[The Note] Digital textile design: what are the new opportunities for designers?

20 December 2018 | Jos Notermans

The rise of digital textile printing does not only bring large advantages for production only. The digital printing technology also breaks some major boundaries that conventional printing used to put on designers. As a designer, digital printing helps you to expand your creativity and offers you the opportunity to better respond to the wishes of the market. In this blog, I explain exactly what the advantages of digital textile design are and how you as a designer could benefit from them.

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The advantages of digital textile design

Over the years, textile designers have gotten used to the limitations that conventional printing put on them. Nowadays, these limitations are fully intertwined with the design process. However, a new generation of designers is rising and more and more designers are becoming aware of the advantages that digital textile printing has to offer them. Below, I explain exactly what these advantages are and how they can change the way you design textiles:

  • Unique designs without a repeat

In conventional textile printing, you work with screens which means that as a designer you always have to take into account that there will be a repeat in your design. This means that the length of the unique design is determined by the circumference of the screens and the design will be repeated over and over for the rest of the fabric. The most common screens have a circumference of 64 centimeters, which means each 64 centimeters of the fabric has the exact same design.

With digital printing, however, you can create a unique design without having to deal with the limitations that a screen puts on you. Your design can be as long as you prefer. The only theoretical limitation you have is the size of the file you want to create. That means that you can for instance create a dress that has a front and backside without any repeat (unique image from bottom to top).

  • A wider color palette to choose from

A digital textile printing machine creates colors by mixing on a micro level miniscule dots of its basic process colors. That means that in total with a digital textile printing machine you can print over 16 million different colors. Imagine what you can do when you have such a wide color palette at your disposal.

In conventional printing, only a select group of colors that can be used. For instance, if you use an eight-color rotary screen printing machine, you can only create designs with these eight colors and not one more. On top of that, you have to separate your design to the number of colours you want to use. For each color that you use in your design, an extra screen has to be used, so it is preferred to use not too many different colors. That puts serious boundaries on the level of creativity you can put in your design. Digital textile design does not have any color limitations plus helps you save time since you do not have to separate colors anymore.

The request of the market for digital textile design

In the past, extravagant and unique designs were only used for haute couture clothing that was shown on the catwalk on major fashion weeks all over the world. But over the last few years, more and more high-fashion brands like Zara and H&M are incorporating unique and more outgoing designs in their collections. Why? Because the market is asking for it. People want to buy unique pieces of clothing and big high-fashion brands are cleverly responding to that request by using digital textile printing techniques.

This new demand for uniqueness also has an important influence on textile designers. How do you create unique, high-quality designs when you have to deal with the limitations of conventional printing? Digital textile printing helps you to expand your creativity and gives you all the right tools to create the designs of the future.

Learn more about the core advantages of digital textile printing

Besides the advantages that digital textile printing has for designers, there are more benefits that digital printing can offer to your printing business. For that reason, more and more printers are making the transition from conventional to digital printing.

Are you interested in digital printing but do you wonder if it could truly be of value to your company? Then it’s time to discover how exactly digital textile printing can make your business grow.In an independent study, Gherzi identified three main investment reasons for digital textile printing. Three significant advantages that helped other printers obtain new business opportunities and realize growth. Find out what these advantages are and if they could be of value to your company in the Gherzi white paper:

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Categories: Digital Textile Printing, Single-pass Printing, Digital printing inks, Multi-pass Scanning Printing, Archer technology, JAVELIN, PIKE, Rotary screen printing

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