The Art of Making: Digital Printing

Posted by: Nellie Laskow

While we love hand dyeing for the irreplicable color variation, and screen-printing for its simplicity, digital printing allows us to translate very painterly designs for production. Color variation, subtle shifts in hue, and soft marks make our patterns so calm and livable. Marbled paper in the Suminagashi style and painterly brushstrokes can be printed with amazing accuracy and consistency. Rebecca Atwood Digital Printers

Proven as one of the eco-friendliest processes in printing, this process allows us to replicate our hand painted designs on a large scale using less water and materials than screen printing or hand dyeing.  Using pigments a large printer transfers the pattern onto the surface of linen or clay-coated paper. After the pattern is printed onto the fabric it's set with heat and pressure.

Creating a digitally printed fabric starts in Rebecca’s sketchbook. Painting, drawing, collage, and stamping are all part of the process. Motifs are repainted and refined and the idea comes to life. Once the artwork has been developed it’s scanned into the computer, cleaned up, and put into repeat. This is also the time to play with scale and experiment before sending it to the printer. We print out various versions of it on paper to make sure it’s just right.

Once the pattern is finalized, sampling begins. Rebecca works with our printers to translate the design onto linen or clay-coated wallpaper and then print it in different colorways to see what looks best. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get the color just right. Usually, Rebecca will bring samples home so she can get a sense of the color in different lights and settings—and in a more personal space versus a work environment.
 Rebecca Atwood Digitally Printed Fabric

Once samples have been approved production begins on our digitally printed fabric and wallpaper line.
 Rebecca Atwood Digitally Printed Fabric Rolls

We are so lucky to work with such experienced printers who have really become our partners for digital printing. Their devotion to color matching and eco-friendliness make them wonderful partners. See more about how we produce our products on our The Art of Making series on The Fold.

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