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Creating a collection

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In her book “The Design Directory of Window Treatments,” interior design veteran Jackie Von Tobel created thousands of hand-drawn illustrations. But it wasn’t until her friend and business associate, Jeanelle Dech of Adaptive Textiles in West Chester, Pa., suggested that she create a fabric collection based on these designs that Von Tobel knew about the possibilities of designing digital printed textiles for home interior use.

“I had to learn a new industry from the start,” Las Vegas-based Von Tobel notes. “I had never designed fabric before, and I had to teach myself Photoshop.” What’s more, her knowledge of digital printing capabilities was relegated to advertising and trade show uses.

So Von Tobel went to work on developing a collection of 12 patterns representing 154 SKUs that features everything from feminine florals to basic zebra prints to geometric trellises. The patterns are printed on linen, cotton-linen or organic sateen yardages using the DuPont Artistri and pigment inks. Potential products include pillows, draperies and slip covers—anything but heavy upholstery. Von Tobel also created a separate line of pre-made pillows meant to coordinate with the yardage patterns.

Von Tobel found an ideal partner in Adaptive Textiles. “It was a perfect fit in that Jackie could launch a significant collection with minimal financial investment,” says Dech. “We handled the graphic end of it and the sample printing, and she was able to create her collection in eight months.”

Adds Von Tobel: “I have no warehousing. I have no inventory. I have no employees. Adaptive Textiles did it all.”

Up next for the designer: a collection of coordinated wall hangings and window panels. Von Tobel’s collection launched in November 2009 and is available for sale on her website, www.jackievontobel.com.

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