Making the best of a goof

Fri, 07 Apr 2023

With the move looming (maybe as soon as ten days, depending on the truck schedule), I haven't been buying much fabric, but I got a "haven't seen you in awhile, here's a 48-hour discount coupon" from Contrado. I had a new vinyl order for them mostly ready to go, so I put the finishing touches on it, then poked around in their other fabrics to see if there was anything I should swatch. I thought about getting some of their Plush Velvet, which looked minky-like, and decided nah, I shouldn't take the time to work up a good test swatch.

An advantage of Spoonflower's long lead time is that when you realize you aren't printing to the fabric you thought you selected, you've got days (or weeks) to email them and get it corrected.

Contrado gives you 30 minutes. Not that it mattered, it didn't click with me that the receipt said "Plush Velvet" and not "Faux Leather/Leatherette" until days later, when it was already well on its way to me. So I guess I swatched the Plush Velvet after all, albeit with a design that doesn't do the usual boundary-pushing that a swatch test usually does.

Detail picture of a fantasy map on "velvet"

I mean, it wasn't a bad test, I just would have gotten something with a broad color range, submitted a higher-than-necessary resolution, done some hairlines to see at what size they disappear, etc. I did at least print some nearly-solid-black, and some tiny text, and some photographs(!), and... I gotta say, I like it.

It's even shorter than printed/"digital" minky usually is, probably a 1mm pile, so "velvet" is more correct of a name. If it had Spandex it would be mochi (mochi is a stretch velvet with good PR, change my mind) but it just has some mechanical stretch same as regular minky. The very short pile would make it very good for my smaller dragons (the 3" babies get pretty shaggy in Shannon minky, less so Spoonflower, but a mochi-length minky is ideal), and it is pretty darn crisp on the short pile.

It has the unavoidable issue of unprinted white roots showing up on creases, but less so than the usual printed minky.

The last drawback is the price: it's much more expensive than Spoonflower. That's not a terrible issue for my dragons, since the materials cost pales next to the amount of labor, but it's not going to be very practical for blankets or what-have-you.

So the good news, at least this grossly-overlarge "swatch" was discounted so I didn't pay full price.

The bad news, now I don't have a coupon to use to buy the real thing so I didn't reorder with the correct fabric.

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