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Reproducing vintage fabric

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by shesabettie, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. shesabettie

    shesabettie Registered Guest

    Hello all :)

    I have a friend who has a couple of vintage 1950's cotton dresses with
    fantastic "Paris" inspired sketch-like designs on the fabric. They
    belonged to his grandmother and he wants to "reprint" the fabric
    before selling them to me. I thought you might be able to recommend
    some good leads for this type of thing. Any suggestions?

    I asked Jonathan Walford for his advice and he suggested I contact the
    VFG public forum. This is my first time posting so please let me know if I am doing this incorrectly.

    Thanks so much!
  2. joules

    joules Trade Member

  3. Shygarden

    Shygarden Trade Member

    I just discovered spoonflower.com while surfing the other day. All you need is a digital image of the fabric print you want.
  4. shesabettie

    shesabettie Registered Guest

    Thank y'all so much ... I'll check it out!

  5. Laura

    Laura Alumni

    WOW - that site is awesome!
  6. Hi Jenn! I would try spoonflower too...I'm addicted to it!

  7. thespectrum

    thespectrum Trade Member Staff Member

  8. Midge

    Midge Super Moderator Staff Member

  9. shesabettie

    shesabettie Registered Guest

    Hey Ang :) This sounds like it's the go-to-place for reproducing a one-of-a-kind print. Do they guide you in how to scan your fabric so the repro-printed fabric is top quality?
  10. Leisa

    Leisa Trade Member

    Okay - I just "spent" about $2000.00 there... :o

    Thanks so much for posting that link.
    I intend to create some retro / repro vintage as the year goes on.
    What a perfect solution for finding fabrics!
  11. lkranieri

    lkranieri Trade Member

    DITTO! Thanks for that fun link.
  12. The Vintage Merchant

    The Vintage Merchant Administrator Staff Member

  13. vertugarde

    vertugarde Alumni

    If your friend doesn't own the design copyright or have permission to reproduce the design he may have a legal problem.

    Spoonflower in their Terms of Service state;

    "Respect and support for copyrights, both yours and those of others. You cannot upload designs to Spoonflower that you don’t own or have permission to reproduce. Whether or not you have legal permission to reproduce a design is not something we can determine for you. It is your responsibility to understand the permissions associated with any design you upload."
  14. Yeah, that's important. And some fabrics were printed for quite a long time. I have seen some prints licensed to different mills too, and produced on more than one type of fabric.

    It also seems that creating a design on the computer is more of what this is designed for versus scanning a piece of fabric. He may not be pleased with the result as a scan may try to transfer the weave appearance as part of the image, ditto if the fabric has gotten fuzzy. Sometimes some colors also would scan funky. I am wondering if any deadstock fabric could be found using the parisian keywords. that may be a better route.

    I guess if it were me and I had something of my grandmother's like that, I would just keep it instead of making copies, and frame it or just hang onto it (or maybe give it to a gal in the family who would be floored). I am not trying to blow a sale for you - just saying what I would do if I had an awesome dress from grandma.
  15. joules

    joules Trade Member

    It's the truth, and that thought had occurred to me at the outset; glad you've mentioned those copyright aspects, vertugarde and Patentleathershoes.
  16. vintagebaubles

    vintagebaubles Administrator Staff Member

    I believe you need to find out if the copyright on the design on the fabric was renewed or left to expire. If it's expired, depending on how long ago, it's probably considered to be in the "public domain" and would be OK to reproduce. At one time, I think the length of time a copyright had to be expired before it was public domain was 50 years; I think the current law is 70. But I'm not sure.

    I do know it's hard to find out if a copyright still exists on something--and if you don't have the name of the manufacturer of the fabric and/or the name of the design, it's likely impossible!
  17. Laura

    Laura Alumni

    This is an excellent book that describes (in detail) how to identify whether an item is in the public domain or not. Unfortunately it isn't so simply as "x number of years" - the law has changed many times over the decades, and much depends on where the item was produced and in what year. For example, something produced in the US in 1950 is subject to different regulations than something produced in France in 1950 or in the US in 1980.

    When I visited the site I wondered about the copyright issue. I recognized several "prints" that were taken from pattern envelope illustrations, and there were other designs that reminded me of the work of a specific (now deceased but still famous) artist though I didn't recognize those specific designs.

    That type of thing really perturbs me. Some of those "designers" are lifting other people's work (whether in the public domain or not) and not giving the original artist or source any credit at all. It's like they're pretending they did the artwork, when clearly all they did was scan the image and maybe change one or two colors.

    I do think it has fantastic possibilities. I was thinking of having some fabric printed with family pictures on it and designing it so it could turned into a whole-cloth quilt. I think it would make a really cool quilt - my 4 year old daughter would get a kick out of it, I'm sure!
  18. vintagebaubles

    vintagebaubles Administrator Staff Member

    Definitely, Laura, if someone is reproducing the designs of others, even if legally, they should credit the original artist or company that produced the work. And I always forget about things that were produced in other countries being subject to different guidelines about copyright and public domain. It is a complex issue, for sure...

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