Can’t find the right pattern for the drapes or blinds in your home? A new service called FabricGenie lets you create precisely what you’re looking for with AI.
FabricGenie makes use of generative AI to let customers describe which type of design they want on their fabric. Alternatively, customers can upload an image of their room or an image containing color schemes they want to match, and then let the AI suggest suitable patterns.
Customers are presented with four different options to choose from, and they can keep refining the description of the pattern they’re looking for until they get the perfect result.
Carl Fisher, director of The Millshop Online, the British company behind FabricGenie, says the AI gives customers much more control over the look of their home. Until now, Fisher claims, interior design has “always been in the hands of certain designers who said this is the look you must have. But now it’s free to everybody, no matter what room, no matter what person, it’s free to everybody’s imagination, which is the bit that we love the most about it.”
The service has been up and running for a couple of weeks and already FabricGenie has had some unusual requests.
“We’ve seen some weird and wonderful thing,” said Danny Richman, the AI consultant who’s been working with The Millshop Online to implement FabricGenie. One customer requested former British Prime Minister Theresa May surrounded by food, for example. Gothic designs including mysticism and witchcraft have also been oddly popular.
However, the conventional floral and striped designs remain the most requested. FabricGenie has a human layer of moderation to ensure nothing offensive or involving trademarked brands is printed.
And far from replacing interior designers, Richman said the company’s found professionals making active use of the service. “If you’re an interior designer and you want something very specific for a project you’re working on, you’re even able to specify exact Pantone color names,” he said.
“If you’re somebody with a very particular hobby or interest—say for example, your granddad was a Spitfire pilot—you can have some curtains or blinds made up to suit their hobbies or interests. It’s been interesting seeing all the different things people have come up with.”
Printing AI-Designed Fabrics
FabricGenie customers don’t have to rely on what they see on screen before deciding whether to proceed with an order. For £10 (around $13), the company will send out a fabric sample printed with your chosen design so that you can see exactly what the finished product will look like.
Orders are fulfilled using the company’s Mimaki 330 series digital printers, which are each capable of churning out around 250m of fabric per day.
Although most AI-generated images are relatively low resolution, the company has found the image quality is good enough not to have to rely on technical fixes. “We did a few experiments with image upscaling software that worked really well, but it turned out not to be necessary,” said Richman.
“The AI model that were using is able to produce images to a high enough resolution to use straight off.”
FabricGenie currently offers drapes, blinds or loose fabric, but Fisher believes there’s potential to use the AI system for other products. “I’m just awaiting the arrival of our new upholstery base cloth, so it will be for seating as well,” he said.
“And we’re looking into apparel as we speak. The only problem with apparel is the fixing and the washing of the cloth, because of shrinkage. So that’s something that we’ve got to test and it’s got to be correct before we can take it to market.”
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