Tour of Fabric Printing Facilities

The fabric printing department next to the Fab-Lab was introduced to the makers with the possibility for inductions for people interested in fabric and screen printing. Initially I was not that interested but after the tour, talk and a look at the work being done in there by students and chatting to those students I have changed my mind. Flicking through the many sample books and seeing all the different techniques effects and skills used in pattern and fabric print production I was really intrigued, so I for one am hoping on having an induction in there soon.

I think it would go really well with my first Seed project : The Deck Chair. At the moment I am investigating whether I could make a sun lounger/deck chair from a singe sheet material, currently I am exploring the use of fabric, pleated or sculpted. I also intend to research and make a plywood cell backed fabric that can be shaped and locked into position…

I think the I would like to pattern my finished outcome, what ever material form it takes as i have found that I feel pattern is almost an intrinsic part of the sun lounger/deck chair, it should be bright and interesting to reflect positive feelings, sunniness and a summer vibe. One route into this would be to start exploring and collecting pattern sample and looking at their production methods, how am I going to get ‘x’ pattern onto ‘x’ material, what medium will I use and what techniques are involved.

Here I see the opportunity to learn and develop new techniques, skills and perhaps a new way of looking at a project. I have only worked with pattern and reproduction in a limited and small way, quite some time ago now. I am excited to see where this could lead. As well as the physical methods of printing, pattern making and dyeing there is also digital printing and stitch. The printers are expensive to run however for inks, dyes and fabric e.g. One type of silk costs £20 per metre. This also requires Photoshop and Illustrator skills and perhaps a few other pieces of software along the way.

So what I need to think about is:

  • Am I using fabric in my chair design? If so what fabric? Multiple fabrics?
  • Do I want a patterned fabric?
  • Do I want a textured fabric?
  • How much importance does colour and pattern hold?
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