Direct Digital Print has been exploring the advantages, both design and environmental, of digital printing on fabric since 1999. We were originally attracted to the process in order to offer our fashion clients the opportunity to do quick turn-around sampling.
However, the more we used the process, the more we realised its possibilities. We now know that digital printing is an excellent way to reduce water, ink and material waste in the textile printing industry, as well as reduce product wastage for our clients. From a creative viewpoint, it also offers greater design and creative flexibility.
Image: Julie Ryder, Transmorphing 1 (detail) 2011, Reprinted with permission of the artist. Image copyright Julie Ryder, registered with Viscopy.
Digital printing allows our clients and our textile design studio the possibility to do sampling, small run productions, and one-off textile pieces in a print-to-order capacity. This minimises wastage and eliminates the need to store unnecessary stock.
We specialise in direct printing onto natural fibre fabrics using inkjet technology, and also sublimate onto polyester. With either option, we print only what is needed by ourselves or our clients. This allows clients to print as little as one metre of fabric to trial their product before ordering exactly how much they need for their season, production run or individual project.
The flexibility of the process, and the very low minimum waste, means we can cater to a large variety of creatives - designers, artists, illustrators, photographers, students and crafts people, and indeed anyone interested in printing their own images.
The process also allows us to assist businesses starting out, offering them the opportunity to start small and grow as their customer base grows, reordering their product at anytime. We keep all files and information in our library ready to recall when needed, completely removing the need for businesses to keep excess stock.
We have been working with textile artist Julie Ryder for a number of years on specialised projects. Ryder's design work is often complicated digital imagery (see top image), that can really only be reproduced using digital printing. Each piece is individual, with a rare few being reprinted. For each design, Julie normally requires only a few metres - not achievable with traditional printing methods due to the excessive volume of minimum print runs. The flexibility of "print-to-order" allows Julie to do one-off pieces or reprint should she need to.
We are continually inspired by this technology and it’s possibilities, and are committed to promoting the sustainable nature of not only the process, but the business model it supports.
In each of these case studies, the client ordered (and continues to order) only what is needed.
Image above: Lisa Haymes, homewares - Lisa is a photographer and was interested in using different media and context for her images. Her original order was a pair of each image to make up her samples, and on her next order she was able to double her numbers.
Image above: Katelyn Aslett Couture: Katelyn is well-known for hand-crafted felted garments. She came to us wanting to translate her work onto silk. Her work was ideal for digital printing, as the digital process retains fine detail of the original image. You can see the texture of her felting clearly in the textile print. Her original order was a few metres to make up her sampling, and since then she has regularly re-ordered various quantities depending on customer requests.
Image above: Sara Philips, fashion label: Sara started her fashion label about 3 years ago, originally ordering only a few metres of two prints to inject colour into her range. Now we do her sampling for each season, and then go to production once orders from her buyers are finalised. Each season has grown well - from 20m in her first year, to 400m in her last spring collection, which was majority print.
Digital Direct Printing website
Sustainability Stories link