Digital Fabric Printing

Digital workbook 2013 elective by Tiffany Butler

Reflection on Digital Printing:

I really enjoyed the creative freedom we had within this project. I felt like it was a great collaboration of both fashion and communication design practices. I learnt alot about the process of digital printing and how it compares to traditional methods of hand printing. With my final print I’m pleased with the decision to choose the bold colours which are intensified even further by the black negative space, something that was a little un-natural for me within my own design comfort and was a learning curve. I enjoyed playing with scale and layout, something that I felt was quite important when working with such detailed images. It was a great experience to play physically with my material and use different methods and techniques to transform them. From my final presentation I’ve been asked to submit my work for an Otago Polytechnic incubator project to form thank you presents for guests that visit. I will take away new skills that I plan to use when I have freelance work that requires me to print digitally onto fabric for business marketing, and hopefully also for some of my own personal work that has the potential to turn into gifts, decoration, or cfashion pieces. Thank you.





I created some smaller images for my presentation slides from my previous white background scanned in images. Below is my presentation where I focus on the whole process from research and inspiration, through to concept process, development, and the final pattern outcome.


Creating A Pattern in Photoshop

I wanted to keep the flower patterns large scale so by keeping the resolution of the canvas 90dpi and importing the images as they were, I was able to have clear images while keeping within the limits of the specifications that Digital Decor had asked for. Below is some of my process in screen capture:



I made sure that I worked to the length of the fabric (140cm) and I wanted a 20cm test print. The reason this is quite a large test print is because I need to view different aspects/images within the large scale print. You can see here I have also changed the colour mode to CMYK.



Above I am working out specific measurments to make sure I leave room for the 10cm either side of the print for the printer to roll the material through.



This is how I was origonally going to create my pattern, through dividing my canvas into equal 10cm by 10cm square panels. However I changed my mind as it didn’t make sence to create the large scale imagery based pattern on such a small canvas.



I wanted to show this screen capture because in this drop down menu is an option to convert your image to a ‘smart object’. This helps to keep the image at its highest quality when scaling.



So next I decided to create two main pannels of pattern to be reflected and repeated throughout. I chose which pressed flowers turned out best and played around with layout and spacing.



From the previous tutorial I learned how to expand the canvas using percentages, which made it easier to form exact measurments. After I had created my two main pattern boards I just had to reflect them to form a 2m by 2m pannel of pattern.



Above is how my final large scale pattern looks completed.



Its difficult to show on a blog site, however I wanted to give an idea of what scale my print is, this is achieved by viewing it in print mode, and using the menu as a reference in the screen capture, hopefully you may be able to get an idea of the size.



Here is my pattern imported onto my origonal ‘test print’ canvas that I will send away to Digital Decor. Ive tried to use an area of my print that includes most of my colour range.

Workbooking Thumbnails



Colour Experimenting!

Bellow is my process of experimenting and playing with CMYK to see what I can achieve with a limited colour pallet. Analysing the images in one bold colour gave quite different effects and shows how colours can create a certain tone or mood around an image. I’ve tried to explain how I worked throughout the images.


Pattern Making attempt 1

After adjusting the colour and contrast settings in photoshop, I  had a try at creating a pattern from a tutorial (Tutorial 12, Photoshop block repeat with offset filter, from the book Digital Textile Design by Melanie Bowles and Ceri Isaac).Below are some of the screen shots of my process. The result wasn’t exactly how I intended for it to look, however I think that if I create an image that is less complex to begin with it will give me a better result.




I was finding it difficult to photoshop the background black, instead I placed a rich black material behind the flowers before scanning them in, increased the levels in photoshop, and here are the results: