Printed Minky Review

5 min read

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MagnaStorm's avatar
edit to add: yes the printed minky is washable! I didn't wash mine, but according to spoonflower "Wash separately in cool or warm water using a gentle machine cycle. Machine dry using a low temperature or permanent press setting and remove promptly to avoid wrinkles." Although please don't machine wash a plush, ahah. Just the fabric.

So I recently got the chance to play with printed minky! Here's a sort of review about it

Bought from:

Price: $28/yrd. Very expensive, but for a very versatile product of this quality it's definitely justified.

Shipping: Only $6 to Canada, with tracking, took about a week and a half to arrive once shipped, no duties. A+

File prep: spoonflower has very simple requirements that are easy to follow. I scanned my pattern pieces, cleaned them up and colored them, then I copied them into a file that was set to spoonflower's specifications (150dpi, set to the width of minky. I added length as I needed it). To make sure my pieces were going to turn out the right size I drew a 1"x1" square on my pattern before scanning and used that with photoshop's rulers to scale my pieces to the right size. 

Print Quality: Excellent. Very clean and crisp print. Not a hair of minky out of place. Colors accuracy exceeded my expectations. As it's been said by other artists, because of the way dye sub works, the ink does not reach the base of the fabric but it does soak a few mm in so the print isn't strictly on the very surface of the fibers.

Fabric quality: As good as I expected. At first I thought it was shorter minky than regular Shannon but the fibers are just laying super flat, probably a result of the printing process. It's very soft, but not as fluffy as Shannon minky. Feels a little thinner. Because the fibers lay very flat it's actually pretty difficult to brush it against the grain, which is a good thing in this case. The fabric doesn't feel clumped or stiffened by the ink at all, like it would with paint. Same texture on printed and unprinted areas. I would not mix printed minky with shannon's because the textures are clearly different(unless I'm going for different textures of course).

Down sides: Dark colors will show the white base at seams and points. Light colors will show it too but it's not as noticeable. I would not print a dark plush.

My biggest worry is how this fabric will hold up with time. I wonder if with age it would start showing more of the white underneath the print. 

Also, unless someone can show me a method to line up embroidery perfectly every time I WOULD NOT DO EMBROIDERED EYES AGAIN. It looks great but lining up the eyes with the print was a nightmare and it ended up taking a few hours to embroider two eyes. o___o so unless I made the eyes into sew-on patches, they would also be printed.

And finally, onto some detail pictures!

Finished plush;
Milo the Bagbean by MagnaStorm

a few closeups to show print quality. Super crisp.
Untitled by MagnaStorm
Untitled by MagnaStorm
Untitled by MagnaStorm

White pokes through the seams, especially at the tip of spikes.
Brushing your seams minimizes this, though doesn't completely get rid of the white(these are brushed seams). Filling with a marker in a matching color might be a solution, but I'm iffy about using markers on plushies.
Untitled by MagnaStorm

Comparing to a plush made with Shannon minky. At a glance they're very similar
Untitled by MagnaStorm

Closeup to show the difference in texture
Untitled by MagnaStorm

So here ya go! Overall I'm very happy with the results and it's something I would definitely do again. As a matter of fact I have one more printed plush I need to assemble, and that one has GRADIENTS!! The white showing through dark colors is definitely the worst part of printed minky, but considering the overall look and possibilities printed minky opens up (I repeat--GRADIENTS!!) it's a drawback I'm ok with. Printed minky will be available for commissions by request!
© 2017 - 2021 MagnaStorm
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Slothie-Studios's avatar
I wanted to let you know Spoonflower recently improved their printed minky so there's a lot less white…
sewcuteplushies's avatar
I have also been looking into spoonflower's printed minky as an option.    I've wanted to make more detailed plushies, but attempting to embroider every detail, piece every different color fabric together, airbrush, or iron-on can get pretty time consuming. Your prints turned out amazing looking.  I will have to give them a try.   Thank you for sharing.

About your plush: the eye embroidery looks pretty good, no one would know you struggled with the alignment unless you tell them lol.  About the color fade: like any other fabric, as long as you don't let it sit out in direct sunlight  like in front of a window or in your car for years, it should not fade.  If you wash it a lot, there is a chance it will fade due to the chemicals in the detergent, agitation and heat form the washing machine.  I know this because I've had this happen to my childhood plushies. 
peridot894's avatar
i will love to use it for busies to describe what i want the plush looks perfect
Kai45's avatar
Omg I never knew you were in Canada until now!! :O Is it too stalkery to ask where from lol even in vague details. I'm in Southwestern Ontario! :D
MagnaStorm's avatar
Yup I've lived in Canada my whole life! I live in boring ol' New Brunswick ahah
Kai45's avatar
I was there this summer!!!! :D I'm not sure it really counts though because I basically just passed through on my way to Nova Scotia......I stopped there for lunch though X'D
NazFX's avatar
Just wondering if you noticed a difference in stretch compared to shannon? 
MagnaStorm's avatar
It has slightly more stretch, think microchenille/ soft 'n comfy. I personally like it though, I find it easier to stuff nice and smooth.
NazFX's avatar
blueJAY2's avatar
That's really interesting - I didn't know you could get printed minky! This was a very informative review - I may try this out myself in the future :) . Thanks for sharing!
meplushyou's avatar
Question! How does one know which way the nap goes when ordering minky from spoonflower?
Chibi-pets's avatar
I was wondering the same. 
MagnaStorm's avatar
I forget where they mention it on their website but the nap runs top to bottom, like regular minky
Chibi-pets's avatar
About this "line up embroidery perfectly every time" (Maybe other already told this, sorry for the spam in that case) 
Nazegoreng  doesn't have a tutorial for this?  ( if not.. Nazegoreng  this is an idea for a tutorial lol) 
NazFX's avatar
It is pretty tricky. Mostly I would just sew out a single outline for the design. Try and line it up and if it doesn't work, unpick the single stitch and try again. 
Chibi-pets's avatar
that's a good idea.
MagnaStorm's avatar
I've already figured that I'll try printing hooping guides onto my fabric next time, but if anyone has other suggestions I'd definitely love to hear them!
adamlhumphreys's avatar
Awesome! :D
I generally just lay down a ruler for accurate scaling, but that's when taking photos. I wouldn't think you'd have a problem with that for scanning since you can just set the DPI. :)

And while I don't think I can show you, I can probably tell you how to line up embroidery. First I have a print that indicates the horizontal and vertical alignment of the design with respect to the hoop. That gets pinned to the fabric. In addition to that I use set stitches in the design with known positions that correspond to that print. I have the machine hover over those points and bring down the needle make sure they line up. If not, then I can probably move or rotate the design a small bit on the machine without re-hooping. That's how I aligned three hoops for the Queen Chrysalis quilt square: ^^

Hope that helps! :iconapplejackhappyplz:
MagnaStorm's avatar
Thanks for the advise! I actually thought about printing hooping guides directly onto my fabric, I'll have to give that a try next time~
adamlhumphreys's avatar
No probs! :D
Well, that's one way to do it well in advanced. :nod: If you decided to shift it, would could just compensate for the offset then.
snakelvr103's avatar
Oh wow I never even thought of having the patterns pre-printed like that.
I ordered a few minky samples from Spoonflower before and was fine with the quality and color of the lighter patterns but the darker prints left me very upset.
I had ordered a simple purple/black checkerboard pattern and it came out blue/black. When I emailed them they said they would personally check a reprint and resend it. Turns out they really didn't because it came out exactly the same blue/black as the first. I don't wanna lighten the purple any further because it would compromise the original design but it doesn't seem like they're able to fix the problem :/
MagnaStorm's avatar
yeah I've been told that reds and purple can be iffy! Maybe try to order a sample print with different purples and see if one of them comes out closer to what you actually want? If it's turning out too blue it sounds like you need to add more red to it, not make it lighter though!
snakelvr103's avatar
Thanks for the tip! I think I'll create a purple color palette and then order a sample to see how it works. Hopefully it'll produce better results than last time.
plushabilities's avatar
Was your file CMYK or RGB? Cuz I've only had issues with CMYK files, which Spoonflower warns against anyway.
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