Sunday, April 23, 2017

115 Swatches Knocking at the Door (that's FedEx actually) - Contrado continued

Remember, you click on the photos and they get huge

Contrado's fabric choices page is pretty good

They give you good selection filters/controls on the left, and the fabric pages give you the critical information you'd need: weight, content, suggested uses. The max. print is the printable width.

So I ordered the swatch set. Three days by FedEx, so that 7.50$ shipping did the job.

A two inch thick stack of entertainment.
Delivered by FedEx. I had to sign for it.
See what I do for you? 
Okay, I did it for me. But I thought about you, honest!
Lots of them
It took me a couple of days to open it up; I was on my way out the door when they arrived, and I had a son to visit at college for the weekend.
And then it was just daunting. I was afraid I'd lose some of them.

I assumed that everything that wasn't explicitly labeled a particular fiber was...polyester. And that's pretty much true.
The full fiber contents are listed on their pages online.
Sorting them out
Upholstery or home decor weight polys

About half of the fabrics are housewares material.  Lots of upholstery weight fabrics, different textures and finishes, all poly. Potential bags or decor stuff. Blackout is rollerblind weight.

(I do not make rollerblinds. The roman shades damn near killed me, and once a year I have to mend them.)

Two different weights of felt, poly.
Oilcloth - two kinds
Three stretch laces

Lots of poly.
Clothing weight polys. The Crush velour is fun.

I'm not going to cover all the fabrics, as I'm really only interested in fabrics I can't get from Spoonflower or My Fabric Designs. I've invested a lot of time in Spoonflower, and shipping gets spendy internationally very quickly.  I have lost stuff by going the ground shipping route (in a package marked for me, there is a pair of deeply cool creepers from Romania, out there somewhere).

Contrado's yardage is spendy already. Spoony is 32$ a yard for eco canvas  and silky faille is $24. 54" wide, thank you. And that's before my designer discount.
So this has to be something I can't get anywhere else.
(we'll get to the 'how much' shortly)
Named fiber clothing weight
You get a good idea how the fiber blend affects the printing by using the same print for similar fibers (plant based versus petroleum. See how I got rayon in that group?).
You can see the variation in color between the denim and the viscose. Not as bright but well dyed. The cashmere is also a little faded in comparison to the cotton.

Poly outerwear plus that muslin. I've got a scarf idea that would work on.

stretching things
The Florence mesh is a lightweight mesh, super stretchy but translucent.  The quilted jersey on the bottom left would be a nice cardigan. If I wore cardigans. And the Plush Velvet is nice, but it's really a denser Minky and the image does distort when you brush it the wrong way. Like a napped print will.
There's a scuba and a neoprene in there, somewhere.

The ones that I was interested in were outerwear fabrics: Ripstop
Breathable waterproof would be a great rainjacket fabric.
Softshell jacket would make a good moto.
The super cool soft poly 'muslin' on the lower left would make faboo scarves; it's similar to the poly scarves in Anthropologie

if you click on this, it becomes a mammoth and easier read image
I did like the cashmere. It was the best of the swatches just for feel and opacity. 
$149 a yard
But it's cashmere. And it's nice and soft and squishy and would make the best dress ever. It would also make a wonderful scarf - it is 55" printable width. 

The viscose twill, at about $51.21yd, seems a little faded to start (and these swatches are too small to wash properly and keep a control sample). But I love rayon. I really do. It's my magical place, and if this dye sublimation process does the thing they say it will, it should miss that crocking/fading that has troubled Spoonflower.
And what do I mean by that?
dye sublimation printing; will not crack fade or peel. (high temp version)

You do NOT have to do full yards; you can customize the size by width or length. This seems odd to me; fabric comes off the roll full width. What about the extra width?  The scheduling of printing that would combine different widths just boggles the mind.
But I digress. That's not your problem.

At the end of it, I'd probably go with the breathable waterproof. Nice weight and drape, 2 yards at full width would be $108.26.
(sound of defibrillator)
How much do I love the idea of using my own fabric design?

How much do I hate the outerwear fabrics available to me?

Because I bought the swatches, I have a coupon for $25 off a purchase of over $55. Which puts a dent in it.

And I have this nylon:

And it's paid for. Thanks Pacific Fabrics.

I dunno. Maybe I get a yard of something. They are out of the cashmere.....and the poly muslin is the same price as the viscose...which seems weird.
And then there's shipping. 

I'll get back to you on this one.


  1. Mighty useful reference! Thanks πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

    1. Thanks! You've certainly done much heavy lifting for me! (hums "Circle of Life")