Pattern innovation – digital printing

Digital fabric printing is taking the fashion world by storm at the moment. It gives designers the chance to produce intricate fabric designs quickly, and it can be cheaper than labour-intensive screen printing.

Designers such as Basso & Brooke, Preen and Mary Katrantzou are showing pieces with prints created by digital methods, rather like your inkjet printer at home.

Basso & Brooke and Katrantzou in particular use photographic images which are manipulated into complex, layered and rich patterns.

The Style PA flickr.com

Basso & Brooke SS12. Image: The Style PA, flickr.com. Creative Commons licence.

Image: The Style PA, flickr.com

Basso & Brooke SS12. Image The Style PA, flickr.com. Creative Commons licence

Mary Katrantzou, image Christopher Macsurak, flickr.com

Anna Dello Russo in Mary Katrantzou. Image Christopher Macsurak, flickr.com. Creative Commons licence

Mary Katrantzou, image Cyril Attias

Bag by Mary Katrantzou. Image Cyril Attias, flickr.com. Creative Commons licence

Some view this as an innovation that is helping to reinvigorate fashion – after all, how many times can military chic go in and out of style?

But for others, it’s a step too far in mechanising the fabric design process, as the skills of the artist and print-maker risk being overshadowed.

I think there’s room for both. There will always be an intrinsic value in something made by hand, by highly skilled craftspeople. And the beauty of the new digital work can’t be denied either.

Read more about Mary Katrantzou in this Daily Telegraph article. There are gorgeous pictures of Basso & Brooke patterns on their website here.

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