Your design starts as an image, which you can make any way you see fit – generate a pattern with Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, draw one on paper and scan it, or take a picture of something that you'd like transformed into woven fabric.
There are only a few rules for images:
• They must be smaller than 10 MB
• They must be a PNG, TIF, GIF or JPG file
• They must be smaller than 4,800 pixels wide, and 9,600 pixels tall
• Very tall, very thin images aren't allowed. The height of the image must be less than 4× the width of the image
If your image follows those rules, you can upload it to Weft Create and begin designing your fabric. Some images, however, will likely work better than others:
Your design should tile horizontally, because it will repeat across the width of the fabric.
If the left and right edges of your pattern match up, and the top and bottom edges match up, the design should repeat well. If not, you'll be able to tell where the pattern starts and ends on the fabric – sometimes that's intended, but if it's not the look you're going for, you'll want to upload an image that repeats cleanly.
Your design should contain a small number of different colors.
Each distinct color in your design defines an area of fabric where you can set a different weave in the next step. If your design has more than 8 colors, Weft will merge similar colors to reduce it to 8, but you have more control if you prepare the image with 8 or fewer colors to start with.
Turn off antialiasing to avoid introducing extra colors at the boundaries between color areas.
For the best control, if your image is exported from a vector drawing program like Adobe Illustrator, turn off antialiasing to avoid introducing extra colors at the boundaries between color areas. Also, use high resolution to prevent stair-step artifacts; 2400 pixels wide is recommended.
Small details or fine lines may drop out.
Because Weft creates your design by weaving, it’s not possible to reproduce details in your design that are smaller than the size of a yarn in the fabric. Weft will reduce the resolution of your design to match the quality you choose, so you likely won't get good results with designs that have a lot of isolated pixels or fine patterns in close proximity. To ensure reliable results for our customers, Weft automatically simplifies areas with too many small details. You’ll want to make sure your design has large enough, wide enough elements.
But don’t worry, you can see exactly how your design will look on the fabric in the next step, before you order anything.
Weft supports designs that are a maximum of 14” wide by unlimited height within the file size restraints. You can use the Arrange feature in the program to explore different scales of your design. Note that the smaller the design, the less detail will be preserved in the image.
After uploading your design, you have the opportunity to fine tune how it is translated into fabric. There are three choices to make: what quality of fabric to create, what color yarns to use for the whole fabric, and which of those colors to use in each area of your design. You can also control the texture of the fabric by selecting a weave for each area.
When you choose a quality, you are selecting the materials that will be used to make your fabric, as well as the overall construction. These determine the weight and feel of the fabric, as well as the number of yarn colors you can use. You select a quality when you first upload your design, but you can change any time using the Quality pallette.
Your fabric is made of warp (vertical) and weft (horizontal) yarns, and the colors in your fabric are created from the colors of these yarns. Using the Yarns palette, you select these yarns from the palette of available colors. Selections of warp yarns are more limited, and some qualities have a fixed warp, indicated by lock icons on the yarn palette.
Using top section of the Weaves palette, you choose one of the warp colors and one of the weft colors for each area in your design.
Using the bottom section of the Weaves palette, you choose a weave that combines the selected warp and weft yarns. The choice of weave affects the exact color and also the texture of the fabric surface.
The Weaves palette contains one tile for each area in the design, showing the currently selected pattern and yarns. To assign yarns and weaves to an area in your design, first select the desired area either by clicking directly on it in the preview image, or by clicking on the corresponding tile in the weaves palette. In either case, the selection is indicated in the preview by graying out the rest of the fabric, showing only the selected area in full color.
The live preview that you see while designing in Weft is an accurate representation of how your design translates to the yarns on the fabric surface; the individual yarns shown are the same ones that will make up the fabric. The color and texture are also good simulations of the resulting fabric, though it’s important to recognize that the appearance of fabric, both its color and its texture, depends considerably on lighting conditions. The boundaries between areas in your design are simpler and straighter in the preview than they will appear in the actual fabric.
Once you have finalized the design of your fabric, you can order it by selecting a quantity and clicking “add to cart” at the bottom of the left panel (top right on mobile). You can change the quantity before submitting the order. The minimum quantity that you can order is 3 yards, because that is the smallest unique amount that an industrial Jacquard loom can produce for removal from the equipment.