Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pashma: Textile Art Meets High Fashion

My 15 year history with digital printing had not prepared me for a career in high fashion. A trip to Delhi awakened me to the revolution digital printing has wrought in the Fashion world. Sure, at HP, we had promoted our inkjet printers as suitable for personal creative expression on various media including textiles at shows and tech gatherings. But the application seemed to me boutique, never imagining the potential for unleashing the creativity of fashion designers. While attending the Wills Lifestyle Fashion Show for Pashma, I got a chance to tour the exhibition and check out designer ware. The first thing I noticed was the profusion of color, right after that the complexity of designs and then the fact that no two designs were alike. Gone are the bolts and bolts of fashion wear made from the same polka dotted print, checks or paisley. Using inkjet technology in digital textile printing allows for single pieces, mid-run production and even long-run alternatives to screen printed fabric.
Every designer now has the option of not just designing the cut of the dress but also the print and vary the print to suit the fall line of the cloth. And India with its rich heritage of color, art and creativity has transformed this technology into fabulous fashion. Printing on textile even has its own name now - DTG or direct to garment printing, "DTG, digital garment printing is a process of printing on textiles and garments using specialized or modified inkjet technology. Inkjet printing on fabric is also possible with an inkjet printer by using fabric sheets with a removable paper backing. Today major inkjet technology manufacturers can offer specialized products designed for direct printing on textiles, not only for sampling but also for bulk production." says wikipedia.