Digital Printing and Traditional Surface Design Techniques


The use of digital fabric printing in textile and apparel companies is increasing. Continuing research on increasing color quality, speeding up production rates, development of new inks, and increasing the number of print-heads will facilitate adoption of this technology. Though digital printing has not yet reached its full potential, it offers many opportunities for new and innovative textile design techniques. To date, there has been little documented exploration into the design possibilities afforded by digital fabric printing. The purpose of this research was to determine if the aesthetic qualities associated with the traditional hand surface design techniques of batik and discharge could be achieved using graphics programs and digital printing technology. During the research, digital batik and discharge fabrics were created and evaluated by both non-experts and experts. First, literature was reviewed to gain expertise in surface design, batik, discharge, printing methods, industrial production of batik and discharge, digital printing, and evaluation of aesthetics. The aesthetic qualities of batik and discharge were defined through hands-on exploration of the techniques in conjunction with critical evaluations from fellow artists. Evaluation tools were developed for batik and discharge based on the defined aesthetic qualities. Handcrafted and digital batik and discharge fabric samples were evaluated by non-expert and expert subjects. The digital samples were successfully created through graphics programs and digital printing. The analysis of the evaluations showed that the digital batik and digital discharge samples were successful in achieving a majority of the aesthetic qualities associated with handcrafted batik and handcrafted discharge.



textile design, fabric printing, digital printing, surface design, printing technology





Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management