Too slippery and it could ruin your beatmatching. Too adherent and it could ruin your records. From time to time we become aware of the importance slipmats have in our vinyl setup, especially if we’re record selectors. And if we spend a lot of time in front of our turntable, at some point we feel the need to give the slipmat a life of its own, with a bit of personalization.
This is exactly what Myslipmats.com, a Warsaw-based small business, intends to do. For more than a decade they create custom slipmats. We talk about high quality stuff, thermal processing and printing as their custom slipmats have to endure a life of many spins and frictions. So we asked Jakub, founder of Myslipmats.com, to share his story and go in depth with a few technical details on designing, creating and printing custom slipmats.
First of all, let’s reveal a bit more info about your project: when did you start, where are you based and how big is the slipmats market these days? 🙂
Thanks. I started in 2007 as a new records explorer and printing technology student as well. I spent all my money for digging, good samples and directly-driven turntables. After that I wanted a new slipmat for my technics, but all I found was branded. I was looking for some funky style and imagined that Gil Scott Heron’s face would fit perfectly for the records I played. 3 months later I had my first own slipmat.
We’re based in Warsaw Poland to this very day. First I visited my favorite record stores here and showed my slipmats. Fresh designs, great colors, new thickness and nice in touch felt fabric – they liked the mats very much. The market seems to be local, but now I know you have to display your goods worldwide if you really believe in them.
How did you come up with the idea of opening a store for custom slipmats?
I just believed that all record freaks like me deserve a nice slipmat they can create themselves, and I hoped we’ll find each other.
What is the difference between a quality slipmat and a trash one?
First of all the material – it’s similar to clothes. The good quality shirt will look like new until you really dirty or rip it. Slipmats are still working – they are rubbed and scratched all the time, so the felt has to be tough.
Secondly printing. All graphics on our slipmats are an integral part of the slipmat. You can’t feel the print by the touch, so the slipmats are safe for the records and have great slip parameteres. Some mats you get with new turntables are screenprinted and go peeled away after a few days. We quit both methods to produce top quality product.
You said all of the slipmats are handmade. Can you give more details about the manufacturing process, from the materials you use to the final touches.
We use 2 types of high density felt fabric – stiff and soft. We have to impregnate it, cut it, make the thermal processing, proofing and printing. Myslipmats hires many elves and dwarfs and they have their secrets.
Best selling slipmat since the opening of the e-store
Custom slipmat. Your own, individual artwork rules!
The weirdest artwork you’ve printed until now
Blue slipmat with thousands of viagra pills and a dick.
The biggest order you received until now
…should be a regular order each month 🙂
It goes without saying that you’re an avid record collector. How big is your collection? Did you focus on a specific musical genre?
I listen to different kinds of music. I started when I was 7 with Queen and Guns’n’Roses and I went through many genres until now. However, the real music adventure began in 2007 when I bought my first turntable. My collection fills standard Ikea’s “Expedit” shelving 4×4, so several hundred.
3 records you’ve listened again and again without getting bored of them.
24-Carat Black – Ghetto Misfortune’s Wealth
Khruangbin – The Universe Smiles Upon You
Alex Puddu – The Golden Age Of Danish Pornography (all volumes)
The biggest amount of money you spent on a single record.
600PLN (about 140€) for the WWO “W Witrynach Odbicia”. This is polish rap from the golden age I listened to on cassette in 1999, and finally could buy on vinyl last year.
Do you like crate digging into a physical shop like Misbits or just browse on discogs?
I buy new relases online, but I love digging into record stores, I like the atmosphere and small talks. I Hope to visit Bukarest and Misbits soon.