Printable Cloth Covers

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Did you know you can now print directly on cloth hardbound book covers? It’s an affordable solution that creates a classy effect for your publication.

When you’ve spent perhaps years working on your book, it only makes sense to give it any boost you can to make it stand out of the crowd at the book store shelves. Shouldn’t your book be as unique on the outside as it is inside? Printable cloth adds a stylish look and feel that you can not get from your run of the mill digital printers.

I asked Steve Orf, our General Manager about the material and its possibilities: “The printable cloth we use is called Chameleon, from LBS, a pure white cloth made of 100% rayon with a calendared surface optimized for excellent digital printing results. Chameleon will enhance book covers with its printability. It has a natural look and feel, and its durability is comparable to standard cloth cover material.

This product affords our customers a cloth covered book that looks similar to standard cloth without the added cost. We can print text in either a gold or silver color to simulate foil stamping. We can also print any color on the cloth, so we’re not limited to just the color the cloth manufacturers have available.”

Artster Oklahoma

I also asked George Dick, the CEO of Four Colour Print Group about the Artster Oklahoma book, which was our first time trying this printing technique.

“My customer Espanta Steppe wanted to start an artbook publishing company. Wisely, she was not sure how many books she could sell right out of the gate, being a brand new publisher. This is one of the perks of being a digital printer. It allows for publishers to come into existence without a lot of capital or experience.

Espanta decided she wanted to start with just 100 copies in full-color, which is why we started FCI Digital. She wanted the cover to be white, and as she was under a tight schedule I suggested that instead of foil stamping a cloth-bound book, we could actually print directly on white cloth. Normally, foil stamping 100 copies would have added die charges of upwards of $300, plus a stamping fee, all of which would have made it cost prohibitive. But being able to print on the cloth, with our toner based machines, we were able to make this highly affordable, provide a beautiful cover — better than foil stamping would have looked in the first place. Sometimes digital is not just faster, but the quality can also be better. For small quantities it can be very cost effective.

In the end Espanta’s book was very successful. She went ahead to do an offset run, which we, in fact, ended up printing in South Korea. I believe we had some issues with getting the cloth in Korea, so for this version we decided to go with a regular matte laminated case.”

The finished book

“We could not have picked a better printer to work with. Our project is very image heavy and the printing was 100% true in color and balance. Everyone at FCI is polite and genuine in the desire to make it work and look GREAT.”


“When we initially reached out to FCI, we were very new to the process of book printing. From the first phone call, the FCI team was incredibly responsive and helpful. It’s rare to come across a company that is willing to speak on the phone and help you decide what is the best fit for your project. They are unbelievably helpful and honest. Our books turned out absolutely beautiful!”

Michelle Dodd LaVasque, ARTSTER OKLAHOMA

Of course it’s also easier for us when you get to work with talented and passionate people! Try printable cloth for your book next. As Steve points out: “Since this is a stock item, we don’t have to order it. There are no delays to your schedule.”

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