Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Zazzling fabrics


Zazzle have recently added a choice of fabrics into it's ever expanding range of products, ideal for adding a customized touch to your sewing and crafting projects. This is a very exciting product addition to get creative with, but what are the fabrics really like? 

Zazzle kindly asked me to take a closer look. Here is what I discovered.

Getting to touch and feel  

Once you have been wowed by the shear variety of designs and options Zazzle have on offer you can expect to wait (depending on your shipping option and location) a week to two for your unique fabrics to arrive. If you live in rural Australia however like me expect nearer three. 

The first thing that I noticed, on receiving my fabrics from Zazzle, was just how well wrapped and protected they are. The fabrics arrived in a sealed poly pouch (that even the wettest weather could not penetrate). 

On opening this protective outer layer I found my fabrics, wrapped individually in a clear poly bag, so you can rest assured your fabrics will arrive in tip top condition. 

So what is the fabric really like?

The sample swatches I received were impressive, clearly printed and durable. Samples were even hemmed, a nice touch to prevent fraying. 

Fabric Types

Polyester poplin


My 100% polyester poplin fabric sample has a stiff durable feel and it reproduced my personalized daisy name design impressively. The fabric colors were very vibrant and the material doesn't crease or wrinkle easy which I like. I could see me using this for upholstery and curtains, as well as for bags and craft items. The fact that you can personalize this fabric makes the fabric extra special and unique.  

Cotton twill


I chose to print my personalized watercolor rag doll design as a test swatch with a view to purchasing more to cover a chair in my daughters room. 

The cotton twill was thicker than I thought and has a lovely diagonal rib pattern and a robust stiffness but a soft feel, making it an ideal choice for kids upholstery. 

This fabric would certainly work well for cushions or seat covering. Not wishing to waste my beautiful swatch, I have decided to cut and sew my sample dolly print on to a denim dress and a bag, personalized with my daughters name it will make my handmade creations for her even more special and unique.

Shown in the photo is the final fabric, you can see there is a little loss in overall color strength, particularly with the pink purple tones, but the general detail is clear particularly the text. Overall I think this material lends itself to home interior use. However, because of the strong rib lined texture stick to bolder strong art design to really get the best from this fabric. 

Ivory linen 


  


For my sample of this thicker tinted fabric I decided to see how my orchid botanical fine art would translate. The minute I designed this one, using the pattern tiler in Zazzle, I knew I had to have a sample. 

The fabric I received was of a good quality and much more robust than I was expecting. Even though the weave is clearly visible the artwork translated very well on to it. I think this was helped by choosing to keep the image on a larger scale. I would certainly recommend to keep patterns large or graphic on this fabric option.

The tones of the fabric again were more muted than my original artwork. Compared to my original and the screen output, they seemed to be more red, this was due to the underlying ivory color, but it didn't distract from the design or artwork. Having seen the fabric, I would love to upholster a classic winged back chair in this bold fabric! The orchids detail come out really clear and overall I was impressed. Pillows, home decor, reupholstering and crafting projects would look fabulous in this fabric choice.


Polyester weave 


This material is floppy and soft with an almost silky feel to it and is crease resistant. I chose my swimming turtles watercolor art  to print on this fabric and the colors were spot on, as you can see, most impressive. Such a pretty fabric, even though my turtles were a bit small in comparison to the weave size, they translated on to this fabric superbly. Due to the more fluid nature of this fabric, uses could include curtains, pillows, throws, quilts and craft projects.



My final two sample designs were selected from other Zazzle designers to see how well other artists work translated on to Zazzle's fabric.


Natural linen  


Whilst a bicycle is hardly natural I could not resist this simple black graphic on this brown natural fabric. The penny farthing vintage bicycle by shabzdesigns worked well. With a textured darker linen like this choosing a simple bold graphic is really the best option. The natural linen had a closer weave than I was expecting. A lovely fabric that works well with mono art.  


Combed cotton


I chose this sample to look at how well photographic designs translate on to a finer fabrics. Lobelia flowers remind me of my childhood and I just love the color blue, so I selected bebops pretty photographic lobelia fabric.

The combed cotton is thin, 210 thread count light weight with a tight weave, making it a great choice for detailed patterns and photographic printed designs. I would use this fabric for clothing maybe even for lined curtains. 

Overall the printing was a little duller than on screen but I liked the tones and the detail of the flowers translated well. This material was not only one of the cheapest options, but one of the thinnest, making it a versatile fabric, superb for crafting. 

Zazzle also offer a top end prima cotton, 246 thread count, fabric for extra special projects. 



Designing and choosing fabrics 

Choosing the right print on the right material at the right scale has been the biggest challenge for me, as I am pretty new to sewing and designing fabrics online. Fortunately Zazzle have made creating, re-sizing and reviewing your fabrics clear and very simple. You can even vary the pattern design, to display side by side or staggered and alter your pattern angle. The other aspect I enjoy when designing my fabrics on zazzle is that the pattern sizing is clearer and easier to visualize than on another site I have used in the past.

Other fabric size options 
Fabric can be purchased in three size options; swatches as seen here (ideal for quilting and smaller crafting projects), fat quarter (ideal for projects that require pieces larger than 9" or for 5"quilting projects) and finally go the whole 9 yards or just one with the yardage option. 

Washablity
Unsure as to how well this printed fabric would performs when washing, I have hand washed (warm water and lux flakes) a couple of the samples. I was delighted to see that it not only softened the fabric slightly but best of all the color remained true. 

Conclusion
Overall I was really impressed with Zazzle fabrics. My Zazzle fabric samples are clear and with good depth, graphics are strong and bold and my watercolor printed fabrics have much of the original detail preserved even on the courser and looser weaved fabric options. 

My only caution is, be aware the fabric may be be little duller and a shade or so lighter than on screen. My advice would be to purchase a swatch before you buy yardage, particularly if the project is large and color sensitive. 

It is always important to note that printing is a very different process to the way your computer, or device display screen works, therefore colors on your screen tends to be a little bright and stronger than an actual real life print. However, if you are looking for a really special fabric, personalized or just a print that is a little different, then it is time to discover Zazzle fabrics


Encouraged by the quality of this product, I have been busy creating many more new designs from delicate floral botanics to personalized graphic fabrics, explore my extensive fabric collections to find out more.    

12 comments:

  1. A very useful and informative article. These fabrics are lovely and it's good to read that they are such high quality.

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  2. Always happy to see Zazzle products. Beautiful and useful post! :)

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  3. Great review of Zazzle fabric, thanks

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  4. I love the rag doll fabric design, so adorable. Great review all round :)

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    1. Delighted you love my rag doll art ;) Thanks for your kind comments

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  5. Thank you for a very thorough review. Seems Zazzle is always coming out with something new. It's hard for me to stay caught up.

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    1. Yes Zazzle are certainly keeping designers busy ;)

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  6. Sarah, this a great informative review of Zazzle's wide range of printed fabric and material quality! Well done! Jilly from orientcourt

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  7. Thanks a lot for liking my design and ordering it. I am very late to reply, but am very glad that you took the time to write some kind words in this review. Thank You !

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