We are a husband and wife team, I am a designer and Roger my husband is a photographer, we decided a year ago to start our little business and Moonlake Designs came about. We take a lot of inspiration from our area which is Northumberland, Roger originates from Leeds, Myself From South Wales, I left Wales in 1999 and Roger and I both moved to Northubmerland in 2010.
At the moment we have a press that can only press fabrics that are 40x60 and that is as large as our panels do, saying that each panel we make is very important to us, I either paint the design, graphically design the design, or manipulate Roger's photographs and use some vintage items as well.
The Imbolc fairy for example was painted by myself which makes it a very unique piece, and most of our items are very unique and take a lot of time, my wild hare was painted in oils and chalk and took 8 days, so what we are bringing to the fabric world is our own designs that can not be obtained commercially unless through us.
We only print on Polyester at the moment, the reason, is me really, our way of printing does not go well with cottons as cotton dulls the images and that for me is not acceptable, each image I create takes such a long time and effort that the image you see online is the colour and look that a customer should get, it's how I designed it and want someone to see it vibrant and rich. Cotton does not offer that at the moment, however we do have a friend who makes ink for a living and he is currently working on a gas ink that will stick to the cotton, mass manufacturers use a different type but that is not available to us the quantities would be too expansive. We try to be competitive and stick as close to the other seller's prices as we can.
Of course as time goes on we will get bigger presses and printers but for now we have to stay small, I hope that is a small bonus, we hear a lot about images not being perfect and people finding quality bad from other sellers, stretched images, not vibrant, we aim for clear images, and good quality. We want our customers happy to get our items in the post not dread the stretched image or dull colour. Yes as a small concern we are more expensive than the giant fabric manufacturers but we are very unique.
Designs: Being a graphic designer is handy because we can bring you designs that would be dear to your customers, we can manipulate photographs and print them on cushions, currently we have two ladies doing pets, and we do birthday panels that you can choose the age and put a name, so you can also offer unique cushions when made up, or perhaps you have an idea of something then I will always give it a go, we have a lady who re-covers tired chairs and she wanted an Alice with hearts in a particlar shape so I designed that for her, that is the fun side for me the design and I will always have a go, if I can't do it then I would let you know, but I would try first. At least 80% of our designs could have a name on especially the baby ones.
Printing process: This is our daily work and I guess tells you how we go about achieving the things we do, I print out all my designs on specially coated paper which takes an age, while I am doing that Roger is cutting out panels, he cuts out each one individually as we only print to order, so he cuts all his 8x8's then his 12x12's then his 16x16's each one of course is larger so that people have excess fabric, (I not sure how he does not go mad doing that).
By the time he does that, the press has heated up and the prints are out, so we both collate orders with fabrics so we don's get them mixed up (yes it does go wrong on occasion) I then go back to printing out my labels, while Roger presses each individual peace of material, and checks each one is printed perfect, we usually both finish together oddly.. then we get to packing, and that's where I again check each image and make sure that the colours are as they should be, sometimes the poor thing has to go back out to the workshop and press a panel I am not happy with, now and then one will escape but we always rectify it asap as we are notified, we like happy customers.
The Vintage Designs: We use only vintage things or anything really that is copy-write friendly so no Disney or anything like that, we use Peter Rabbit a lot as that is allowed but instead of just using Peter I hand paint flowers, vegetables, trees and all sorts of things to go with them, even our gingham Peter is not really gingham but a deign that I did, but Peter and Alice both have elements that I have painted or designed on them, so again even my Peter and Alice are unique.
Just a little bit about us, who we are and how we work :)
Moonlake Designs Ltd 79 Percy Street South Blyth Northumberland NE243DE