height will be minus 0.48"-0.56""/ 12-16mm
- Medium Fabrics (2.98oz-5.90oz): For medium-weight fabrics that fray, we use 0.5 - 0.75" / 15-20mm in the hem (2 fold) so overall width/height will be minus 1.4" - 1.6" / 35-40mm
- Stiff/Heavy/No-fray fabrics: we use 0.5 - 0.75" / 15-20mm in the hem (1 fold) so overall width/height will be minus 1.5" / 35-40mm
All of these measurements are approximate and can vary. Including with shrinkage, it can mean a fairly significant difference to ordered dimensions, so please plan your print accordingly. Depending on how open the weave is, our fabric can shrink anywhere from 2% to 8% with the average being 2.5%.
How Would you Like the Edge?
We have four finishing options for your fabric order:
- As it comes. We cut around your image, leaving a simply scissor cut, perhaps uneven white fabric border.
- Hem with thread. We can hem your fabric with a choice of black or white thread. Please allow 1-2 days additional production time. See below for information on how hemming affects the size of your print. We offer an overlock hem, as well as a folded hem (one or two fold depending on the fabric) however not all fabrics are suited to both hem types. If you can see both options, it means both are suitable, and you will be able to choose whichever you prefer.
- Cut on the line. We will cut neatly on the edge of your design. This means that if you have a border around your design we will cut around that border, if your design takes the whole space of the fabric, then we will neatly cut around the edge of that image. Please be aware, when we cut along the line, we have to cut against the grain of the fabric. This is the standard procedure for fabric cutting. This means that with some fabrics, for example, Georgette and Mulmul, which have a slight wave in them, some fraying will occur. This is unavoidable, as the cut follows the grain of the textile.
All of our fabrics are cut manually by hand, with the utmost care and attention. If your fabric has a slightly uneven look on the edges or a touch of fraying, this does not indicate a flaw in the textile. It is not always possible to achieve a perfectly straight cut with certain fabrics, so please do bare this in mind when it comes to your design. If you have any queries or would like to know about our cutting methods in more detail, please get in touch and we will be more than happy to discuss them with you.
Please note: As we make everything by hand, all sizes may vary slightly.
For further information about our fabrics see our FAQs.
Delivery Time & Costs
At Contrado, we personally commit to our customer satisfaction with a wide product selection hand-made in our premises, a great quality, dedicated service as well as fast delivery.
Make use of our manufacturing and worldwide shipping experience
For the past 15 years, we have printed and hand-made countless personalized products for a wide range of customers all over the world and many of them have become loyal customers who love not only our products but also the care, knowledge and dedication from our staff.
Here is how it works. We first hand-make your item on average within 1-2 days depending on the product manufacturing timeline and quantities. After production time, we ship your order so you can receive it very quickly, subject to the delivery type you select in your basket. You can then enjoy or resell your handmade products with your very own designs.
You can also read more about our terms & conditions
and refund policy
We hope to start working with you soon.