Best of 2008: Kim’s Picks: Biggest News

I hope you’ll bear with me on these best-ofs even though it’s already halfway through January!

Here’s my year-in-review of fabric news:

Amazon buys — I thought this would be a big deal, but nothing much changed as far as I can tell … has grown and you can buy some of their inventory through Amazon.

Westminster Adopting MAP Policy — the effects won’t be felt till next month, but the policy was announced late last year. Retailers are polarized. We’re still waiting for more details on how it will all work.

Spoonflower, Bonbon Kakku, and Ink and Spindle Launch — If you’re a fabric fan, you’ve no doubt dreamt up your own designs. 2008 saw the launch of three services that allow aspiring designers worldwide to realize their visions on fabric. Spoonflower, based in North Carolina, and Bonbon Kakku, based in Finland, offer digital printing, which allows unlimited color and scale options. Ink & Spindle (Australia) is an upstart fabric screenprinting studio. I&S is only producing and selling their own designs for the moment, but I think the plan for the future is to print other peoples’ designs as well. There are other digital fabric printers and screenprinters out there, but never before have they come from within, or are marketing specifically to, the online crafting community.

The CPSIA — I haven’t covered it much on this blog because it’s being done so well elsewhere: the Handmade Toy Alliance, Fashion Incubator, Etsy’s the Storque and forums, HarmonyArt, and many others. In short, if this legislation isn’t changed, it will kill hundreds if not thousands of small businesses that make children’s products, and the impact will absolutely be felt in the fabric world. This will certainly be the biggest story of 2009 too.

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