Spoonflower Fabric Development Series 6: GIMP And File Uploading

We are finally getting to the end of our Spoonflower development series for all of you (and me!) that may need a “jump start” to making some awesome fabric designs. Please check out the beginning of my series as well. Today we are going to explore GIMP a little bit and finally upload our file to Spoonflower for printing. At this point we have already gone through these processes:

  1. Thinking About And Creating Your Design
  2. Computer Art Programs And What They Do
  3. Getting To Know Inkscape, A Vector Art Program
  4. Finishing Your Design And Creating The Perfect Tile
  5. Color Calibration Part A
  6. Color Calibration Part B
  7. Color Calibration Part C

Just to remind you, I am taking you through these processes using the open source (free) art programs, Inkscape and GIMP. These are good programs to learn as you are starting out and you don’t need to spend any money! As you get more advanced, you may want to look into acquiring Photoshop, but this series is for beginners.

Time To Upload


Now that we have finished creating our tile in Inkscape and figured out how we want the colors to look it is time to get it ready to upload. Unfortunately at this point in time, Inkscape can only export files to .png format. Spoonflower recommends uploading your file in .TIF format; this is the standard format used by artists using Photoshop and Illustrator. DON’T DISPAIR! We can work around this and convert our files to .TIF in GIMP. Will you lose some quality by the conversion? Yes, a little. But not enough that you would ever notice. Let’s do this together.

First you want to export your file from Inkscape.


Here we have our tile selected and we want to export it from Inkscape and covert in to .TIF format in GIMP. Go to the upper left corner and click on FILE/EXPORT.


This is what pops up. You want to make sure that you export the Selection, not the entire work space. This is where you decide what size you would like your selection to be. Change the width and height you would like your tile to be. Not sure? Re-read my post on THE PERFECT TILE. Name your file and EXPORT. It will always export to a .png file. Hopefully someday Inkscape will have .TIF options but for now, this is what we have.

Now we are going to open GIMP. Open your new .png file.


Go to the left corner and click on FILE/SAVE AS


You can just rename your image with .tif on the end of it and save, but I wanted to show you that if you open up the “file types” on the bottom, you can see all the different file options you can save in this program. Once you rename your image, just press SAVE.


This box will pop up after you press save. I don’t use compression and just press SAVE again.


GUESS WHAT? You now have a completed .TIF file to upload to Spoonflower. CONGRATULATIONS!

Now go out there and create some fabric!



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