A Guide to Copy Shop Printing For UK Sewists

Getting patterns printed on A0 is not something I do regularly. I often buy pdf patterns, but for budget reasons I usually stick together the A4 pages myself. However, I wanted to get my sew-jo back and sew some new patterns for autumn and the thing that was holding me back was the prospect of sticking loads of pages together. I took to Instagram and asked my lovely followers for recommendations specifically for the cheapest copy shop printing services in the UK.

What I didn’t expect was the vast spectrum of prices that were recommended, nor the number of people who told me there was no point in shopping around as they all cost “about the same”! I understand that penny pinching is not as important to people who have money, but for those of us on a tight budget – saving approx £17 is very important!

So what did I want to print?

I wanted to print five patterns – a total of 13 A0 pages. (You can see why I didn’t want to stick all these together!) These five patterns will make up my autumn/winter sewing plans:

I used these five patterns to compare prices between the seven most recommended websites. Now please bear in mind, that for me at this moment in my life – price is the most important factor. The fact that I am paying for these to be printed AT ALL is a treat for me – doing this as cheaply as possible is a priority. I will try and outline the difference in the services for those whose first priority isn’t price – for example I know lots of people are happy to pay more for patterns printed on tissue. I’ll try and outline the difference in the services as I understand they aren’t all like-for-like!

One final note before I start the comparison – I haven’t tried all of these services so am not personally recommending them AND I cannot possibly list every printing service in the UK. These were the most common ones recommended to me by my followers:

Plan Printing 24 £17.70 total cost. This is who I went with after all my research and was cheapest if you need to print several patterns. Total cost £17.70 for all five patterns including delivery and VAT. I was quite frankly shocked when my patterns arrived THE NEXT DAY! I didn’t realise that the ’24’ in ‘Plan Printing 24’ meant it was a 24hr service. The price for A0 is 75p per page which is the cheapest I’ve found, but you have to add VAT on top of that AND the postage costs a flat rate of £5 – so this is only the cheapest option if (like me) you have several patterns to print. There are other cheaper options if you only want a couple of pages printing. I cannot find online what gsm the paper is but it feels like regular printer paper.

CLC Essex£19.50 total cost. I think this is cheapest if you don’t have loads to print OR if you want colour! It costs £1.50 per page including colour printing, VAT, and postage. So if you have one pattern that’s three sheets it would only be £4.50 posted to your door! I am very impressed with this and will store this knowledge away for the future. For my 13 pages CLC Essex was £19.50 which wasn’t much more considering this is colour printing. Another additional service they offer is that they print pattern booklets! So if you want the instructions printing as well as the pattern this would be an affordable way to do that. I haven’t used these yet though so cannot comment on the service. Again printed on thick printer paper – 90gsm.

Fabricate Mirfield£25.50 total cost. Fabricate charge £3.50 for the first page of every pattern and £1 per page after with free postage over £15. They print on 80gsm paper.

Fabulosew – £29.60 total cost. Fabulosew were very highly recommended. They print on tissue so are obviously a slightly different service. Their printing is £2.15 per page plus £1.65 delivery – for my 13 pages this added up to £29.60. They also offer pattern envelopes and instruction book printing. They do make an argument for tissue paper being more environmentally friendly:

Paper comes from trees. Whilst our paper is not recycled, the fact that it is so lightweight means that more patterns can be printed from the same volume of trees. A tonne of 90gsm ( grams per square meter ) paper can print 12,025 Ogden Camis (it’s a single A0 pattern) whereas a tonne of our 20gsm paper can print 56,960 Ogden Camis. 

Fabulosew

The Fold Line – £30.50 total cost. Patterns are a flat rate £4.00 for one page, £5.00 for two, £6.00 for three etc etc. Shipping is £2.50. They print on 75gsm paper.

Netprinter – £31.40 total cost. They calculate the prices based on each uploaded pattern, not per sheet. There is also VAT, a folding charge and £5.00 shipping. They can print patterns in colour if you want that but there is an extra charge. They use 80gsm paper. I have personally used Netprinter and I found them to be slow, the patterns were printed nicely though.

Patternsy –  £34.50 total cost. These came up a lot in the recommendations, they print on 22gsm paper. Each A0 page costs £2.50 per sheet plus £2.00 flat rate shipping. I found this website navigation confusing and difficult to use but got a lot of recommendations for them.

One final recommendation that I got was to research whether you have a local copy shop near where you live that offer this service. It’s great to support local businesses if you can. I haven’t found anywhere near me but will continue looking!

I hope this has been useful to some of you! I know not everyone is as concerned about price as me – I am afraid it is one of the dangers of living on a tight budget! But considering the most expensive service is almost double the price of the cheapest, I am hopeful that this post will be useful to some other sewists out there!

Do you have any recommendations I have missed?

19 thoughts on “A Guide to Copy Shop Printing For UK Sewists

  1. I’ve used Savy Sewist who print on 49gsm paper, a nice half way house between tissue and normal paper. Patterns are £3.99 for one page and an extra £1 per page with VAT and 2nd class postage included. You can pay extra for thicker paper and/or faster postage. They also print A4 files onto A0 and pattern instruction booklets. The service has always been excellent.

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  2. At Print-Easy we charge £2 per A0 page (colour or BW) which includes postage, 2nd Class Mon-Thurs, 1st Class on a Friday. Currently we have a special and include 1 x Gusseted A4 envelope per pattern for storing your pattern in. We also print instructions in booklet form, £2 per A4 booklet or £1.50 for A5. Printing in 80gsm white paper.
    We can also print up to 42″, wide format patterns (like Style Arc patterns). Email for Quote print@print-easy.co.uk
    http://www.instagram.com/print_easy_uk
    http://www.facebook.com/PrintEasyUK

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  3. Thank you for this thorough analysis. Such a huge price range!
    I live in the US and decided to try a local copy shop, rather than taping all of the pages for the Pona Jacket from Helen’s Closet. I was rather shocked when I picked it up and the price was more than $27 (US dollars). This was for one pattern! Obviously I should have paid more attention when they were quoting a per square inch price.
    I have now made the pattern three times- twice for me and once for my mother. Eventually most everyone I know will be receiving a Pona Jacket, so that I can justify the cost.
    Enjoy your fall sewing. I like your pattern choices.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for this really helpful summary of a few different companies. I’m new to sewing and have been thinking about A0 printing as I’m not great at sticking printed pdfs out (I don’t know how I manage to do that wrong!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I often end up sticking them together slightly wonky! And the bigger the pattern, the more out it seems to get! I have found sticking together with glue stick works better for me than tape – if I use tape I am definitely going to end up with problems!

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  5. There’s dotty print I used in ilkley plbefore I started using fabricate. They have a membership service too. But since fabricate also have their “bobbins” loyalty programme for all orders, and lots of voucher codes regularly, their printing service us the one I go for.

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  6. This was so interesting to read, as I find the printing and sticking A4 together tedious and have come up against discrepancies too so I’ve avoided purchasing PDF’s. I have only had a pattern printed on AO once by the foldline, the cost was high and now I know of plan printing 24 will try them next time. Look forward to seeing your new makes

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  7. Thanks for this very useful info. I’ve used Netprinter several times, and The Foldline once and whilst I was really happy with the service both companies provided, its really good to klnow there are cheaper options out there. Personally I prefer the printer paper rather than paper as I trace all of my patterns and its so much easier if the paper is sturdy. I’m definitely going to keep a note of this post.

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  8. Oh I really should check what I’ve written BEFORE I press send. I meant that I prefer printer paper over tissue – and I know how to spell ‘know’!

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  9. Thanks for the information you have collated about A0 printing which was really helpful. I’ve just used Print-Easy as a result of reading this thread and they provided a great service and would recommend. It’s the first time I’ve used an external printer and won’t miss sticking A4 sheets together for any future patterns!

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