The Robert Kaufman Printing Process

The other day, we posted a behind-the-scenes Youtube video made by our CEO Ken Kaufman. Many of you might have seen it already, but if you haven't, we highly recommend watching it if you'd like to see how the fabric printing process works.

The responses to the video have all been so positive, and we're thrilled to see such a high level of interest in this process! We've also gotten a number of really good questions, so Ken has kindly offered to address them here:

It’s really fulfilling reading all of the positive responses to my little video. I have also read several comments concerning the question of why more printing isn’t done in the U.S.A.  Let me try to explain. It takes three things to produce a quality quilt fabric:  1) the highest quality printing capability, 2) low production minimums, and 3) a cost structure that works at retail. Unfortunately these three basic needs have been for the most part unavailable in the U.S. and may have never quite existed. With that being said, there still is a printing industry in the U.S.  It primarily focuses on the mass market, military, industrial, and home furnishing market (which garners such high price points that local printing is still viable). Unfortunately, if a quilt fabric manufacturer were to rely on domestic printing, the likely result would be price points too high for retail. It is, however, heartening to know that the quilt industry in the U.S. is a 3.5+ billion dollar industry, and that industry stands on the shoulders of thousands of retail fabric stores, designers, computer CAD artists, textile manufacturers, and distributors providing thousands of jobs across the country. The imported fabric price points, on the whole, make this all achievable. There are however, some instances where domestic printing can meet our expectations and we are exploring these opportunities - in fact, we have a collection coming out this spring that will be printed in the U.S. - Whisper Prints, released April 2013. I hope my explanation is helpful and hope my video inspires appreciation for the hard work that involves so many in the making of quilting fabrics.

- Ken Kaufman, CEO