Time marches on and as we come to remember the fallen at war on November the 11th, a poppy is worn in remembrance. Fabric has essentially remained unchanged across millenia, being a woven cloth of fine threads but the decoration techniques have come and gone as fashion dictated. The printing process on all mediums has changed dramatically over the centuries and the newest technologies are now employed to create fabrics that more closely resemble works of art. Digital Textile Printing is an exciting new way of designing and creating all kinds of fabrics. It is the technology of printing designs onto fabric directly from a computer with no other steps involved in the process.
* A Design is Created
* Design is placed in Repeat
* Design is Printed directly onto fabric
The processes involved in digital printing are far cleaner, faster and more cost effective than conventional screen printing. Cloth is normally pre-treated to hold the dye fast, to enable quality control and to achieve truer colours. Some of the inks used may also need a post treatment such as steaming or heating to set the ink and keep it from fading or bleaching out in sunlight.
The concept of digital printing opens up many new opportunities for designers, artists, merchandisers and sales personnel because it is fast, efficient and cost effective. Without the need to create a fresh screen for every new artwork, a designer can print:
* Small pieces or large rolls
* Garments & Apparell
* Flags & Banners
* Interior Design Fabrics
To create a digital fabric, a designer will create sample tiles with a graphics tablet or another software programme such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. They design by selecting available digital inks to create swatches in a digital library. They will then use a drawing programme to sketch out a design and then infill colour using the selected swatches from their colour library. The drawn and coloured design tile is then placed in repeat and saved as a pdf. This resolution is then set to the designers preferred printers requirements using another programme, leaving the designer with a print ready file of their artwork that can be uploaded directly to their printing company, printed onto a fabric and then posted back in a matter of days.
We have some really beautiful digital prints at Livingstones, we all love this new technology because it can convey the delicate washes of watercolour as well as heavier art techniques like oils and acrylics.
The Poppy design featured above has proved very popular as has the vibrant Hummingbird. See below for more digital fabrics that are currently available to purchase on our website.