Digital Textile Printing

a 3D3 research project



Exhibition -1920s JAZZ AGE Fashion & Photographs, 23rd September 2016 to 15th January 2017, Fashion & Textiles Museum, London


The Fashion and Textiles Museum is hidden away behind London Bridge in Bermondsey. It has a really interesting programme of exhibitions and events although the curation is sometimes a bit old fashioned.

I was interested to see the colour range in the fabrics on display because they were from the Interwar era that I’m looking to emulate in my own textile designs.

The exhibition began with a series of fashion illustrations, seen above, and then themed by activity and period of time.

The clothes showed some strong colours, fuchsia pink, apple green, turquoise and royal blue, paired with pastels, greys and dark neutrals. There was also alot of metallics and black, particularly in the evening wear. Noticeably there were no strong reds, red featured in orange tones but not saturated.

A series of depictions of interiors showed a very dark, opulent scene with dark mauve, dusky pink highlighted by pale grey silver.

A shimmery gold, orange and dog rose pink scene offered some interesting prints and patterns, geometric florals and embellishments but still the colour was fairly muted.

The show had some fabulous clips from silent movies on display.

Accompanied by film star gowns.


Archive – Crysede, Penlee Museum, Penzance

Here are some of the images I took from the Crysede digital archive.

Practitioner – Susi Bellamy

Susi Bellamy is an artist and designer who worked in the fashion industry for most of her career before returning to her practice full time. Her art inspires her designs and as a member of The Colour Group she is particularly interested in colour exploring the ‘interaction of colour’.

Her cushions are digitally printed onto velvet or silk, using The Silk Bureau. The colours are vivid and sumptuous and the hues very tonal. She uses photographic imagery and scans of hand paintings and collages which she scans in. Both silk and velvet are very vivid in colour when digitally printed upon. Velvet, because of the pile, often has an issue where the dye doesn’t penetrate to the bottom of the pile leaving a white tuft. Velvet can cause issues in inkjet printers because the tufts cause clogging of the print head nozzles and some printers refuse to print upon it.

Bellamy pairs up hues and chooses colours that can be printed, particularly those from the orange range. Her designs are made to complement each other as a collection and she has a variety of plain coloured cushions which match the colours of her prints.



Practitioner – Vicki Murdoch, Silken Favours


Vicki Murdoch began her brand Silken Favours in 2010 after attending a Liberty Open Call where she proposed a bespoke scarf range. She creates whimsical wallpapers and fabrics as well as illustrated large silk cushions. She begins her designs by drawing and then scans these into to manipulate them in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. Her colours are cartoon like and bright. Her designs are digitally printed onto silk which has a very bright and vivid colour gamut when digitally printed.

Practitioner – Sarah Campbell


Sarah Campbell is a printed textile designer who with her friend Susan Collier started Collier Campbell in the 1960s. They rose to fame when in the 70s when their textile designs were used by Yves Saint Lauren. They went on to work with Liberty, Habitat and the Conran Shop.  After the death of Collier in 2011 Campbell sold the business and started her own brand. All of the Collier Campbell and Sarah Campbell designs begin as paintings. The colour palettes are very bright and originally would have been printed using traditional screen print methods. Because of the number of colours used they would have been expensive to print. The Collier Campbell brand continues to be marketed on its hand painted designs although from the colour palettes and mark making it is possible that some are now digitally printed.

She sells her own designs as well as hand made artefacts created using her textiles.

Practitioner – Daisy Darche


Daisy Darche is a fashion brand run by Alex D’Arche, a printed textile designer. Alex runs a short course on digital textile printing at the London College of Fashion.

The prints are inspired by nature and brightly coloured. She uses jersey, silk and crepe de chine fabrics which produce bright dye results when digitally printed.


Practitioner – Marly van Lipzig

Marly van Lipzig is a Dutch designer whose photographic prints explore the nature of fold and drape as well as digital imagery. Her prints are quite industrial looking and the colours reflect that using steely greys, greens and blues and monochromes. Since graduating she has worked for high end fashion houses and sells her graduation collection through a number of boutiques. Her prints are provided as a flat fabric but can be made into a number of garments depending on the wearers choice as each print comes with instructions on how to transform the flat fabric into 3D.

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Practitioners – Jakob Schlaepfer

Jakob Schlaepfer started in 1904 as an embroidery business. They began pioneering digital techniques and heat transfers into their design work early from from the 1960s, setting up their inkjet division in 2001. They continue to be at the cutting edge (quite literally) of technology in textiles incorporating laser cutting, engraving and printing into their designs. Their textiles are used for haute couture and interior design houses around the world. The colour palettes are bright to reflect much of the hyper real imagery but often have a dominant, more traditional, background colour (gold, teale blue, deep blue, olive green, white, black, grey). They have quite a nice tumblr they keep up to date with their designs.

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Practitioner – Elsa Schiaparelli

Elsa Schiaparelli was an Italian Fashion Designer in the 1920s through to 50s. She was inspired by the Surealists (Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau) and Dadaism (Man Ray, Francis Picabia). Whilst born in Rome she spent much of her life in New York and Paris. In Paris she met Paul Poiret, a leading fashion designer of the 1920s. Her initial work featured knitwear with trompe l’oeil images, for example a knitted sweater with a sailors bib design knitted into the front and back. Schiaparelli used embellishments, novel print designs and fastenings to create unusual garments. She experimented with new stretchy fabrics and the tailoring possibilities these presented such as the wrap dress style.

Her colours were often strong, using bright pinks, mauves and blues, all made possible by aniline dyes introduced at the end of the previous century. Much of the ‘novelty’ of her work has been incorporated into digital design styles today where designers such as Mary Katrantzou create prints with similar trompe l’oeil motifs and embellishments. Digital textiles owe a lot of their look to Schiaparelli’s style.

There is a lovely timeline of her style evolution on the Schiaparelli website (the brand was revived in 2006) ; 1920s1930s , 1940s1950s

Here is an image of her home, taken by Mark Shaw, of a model posing on a Schiaparelli designed sofa.




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