How to license fabric designs

Apologies, this isn’t a post telling you how you can get started in licensing your fabric designs. Rather, I’m asking you. I was approached by a worthy not for profit who is interested in licensing some artwork they own. The designs would likely be suitable for fabric to be used in children’s wear, children’s furnishings (rugs etc) and for retail fabric sale to include quilting. This party doesn’t know how to go about navigating the complexity of it all. I wasn’t much help beyond telling them how the system works, about PrintSource and providing some links to licensing related print publications. I’m not getting anything out of this but someone who provides these sorts of services would. It’d be great if you could post some ideas and resources. Thanks!

Get New Posts by Email


  1. Miracle says:

    If you’re really interested, I could give a private referral to a woman I know who runs an art licensing agency for art from disabled artists. I’m sure she could give them all the help they need.

  2. celeste says:

    I am more then interested in this subject, and tried to list all the links I had (in hopes that someone else would share theres), but the site decided I was to spamy, and wouldn’t publish it.

    But here is one thing I learned, and is probally the best method of all.

    i talked with a textile printer once, and he told me of a company that he prints fabric for, and how she obtains her designs. Is she goes overseas to these licenscing expos, purchases the designs there from several different designers and then comes back and has the fabric printed for her company.

    An expo has people willing to buy your designs on the spot. And a great place to get your portfolio in front of alot of people. Assuming you can pay the membership fees and travel fees.

    I had more, but to get this one posted, and to not have to retype this in the middle of the night when the kids are asleep………

  3. Paul says:

    One thing that should be done to protect ownership rights, in the US, is to go through the formal procedure of copyrighting. The one problem that may occur is that non-profits may think they own the art work if it was donated, but someone else may actually own the copyrights. You cannot legally license something you do not own. US copyright laws do not have much bearing on many countries outside of the US. The pdf at this link will be helpful.

  4. Dara says:

    The can license their stuff to Spoonflower. If a designer posts a design, they are entitled to between 10-20% of the revenue sold from each yard of fabric. Several old fabric designers I know have reinvented themselves using this company that provides small short fabric runs.

  5. lily yang says:

    I am also a freelance textile designer but I am new in the filed. I have a question about contract agreement to you,if you know about it. Recently,I was about to work on a project for a textile design studio for a textile show.They send me a contract agreement to prohibit me to show the work to other design studio or my own personal websie.Since I am new to the textile industrial,I am not sure about the rule.However,I am a fashion designer,I know if the design company hasn’t buy me any of my for,I should have my own right. I ask them to clarify specific time and also ask them not to copy or change my work but if they want me to change alter my work I will do it myself.I don’t feel it is fair trade.Do you know about the rule to sell the work to textile design studio?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.