From the Pen to the Palate Created by Vikki Nulman
Taking your own design, artwork, photo or image and transferring it onto a fabric is as easy as learning….photo shop.
Original art, digitally photographed, can be fully reproduced on most any fabric. Even hand painted art converts into highly visual digital formats. And then applied to may other products. Dream Digital Fabric Printing, p2
Taking a photo and printing on fabric has become a new way for designers to save money and produce a product efficiently. Short runs to full bolts of fabric can be done at a reasonable cost allowing the individual to experiment. Digital Inkjet Printing of Textiles at Philadelphia University is developing a multi-disciplinary approach to encourage students in textile, fashion, and graphic art to see how their web-and-paper
based skills can be transferred to cloth. At the School of Engineering and Textiles at Philadelphia University, they have the state of the art digital ink jet printing equipment from Mimaki Engineering, Mutoh Industries, McDermidColorspan and the support of ink, media and software developers, to name a few. Here students can explore and refine design and engineering based on digital printing. It is the oldest textile department dating back to 1884. One of its missions is to work with the U.S. textile industry to enhance its competitiveness in the worldwide marketplace.Ujiie, Hitoshi, 2
In the past, printing was done with rotary silk screening, a process that has been in the industry norm since the 60’s. This process has been replaced by digital inkjet printers, a technology that has long lagged behind, and is now carving a new niche market of specialized fabrics with a distinctly graphic sensibility. New printers are able to print unlimited colors and fine detail. Designers can now incorporated graphic design elements, photography and the use of Photoshop and Illustrator files. It only takes one person and a printer and you’re in business.
How is this possible you ask? The additive fabrication technique of inkjet printing is based on the 2D printer technique of using a jet to deposittiny drops of ink onto paper. In the additive process, the ink is replaced with thermoplastic and wax materials, which are held in a melted state. When printed, liquid drops of these materials instantly cool and solidify to form a layer of the part. This is the thermal phase change process. The most common application of inkjet printing is prototypes used for form and fit testing. After a layer is completed, a milling hand moves across the layer to smooth the surface.
The particles resulting from the cutting operation are vacuumed away by the particle collector. After this is repeated the wax is melted away. CustomPartNet, p 3
Anything can be printed. But there are drawbacks. The dyes or pigments spray out of an inkjet printer onto fabric, the colors don’t physically build up on the fabric as they do with screen printing. So the appearance is flat rather than dimensional. But designers use this to their advantage. If you have the right design, it works. As the traditional textile printing process shrinks, digital printing becomes more and more popular. The future shows a neo-cottage industry for designers. They can be their own designer, manufacturer, and retailer. It’s that easy. “ It’s a move that might bring textiles out of the industrial past and into the digital future.”Lui, Claire, The Print. p 59
I had this design printed in silk chiffon for my final collection.
This is my new print from my brothers art work. Printing is being done by Jessica Smith in Savannah, Georgia.
Bibliography Lui, Claire; (2008, April). “People of the Cloth”. The Print, Pages 54-59 Dream Digital Fabric Printing,URL: http://www.dreamfabricprinting.com/productsservices/digitaloverview.html Pages 1-2 Inkjet Printing Process, URL: http://www.custompartnet.com/wu/ink-jet-printing Pages 1-3 Smith, Jessica (n.d.). Domestic Element: http://firstname.lastname@example.org (215-715-0092) Ujiie, Hitoshi, (n.d.2009),”The Center for Excellence of Digital Inkjet Printing of Textiles”; URL: http://www.hitoshiujiie.com/inkjetTechnology.html, Pages 1-3