With the announcement of their “Digital Couture” project, Epson is continuing to inspire creatives!
When Epson collaborated with world-class photographers, they helped make pigment-ink prints suitable for museum exhibitions of fine art photography. Epson StylusPro printers gave professional photographers greater control over how their enlarged prints would look.
Now Epson is showing fashion and textile designers some of the creative possibilities of top-quality dye-sublimation inkjet printing. During New York Fashion Week February 8-13, Epson will host a “Digital Couture” event.
Epson is teaming up with 11 select fashion designers from New York, Los Angeles and Latin America to demonstrate how fashion and textile designers can use Epson SureColor F-Series dye-sublimation printing technology to bring their ideas and inspiration to life.
“We are excited for today’s fashion designers to bring their creative visions to fabric in new and versatile ways with advanced digital technologies during New York Fashion Week,” said Agustin Chacon, VP, subsidiary sales and operations, Epson America, Inc. “Epson’s dye-sublimination printing technology provides another level of creativity and functionality for young fashion entrepreneurs and well-established fashion brands looking to produce their in a more efficient and affordable manner.” In the dye-sublimation printing, designs and images are printed with specialized inks onto a transfer paper.
When the printed transfer paper and blank polyester fabrics are run through a heat transfer press, the Epson dye-sublimation inks on the paper permeate the surface of the fabric. The printed fabric retains its softness and wearability because the inks don’t sit stiffly on the surface of the garment.
Dye sublimation is already a popular method of decorating performance apparel for marathons, cycling races, and other sports events. The process is also used to make photo gifts, and custom-designed snowboards.
Epson SureColor F-Series dye sublimation printing technology offers designers a versatile, accessible, high-quality method of printing for printing short runs of polyester fabrics that can be cut and sewn into garments or sold for use in other textile goods.
In keeping with Epson’s proven expertise in image reproduction, the Epson SureColor F-Series are designed to produce sharp, vivid images with rich colors, intense blacks, and smooth gradations on fabric. This capability provides greater freedom and control in printing original designs that will define your signature style.
“Art + Fashion Meets Technology” Show in Las Vegas
At the 2014 SGIA Expo for digital printing businesses in Las Vegas, Epson hosted a poolside fashion show entitled “Art + Fashion Meets Technology.” Models showcased a collection of resortwear designs that were printed on demand on the SureColor F7170 64-inch dye-sublimation printers. The designs were brought to life under the guidance of Carol Yeager, the owner and creative director of MY Prints, a Los Angeles-based digital sublimation print house that prints fabrics for the apparel and movie industry.
Carol started her fashion career more than 10 years ago and has held Design Director and Merchandiser positions for leading garment/textile companies in Los Angeles. Her designs have been sold in major department and mass-retail stores, including Nordstrom, Macy’s Kohl’s, and Target. Yeager is known for her instincts in color and trend forecasting with technical knowledge.
For the “Art + Fashion Meets Technology” fashion show, Yeager said her goal was to create a visually graphic collection with vibrant colors and whimsical earthy elements. Her garment designs fused contemporary artwork by artist Sohail J. Coelho and fashion-forward silhouettes with the drape and movement of the sublimated fabric created with Epson’s advancements in dye sublimation.
“I love that there was a story behind each print,” said Yeager. “I designed swimsuits and cover-ups that would best showcase the prints as well as the beauty of the woman’s form. I kept the silhouettes refined and elegant.”
Garments featured in the show included geometric deep-V one-piece swimsuits paired with a colorful, maxi-length kimono for a poolside party, a graphic black-and-white athletic one-piece layered with a short, matching feminine cocoon kimono for a backyard barbecue, and a playful rash guard paired with a lotus flower bikini bottom for a surfer girl ready to catch a wave.
“I was very particular about the fabrics used to maintain the high-end look,” said Yeager. “Finding the right polyester fabric is key to maintaining a nice hand. The swimsuits were made from a Poly Spx swim fabric and the cover-ups and kimonos were made with a Poly sheer chiffon and Poly woven with a silk hand.”
Yeager said the beauty of digital dye sublimation is immediate gratification. The collection for the fashion show at SGIA Expo was designed, printed and sewn in less than a week: “With dye-sublimation printing, there really are no boundaries or restrictions to designing and executing prints. Samples can be printed within days of conception, and a collection can come to life in the fraction of time it used to take with old methods like pigment or wet printing.”
She believes the advances in dye-sublimation will change the way that apparel world can capitalize on speed-to-market trends. Eleven designers who are early adopters of digital sublimation printing will be featured at the “Digital Couture” event during New York Fashion Week. The designers include:
- Ay Not Dead from Argentina
- Pilar Briceño from Colombia
- Dual from Costa Rica
- ESOSA from New York City
- Leonor Silva representing the Caribbean (Venezuela to Miami)
- Elisa Guillén from Ecuador
- Maggie Barry from Los Angeles
- Marco Antonio Farías from Chile
- Mariana Morrell from Brazil
- Moah Saldaña from Peru
- Pineda Covalin from Mexico
“Dye sublimation for textile applications is trending in Latin America. Many Latin American have been textile exporters for centuries,” said Catalina Frank, product manager for Epson Professional Imaging. Epson Latin America has participated in several fashion and textile-related events in Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador.
“Incorporating dye-sublimation into some of the processes of fashion creation can help designers and manufacturers reduce overall operating costs,” said Frank. Dye sublimation makes it easier to produce one-offs, small limited editions, or short runs for proofing and merchandising.
“In addition, a company can reduce inventory levels, turnaround times, and offer versatility for cut-and-sew sublimation printing or blank garment sublimation printing.”