Where are Common Fibers Promo products designed?
All of our products are designed here in our Seattle shop in the United States. We have a dedicated team that collaborates daily on each step of the process from the earliest concepts to final design approvals. We’re known to wear many hats, and take all considerations seriously.
Most importantly, we take inspiration from not just our own lives, but from the suggestions of our growing list of clients and partners. Our shop is equipped with a full scale CNC machine, multiple 3D printers, two laser machines, and a UV printer – to prototype, test, and iterate our products.
Where are Common Fibers Promo products made?
We’re proud to say we make many of our products here in our Seattle shop. All of our hinged goods for example, like wallets, portfolios, and cases are made entirely on our floor. To our knowledge, we are the only company on Earth that can manufacture a carbon fiber hinge. As a fabrication shop, we’ve made pretty much anything.
We have trusted partners in China that have been working with us for as long as our founding, and we can’t say enough about their dedication to excellence and commitment to craftsmanship. While we do everything else, they can, and do help bring many of our designs and accessories to life. Our mission is to make carbon fiber casual by making it more accessible and affordable for everyone. Currently the value they help us bring to you accelerates that goal.
I have a design. Can you make it?
Yes! We love working to create beautiful products. Depending on your budget, project scopes, and time frames, we will make suggestions – as knowledgeable carbon fiber experts – to meet your needs and bring you value.
Carbon fiber is a very labor-intensive material. If a project requires a mold, we will walk you through the process and provide you with a statement of work. We’ve made a mascot head – nothing is really off-limits.
What other services do you provide?
We offer prototyping, manufacturing, and design services for our clients. Combined our team has over 20 years of composites experience. We provide free virtuals, mockups, and can even help create vector quality artwork.
What is carbon fiber?
Carbon fiber has been called a miracle material and the future of manufacturing and design. It helps build the world’s best airplanes, spaceships, and vehicles. Carbon fiber has superior strength than materials like steel, aluminum, and plastic, is extremely lightweight, has an incredible amount of versatility, and with different weaves and finishes, an irresistible look.
What this all means, is when you use carbon fiber, you have products with the highest quality, form, and an appeal across every lifestyle.
We are passionate about spreading carbon fiber knowledge and dedicated an entire page for this purpose. Learn more about the technical details of carbon fiber.
Our carbon fiber.
We only use 100% real carbon fiber in all of our products. We are meticulous in our sourcing for the highest quality carbon fiber fabrics and weaves, from trusted industry partners in the United States and China.
Additionally, our shop is located next to Boeing, which allows us to “up-cycle” wasted and scrap carbon fiber and turn it into strong and durable products. Many of our products utilize the exact same carbon fiber found on Boeing airplanes. This prevents the material from being thrown in a landfill.
In the instances where a colored weave is used, carbon fiber is woven with another material, such as fiberglass, mylar, or kevlar, to create a hybrid fabric. We utilize these fabrics for our Reflections and colored weave options.
What is your carbon fiber hinge?
A patented manufacturing method that creates a functional hinge within the carbon fiber material itself. This means we can make carbon fiber malleable in any area of our choosing. We protect the hinge on our products using a transparent polyurethane protective tape – it’s aerospace grade, puncture, tear, and abrasion resistant.
Thorough testing has shown our wallets rip at 1,300 lbs of load. A regular leather wallet rips at just 300 lbs of load. In addition, after 50,000 bend cycles testing has concluded no significant reduction in strength. It’s built to last a lifetime.
Our leathers and fabrics.
We want to create products that are used and loved for as long as possible, so we continually search to source the best materials to pair with our carbon fiber. Currently, we use genuine top grain leather and ripstop nylon fabric, for their unmatched durability, appeal, and longevity. They are waterproof and have great tear resistance.
There are other carbon fiber products out there. Why yours?
We started Common Fibers by offering the first carbon fiber wallet on the market, and have evolved into a full fabrication facility with 150 different product SKU’s (and counting) selling worldwide. We have 20+ years of composites experience, make entire cars out of carbon fiber, and back it up by teaching others how to do it. Simply put, we are the industry experts, and provide the best customer experiences.
We are thrilled to see other companies offering carbon fiber products. As we advance the market with our goods, we encourage competition. It ultimately expedites our goal to make carbon fiber casual – more accessible and affordable for everyone.
However not all carbon fiber is made equal (or it may not be real), nor do others have the knowledge, facilities, or quality control to get it right. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Carbon fiber is a notoriously difficult material to print on. We use a method of spot color printing which allows us to print up to 8 solid coated/uncoated colors, including two types of metallic inks, silver and gold. We can NOT print using gradients.
For all of screen prints, we utilize the Pantone Color Matching System, also known as PMS colors. This system is a universal color matching system to help us get 100% accuracy to artwork.
We do not screen print in-house. All of our screen printed products come from our trusted partners in China. We are currently looking for a trusted partner in the Greater Seattle Area in the United States. Learn more about screen printing.
We utilize CO2 lasers from Universal Laser Systems. Using these lasers we can engrave any logo or text into carbon fiber.
All of our laser engraving is done in-house, and is the fastest imprint method for all products. Laser engraving appears very subtly in the carbon fiber, and is one of our most requested decoration options. Learn more about laser engraving.
CNC engraving is a high precision computer controlled manufacturing technique that allows us to cut logos into and out of carbon fiber with 100% accuracy.
It is important to note that not all logos can be CNC engraved as-is, and may require some added design work. CNC engraved designs are limited in size due to the size of the drill bit being used, and the depth at which we cut into the carbon fiber. The smaller the drill bit, the easier it is to break, and the more difficult the process.
This process can be done both in-house and with our trusted partners in China. Learn more about CNC engraving.
Embroidery and Custom Stitching.
We offer superior stitching to ensure no bunching or thread fraying in all of our ripstop nylon interiors. Multi-color embroidery customization and contrast stitching is available, and our color matching is based on color thread charts and done to the best of our abilities.
All embroidery and sewing are done thanks to the terrific work of our local partners in the Greater Seattle Area in the United States. Learn more about embroidery and custom stitching.
Stainless Steel Tags and Co-Branding.
All of our hinged goods, such as wallets, portfolios, and cases, come with an immaculate 316 stainless steel tag bearing our CF logo. These products come co-branded- as a signal to precision and high quality craftsmanship. Many of our clients and partners prefer this co-branding for this reason.
We can engrave any logo or text into these tags – for use as whitelabel opportunities in our hinged goods, or for use in other products, such as boxes or key tags. This is done with our trusted partners in China. Learn more about stainless steel tags.
Designer and Colored Weaves.
Carbon fiber is woven into a fabric, like your clothing. This means carbon fiber can be woven into many unique designs, or combined with additional materials, to create amazing eye-catching styles.
We do not create the carbon fiber fabric. We simply design, manufacture, and assemble products using different fabrics.
As such, all carbon fiber fabrics typically come in rolls, and the only designs and colors available are what is currently being manufactured at that time. That said, many are readily available. Learn more about designer and colored weaves.
I want multiple imprint options. Can you do that?
Yes! There are many possibilities to use more than one imprint option.
Wallets, membership cards, key tags, awards, and event passes are some of the most popular items to feature more than one decoration. We work with you to suggest the best decorations based on your needs.
Can all imprint options be used on every product?
No. Unfortunately, not every product can utilize all of our imprint options, and in some cases, products are restricted to just a single imprint option only. These details are reflected on the individual product pages when appropriate.
How long do imprints last?
We’re proud to not just use advanced materials, but to use very durable and long lasting decoration options. While they are built, sewn, and printed to last many years, like any product, if you actively tried to remove an imprint with chemicals and prolonged abrasion, they can all be ultimately removed. If you ever experience an issue with a decoration, please get in touch with us as soon as possible.
We can say with confidence that with regular wear and usage, carbon fiber, like a fine leather, will experience subtle changes in finish over time. The exterior of carbon fiber with a gloss finish can turn matte. If and only if, a laser engraving was used on a gloss finish, it can slowly fade. Our clients typically see this occur after about three to five years.
Are there any set up charges?
No! We do not have any separate set up charges. Thank you for working with us!
Can you create artwork?
Yes! We can design and create artwork for you as part of our in-house design services. This does come with a small charge. Please reach out to us to learn more.
What type of artwork do you need from me?
In order for us to imprint the best artwork possible, we require original vector graphic files in an Adobe Illustrator (.AI), Portable Document Format (.PDF), or Encapsulated PostScript (.EPS) format. This ensures you can effectively scale up and down your logo graphic without any loss to the quality of the image. All brands should have one of these file formats of their logo in their arsenal.
We can, sometimes, generate a vector graphic file from standard image (.JPG & .PNG) formats – however sending these files to us is greatly discouraged. While we do offer design services, generating a vector graphic file from a standard image file can be a time consuming and tedious process. Please contact us for more information.
In regards to laser engraving, our laser software only reads black (#000000). It can be helpful to send us black artwork, however we can recolor all artwork ourselves if necessary.
Do you keep my artwork on file?
Yes. It is our standard practice to keep artwork on file. We do this to make it especially easy to expedite and manufacture any re-orders.
Virtuals are submitted to you for all orders and approval. If you need to resubmit artwork, please do so at your convenience and we will update our files here. If you do not wish to have us keep your artwork on file, please inform us at any time.
What fonts do you work with?
We work with all standard Microsoft Office Suite fonts. If your artwork requires a specific font type, please send us the fonts you use. Otherwise, all artwork will need to be sent to us, Outlined, in a vector graphic as noted above.
I have personalization and variable information requests. Can you help with this?
Yes! We are excited to assist with these projects. Many of our products can be personalized very easily.
The best process for personalization, or variable information, is to send us an Excel file with all of the required and verified information. Depending on the type of personalization or variable information, it would greatly help us if the file you submit is already formatted appropriately for the purpose. We can work with you to determine the format structure.
If what is required concerns a variable screen print – we can substantially reduce the cost of your order by printing a box in place of your variable, and then laser engraving your variables through the box. This will appear like it is black text, and it is the preferred method for all of our clients and partners.
Do you offer blank samples?
Yes! Blank samples are available for many of our products. Certain custom products, such as awards and event passes, are not available as blank samples due to designs not being readily available.
Blank samples can be purchased at standard wholesale rates. If for whatever reason we do not work together, you can return your blank samples for a full refund within 30 days.
Do you offer virtuals?
We are pleased to say we offer free virtuals for all of our products. We do so because we want to make sure you get the best products possible. These require your approval before we enter into a product’s production.
When we submit to you a virtual, we appreciate feedback. We are always looking for ways to improve, and your insight is invaluable to this end.
Do you offer spec samples, or pre-production proofs?
Yes! We can create spec samples or pre-production proofs for you. Since we create products in our Seattle shop, we can provide these very quickly, and at a small charge.
When it comes to screen printing – spec samples and pre-production proofs can be made using our in-house UV printer. UV printing is a different printing technique, however it allows us to bypass all screen printing charges and create products you love for less.
There are two key differences:
1) UV prints sit slightly above the surface of the carbon fiber. Screen prints are flush to the surface of the carbon fiber.
2) UV prints are not long lasting and can be scratched off easily. Screen prints are very durable and will not scratch off.
Using a UV print, you can see the color, size, and location of your artwork. It works terrific for sample and proof purposes.
Products we do not, and can not make here – such as money clips, pens, and sunglasses, can not utilize this UV print technique for spec samples or pre-production proofs. For additional sample inquires, please contact us for more information.
Do you offer random branded samples?
Sometimes we have extra branded samples that we can provide for your view, however our inventory for these may change daily. Please contact us concerning availability.
Can I order a sample kit?
Absolutely. We are currently in the process of creating a one-of-a-kind sample kit for all of our future clients. We will update this page with more information when we are ready.
What are your lead times?
Lead times can and will vary depending on the scope and scale of your project, in addition to CF, supplier, and partner inventories and schedules. Carbon fiber is a very labor intensive material. Lead times can last anywhere from 1-4 weeks. For a more specific estimate for your project, please reach out to us.
I have a rush order. Can you accept it?
We can accept rush orders, and have many times.
Depending on the scope and time frame of the project, we will be upfront with you about project and deliverable feasibility. When appropriate, we may offer suggestions to meet your needs. All rush orders are subject to an additional charge, usually a percentage of the total order cost.
Are there any product minimums?
All of our products do have MOQs, however these are very small in comparison to the rest of the industry. We set MOQs based on a number of factors in the production process, including how many products fit onto our single standard flat sheet of carbon fiber to reduce waste.
MOQs are referenced on individual product pages.
Are there imprint option minimums?
There are only two imprint option minimums.
Screen Printing: 50 units.
We do not screen print in-house. All of our screen printed products come from our trusted partners in China, and there is a 50 unit minimum requirement.
Stainless Steel Tags: 1000 units.
Our stainless steel tags come from a trusted partner in China, and there is a 1000 unit minimum requirement. This is recommended for large orders, or orders with high likelihoods of re-ordering. All tags not used will be stored at our Seattle shop for future use.
For costs, please reference our dedicated pages on screen printing and the stainless steel tags.
Can I order less than minimum (LTM)?
We do accept less than minimum order quantities in certain circumstances. If you have a question about this, please contact us for more information.
How do I place and confirm an order?
There are a couple of ways you can place an order. As we work to make this site with the best user experience in the industry, the easiest way is to simply reach out to our team with a PO or order request and we will get in touch promptly.
Once we receive a PO or order request, we will acknowledge receipt at our first opportunity. If an order requires virtuals or samples, we will first work with you to first confirm these.
To finalize an order, we will submit to you our Customer Approval Form. This form, among other things, goes over all product specs, shipping, total costs, and scope change risks. We ask that you review this carefully and return to us within 24 hours. Unless expressly agreed upon otherwise, projects do not start until this form is returned. All changes to the project after this form is returned must be signed off on in writing.
What are my payment options and terms?
We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Paypal, ACH transfer, or payment by check.
We respectfully discuss payment terms with you depending on the scope, scale, and time frame of your project. Depending on the circumstances, we will request either payment upon receipt of the invoice, a split payment option (% deposit up front, % paid upon order receipt), or a Net 30 term. We appreciate the understanding in advance.
If you are a first time international customer (including Canada) we request full payment upon receipt of the invoice.
What currency can I pay in?
Our standard currency is USD. Depending on your location, we can work with you to select the best currency for you to pay in. All transactions will be processed according to current exchange rates.
How do I cancel or edit an order?
If a Customer Approval Form is not signed:
Simply reach out to your account representative. If you do not have one, just contact us by phone or email at your first opportunity.
If a Customer Approval Form is signed:
You may cancel or edit at any time. Simply reach out to your account representative. However depending on the timing, you may be subject to pay the appropriate costs CF and/or our partners incurred based on all work completed. All of this information is written in more detail in the Customer Approval Form itself, and all changes must be signed off on in writing.
I want to return my order. Can I?
We work to the best of our abilities to make you satisfied. In the unlikely event you want to return your order, we can accept returns in lieu of products being unused or going into the trash – with the purpose of recycling the products to create new ones.
We do not offer refunds on branded products unless there is a clear manufacturing defect caused by us. We are not responsible for damaged goods as a result of a third party, nor responsible for damages caused by any client usage of our products.
What is your current inventory?
To learn about our inventory levels, please reach out to us. We do our best to keep stock at an appropriate amount based on all areas of our business.
Don’t fret if inventory levels for a given product are currently low. We can easily make what you need fairly quickly, depending on current shop schedules and your project scope, scale, and time frame.
What packaging do you offer?
We pride ourselves in providing a great customer experience, especially when it comes to receiving and opening our packages.
All of our hinged goods come in premium packaging bearing our CF logo and information, from the same supplier that makes Apple product boxes. Our goal is to replicate this experience across all of our goods.
We are growing – and at the moment most of our accessory products come in simple box packaging that also bear our CF logo and information. If a dedicated box is not made for your product, we have other means of packaging, such as using polybags. We also offer blank packaging when requested.
If custom branded packaging is required, please reach out to us.
What are my shipping options?
We rely on the amazing work of our UPS, FedEx, USPS, and DHL partners. We can meet any deliverable methods when appropriate, from Standard Ground shipping to Overnight mail.
We respectfully ask for client (or third party) UPS or FedEx accounts when shipping any product (samples and orders). These accounts are kept on file for future use.
Can I track my products (samples and orders)?
Yes! For all outgoing mail (samples and orders) we will send you a tracking number for your shipment.
I am an international customer. Do I pay customs fees?
Extra duties and taxes may apply when shipping product international (samples and orders). The exact amount varies based on client’s project. Please contact us for more information.
My order never arrived. What do I do?
If you’ve received our tracking number, and yet the order has not arrived based on the estimated deliverable dates, please contact us. We will be diligent to contact the utilized shipping company representative to track down your package and determine next steps when appropriate.