Impact of Digital Printing on Material Utilization and Design Aesthetics

(6/7/2010 18:00)

One of the most intriguing developing technologies for production of sewn products is digital printing of textile fabrics. This technology creates the opportunity to develop innovative designs integrating simultaneous creation of product and complementary textile surface design. It has the potential to enhance the marketability of sewn products through improved design aesthetics, and the materials utilization in the production process. Though production capacities of currently available printers limit their applicability to sampling, production capacity digital printers are in development. These digital printers could revolutionize the process of manufacturing sewn products from apparel to home furnishings. The purpose of this paper will be to examine the impact of digital printing of textile surfaces in terms of 1) fabric utilization and 2) design aesthetics.
The positive impact is best seen through example. When two sample cutting layouts for an apparel product are examined, as in Figure 1, the impact of digital printing becomes apparent. In Figure 1, the garment pattern is laid out on the printed yardage in order to match the striped pattern on the finished garment. The waste from the printed yardage is in small pieces of little value for further production. The amount of yardage required for the digitally printed example is substantially reduced.
As seen, even a simple striped pattern can be engineered to complement the product design in a digitally printed product. Here the stripes curve around the hem and shape of the garment. When working with printed yardage, such engineering is possible only for very high end products.
Multiple examples of products representing a variety of end uses will be used in this paper to demonstrate the impact of digital printing.

By: Dr. Traci May-Plumlee
Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University, USA

Submit Date: 6/7/2010 18:00

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