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             If you've been thinking that the fabric market only
             revolves around a very narrow niche ofapplications, you
             need to reconsider that assumption: Yes,banners and
             flags certainly comprise a large slice of the fabrics pie, but
             print providers also are generating textile output for trade"
             show graphics, P-O-P,tents, clothing, and scoresofother
                One factor that has helped push the increased use of
             fabrics of late: the movement toward sustainability by
             many corporate clients and society as a whole. As saving
             the planet has again become a "cool" thing to do, many of
             your customers are seeking green solutions for their ideas
             and designs. You can shove the vinyl aside (or at least
             give it a nudge) and investigate how textiles can not only
             better the world but also better your bottom iine.
                Beyond the eco factor, keep in mind that fabrics in
             and of ihemselves can help set your shop's work apart
             from your competition because they typically enable
             some unique approaches that should help you to garn
             repeat business. What follows are five iobs showcasing a
             variety of digital textile printing applications-including
             some where print providers and their clients are indeed
             "going green." Take a look and see where printing on fab-
             rics can take your businessin zoo9.

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       Eastern Mountain Sports, a retail clothing store that carries
       apparel and accessories mountain climbers and those
       involved in other rigorous sports, came calling to Portland
       Color based in Portland, Maine, to develop a new graphics
       concept for its storefronts. The company had previously
       used 4 x 7-foot vinyl banners containing plain text in its
       windows, along with mannequins, which were expensive
       and required attention from staffon a regular basis.
           Portland Color ( immediately thought
       of using photo images on fabric to fill the window space
       and showcasethe company's products. "The thing that was
li'    exciting about this project was, in Eastern Mountain Sports'
       previous design, the store windows were not very useful
  i    to the client," says Paul Maddrell, Portland Color's creative

 ia    director. "With our redesign and use of digitally printed
        textiles for banner applications,the window spacenow has
      . tremendous impact and representsthe brand really well."
      =, Eastern Mountain Sports sent digital images-high-
                               kayaking, mountain biking, and
      -gnergy action shots of
           k climbing-to    Portland Color for the fob. But there
                                 "They were originally shot for a
           an issuewith the fi1es:
          log, so they werenot high enoughresolutionfor banner
          ," explainsMaddrell."But because prepress
                                           our           staff
          professional photographers,they'rereallyartistsand
              how to optimize the quality of the files. It was the
       technicians in this casethat made high quality at this scale
       achievable[using Photoshop],"Maddrell explains.
          Maddrell and his Portland Color team createdro x r5-foot
       fabric images that filled the entire window frame, printing
       onto recycled fabrics with the company's latest addition: a new
       HP Designjet L655oo with HP Latex inks. "The inks have no
       toxic elements and don't give offany VOCs," he points out.
          These banners (six to zo per store) were createdon
       Dazian Fabrics' Eco-Celtic Cioth and Micron Mesh fabric
       made from recycled materials, which was an important fac-
       tor to Eastern Mountain Sports as well as to Portiand Color,
       which strives to be very eco-friendly.
           "We were early advocatesof sustainable materials, and
       Eastern Mountain appreciated us being able to move them
       from vinyl banners that used toxic materials to recycled
       materials that reduce the carbon footprint," says Maddrell.
       "ln addition, for changeout twice a year of r5 to zo windows
       in zo different stores,it's a lot less expensivefor us to ship
       fabric than to ship panels with mounted prints. This adds
       to the reduction ofthe carbon footprint."
           These two particular fabrics were chosen because of
       their different opacities, Maddreli explains: "We wanted
       people to be able to see into the store from the outside
       and to be able to see outside from in the store, but we also
       wanted good image quality and great print-through."
           Thirty total employees participated in the job, inciuding
       the in-house finishing oftop and bottom pole pockets and
       iiot knifing of the sides.

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         Dani Locastro and her team at FirstzPrint (
         were ecstatic when well-known fashion designer Michael
         Angel came to them to digitally print his clothing collec-
         tion for showing at New York's Fashion Week.
             "My team ... coversthe gamut from the costume indus-
         try to textile design,"saysLocastro,FirstzPrint's director of
         operations. "'Weunderstand fabric as a medium and how you
         haveto put together the technical to fit the aesthetic.
                                                               We don't
         look at textilesas z-D-we haveto understand the three-di
         mensionality of the fabric and how it's going to be made."
             Angel stumbled on FirstzPrint in the very beginning of
         his journey into digitaily printed textile collections. "I set
         up a meeting and it was a done dea1," recal1s.      "When the
         swatchescame back, I finally saw my vision and art become
         a reality. Print providers in the past had told me that it was
         impossibie to transfer my images onto fabric, but the first
         responsefrom FirstzPrint was 'I love it. We can do it."'
           A11of Angel's designs were digital from the start; he
        worked in Adobe Illustrator to create the digital files. "Each
        seasonI start by thinking of what I want to say-a con-
        cept," saysAngel, "then I createall the artwork, visualizing
        the collection." Once the designs were complete,Angel
        createdgarment "silhouettes" that work with his patterns,
        ein.a a'.h nyinted panel is custom engineered so that no
        pattern is repeated.For this particular New York Fashion
        Week collection, his design time was six weeks.
          To produce the digitally printed textiles (seepg. z4for a
        sample), FirstzPrint used acid dye inks in the shop's Mimaki
        TXz-r6oo Textilefet printer (z x 8-color), combination
        with a DigiFab RIP with built-in color management. Pre-
        treated fabrics in silk charmeuse, silk chiffon, shiny nylon
        tricot, silk satin, and silk jersey were used in the collection.
            Post-processingfollowed output, says Locastro: "Post-
        processing is always required if we are printing with acids
        and reactive inks-this  requires steaming in either of
        our units, a |acquard SieamJetor our industrial Rims-
        low steamer. And washing is required to eliminate the
        pretreatment and any extra dyes that don't bond to the
        fabrics. The post-processingphase is critical in making            room windows, adhesive graphics on storefront windows
        the fabrics meet the standards set by the AATCC (Ameri-            countettop displays, and double-sided banners to be the
        can Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists) for             main focus of the store.
        manufacturers and retailers."                                         "The goal was to provide a fabric banner that had an
           The FirstzPrint staffof 16 took four weeks to complete                                                                     -
                                                                           organic feel but could still be printed with vibrant colo:
        the job, making sure every print was exactly as requested          says LAgraphico's Michael Griffin. With confidence ar::
        fiom Angel-who had sat down with FirstzPrint to discuss            trust resulting from a long-standing work relationship.
        garment sketchesand fabric choices prior to printing.              LAgraphico took on the challenge in full force to prodl::.
                                                                           its first really large-scale project for Lucky Brand ]eans
        tuckg ondgood                                                          LAgraphico received photographs ofyoung and hi:
        Print provider LAgraphico (,     based in           entrepreneurs from Lucky-not the typical retail im.=-
        Burbank, California, was presented a challenge by Lucky            ery of slick producis and high-fashionmodels you \\'.-   -:
        Brand Jeans to create a iook that would match the overail          normally expect from a jeans company. Using Phoics:-- ,
        "hip, cool, and organic" feel oftheir retail locations. The        LAgraphico's premedia department did photo retou.j--:--:
        complete proiect included in-store graphics for dressing-          and color correction on the files prior to printine.

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    Files were then sent to the company's Durst Rho 35rR
 printer, where they were imaged onto Dazian Fabrics' 3-pass
 Blackout Foam fabric using a Caldera RIP and UV-curable
 inks. In total, LAgraphico printed 426 4 x 8-foot direct
 print textile banners for use in 238 Lucky Brand |eans retail
 iocations nationwide. Lucky Brands' "Make Luck Happen,,
 campaign involved zz7 banners of one version and r9 9 of
 a secondversion; becausethe banners were double-sided,
 each location was able to showcasefour different irnages.
    "The material had to block light and be printable on both
 sides,"saysGriffin. "Dazian's 3-Pass   Foam has a thin layer of
 black scrim built into the interior ofthe fabric to prevent the
 passageof light. Of the options we provided to the client, this
 was the materiai with which they were the most pleased.,,
    Following completion of the printing, Lucky's banners
were outsourced for sewing ofpole pockets. This added on
an additional five business days to the turnaround time,
which was ro days in total. "The banners reflect the laid-
back, casual quality of Lucky Brand feans," saysGriffin.

Textilesfor the mohorsjsh                                              "This fabric weighs a little less than a pound a yatd and
I(eeping up with the sustainabletimes, the Smithsonian              ships in a plastic sleeveas opposed to another carton-this
Institution has now taken on "green" processesand prefers           reduceswasteful packaging and further reducesthe carbon
its vendors to do the same. That's what drew the museum             footprint of the project," explains DAngelo.
to Dream Fabric Printing, a print provider in Orangeburg,              Prior to approval,the shop provided a proofconsisting
New York, that also produces its own textiles.                     of a miniature of each banner plus an actual-sizeprint of a
   The company's eco-fabric,Dream Green Banner, has a              section on the banner material for the client to check color.
canvas-liketexture and is made strictly from recvcled do-          It took five days to provide the proof, and another week for
mestic bottles that are processedin the United States.,,We         printing and sewing.
met with the Smithsonian, and they have older buildings                "The Smithsonian Institution is activelyworking with
but wanted to go 'green.' Since they couldn't do much with         us to create a product line in the same Eco fabric for the
the building itself, they have gone green in other ways-in-        museum stores-totes, various bags, and possibly small
cluding these eco-friendly banners with our banner                 'posters' of the artwork or miniatures of the entrv ban-
material," saysVictoria DAngelo, director of Dream Fabric          ners," says DAngelo.
Priniing (
   For this particular project, The Smithsonian Institution               goods green
                                                                   Sporling    go
requestedtwo sets of45 x rS5-inchentry banners for both            Pictura Graphics ( recently com-
the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery,        missioned by a national sporting goods retailer to produce
featuring Indian artwork of garden paintings that once             65o 54x 6o-inch two-sided banners for an in-store applica-
resided in the royal palacesof the maharajahs.                     tion. One prerequisite, however,was that the banners be
    The Smithsonian's art department produced a digital file       constructed from eco-friendly materials.
of the artwork, created "to the exact measurements needed             "This was a challenge from both a construction and
for their specific fixtures," says DAngelo. In the meantime,       cost standpoint becausewe could find no two-sided print-
she says, "We tested the fabric for the percentage ofstretch       able media that was opaque. Our solution was to print two
and calculated accordingly so the fit would be tight and there     individual banners and combine them with an internal
would be no loose fabric to be affected by the wind or the fact    opaque blocker to achievethe desired results,,'says pictura
that the buiiding is sitting behind the banner (airflow).,,        Graphics president Paul Lilienthal.
   Dream Fabric Printing used its ltalian-made Reggiani                Pictura solvedthe dilemma with its ecolmases branded
rlgh-speed printing system with aqueous disperse dye inks          line of environmentally friendly materials. Thelompany
rnd Reggiani Evolution software to direct print onto the           used Ultraflex Cotton zoo printed on its Durst Rho
Jream Green Banner material. To reduce the carbon foot-            with a Caldera RIP and flexible UV inks.
::int ofthe proiect, the shop sent the banners to a sewing             "The prospective customer was aware of our ecolmages
: rmpany near the museum to create pole pockets for ban-           line as weli as our certification as a Certified Sustainable
:-:: installation (which was done by the Smithsonian staff).       Green Printer under the \ational SGp program- >g45

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                                                                      "They're a family-run business and are very friendiy
                                                                   and accommodating," Katz says.Passionate     about being
                                                                   "green," Katz works with Adaptive textiles to make sure as
                                                                   little waste is produced as possible.
                                                                        To produce Katz's Glan y Mdr collection of t4- Io z4-inch
                                                                   pillow fronts and backs, tote bags, and floor mats, Adaptive
                                                                   Textiles used its DuPont Artistri system with Artistri Pig-
                                                                   ment ink, run at 10 yards/hour, output onto a proprietary
                                                                   heavy linen sourced from Belgium.
                                                                      Following the printing, the fabric was put through the
                                                                   shop's Lemaire DPV TF Calender heat press to set the
                                                                   pigment. Then the fabric was sent to Adaptive's on-site
                                                                   finishing workroom for cutting and sewing using a |uki
                                                                   industrial straight stitch sewer, and hand detail stitching of
                                                                   Katz's name along with hand-sewn buttons.
                                                                       The initial finished pillows were prototypes for Katz's
                                                                   consumer website, For ongoing produc-
                                                                   tion ofthe collection, pillows (ranging in sizes fromt4
                                                                   to z4 inches) now ship from Adaptive Textiles directly to
                                                                   end-users.Everything is private labeled with Katz's packag-
                                                                   ing and branding-it's as if they were coming from Katz
                                                                   herself. In addition, some pillows are sold wholesale to gift
                                                                   shops and boutiques.

<p27 a voluntary program that encourages companies to
go beyond environmental compliance," says Lilienthal.
    The client provided two files for the project-one com-
prised mostly of branded images and colors and the other
a "lifestyle" type image. "We needed to sew two graphics
together with an internal blocker. The graphic was part of                      I
a retail fixture and needed top and bottom pole pockets,
conduit, and grommets. The finishing created a challenge,
given the size ofthe graphics and the threeJayer construc-
tion needed for opacity," explains Lilienthal.
    Once the printing was done, Pictura Graphics finished
up the project by using Zund icut technology for trimming
and industrial sewing machines for the hemming and pole
pockets. A team ofro turned around the project in ro days,
far surpassing the estimated time of four weeks and pleas-             "This project is a perfect example of how Adaptive
ing the client both in quality and deiivery, Liiienthal reports.   Textiles can offer a solution for an artist looking to create
                                                                   and distribute new products. Our collaboration resulted
Pilloutolk                                                         in a beautiful collection of finished pillows now available
For her Glan y M6r collection of pillows (Welsh for "sea-          online or in boutiques-all produced on-demand, with no
side"), inspired by a photo ofa Rhode Island seagull she           investment risk to the artist," says Jeanelle Dech, Adaptive
took while on vacation, fabric designer fenny Lee Katz             Textiles' workroom manaser. t
sought out a digital fabric print provider to help bring her
inspi:ations to life. She turned to Adaptive Textiles (adap        Kaceg King is a frequent contilbutot ond farmer sssarisre, which she had come across in eoo3 and           edifor of The Big Picture.
was very cioseto her home.

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