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Printed Textile Manufacture in a Digital Age

With the rapid growth of digital printing in recent years this timely event looked at some of the opportunities and benefits which have opened up as well as the challenges. It was another excellent event from the SDC’s North of England Region.

With a great speaker line up, we welcomed 70 delegates from industry and academia to the wonderful surroundings of Huddersfield University. The themes which emerged during the day included the importance of a good and ongoing coloration education and issues around sustainability.

Colour Science Consultant Christine Holdstock opened the programme with a brief and fascinating history of colorants. With such a huge topic to cover, she focused on the different types of colorants and highlighted some of the most important developments, from cave paintings to modern day.

Gavin Thatcher from Holmfirth Dyers (part of the Camira Group of Companies) looked at the opportunities which digital has brought but also questioned why it has not taken off more quickly. Despite the growth of digital, it is still small compared to the rest of the market. He gave a detailed and very useful comparison of digital versus conventional printing, commenting that the growth of digital is being driven by apparel because of the speed to market. However, it is still a new technology and so there is a lot to learn and issues that need to be overcome.

SDC’s Andrew Filarowski showed a short and powerful BBC video highlighting the impact of fast fashion on the planet. He then focused on the vital role of education in helping to develop a workforce with the necessary skills and experience to tackle the issues raised.

Duncan Ross (AVA CAD CAM) looked at the benefits and weaknesses of digital printing. He focused on sustainability, looking at some of the inefficiencies in the supply chain including wasted textiles and ink. He said that although digital print was seeing a high annual growth rate, poor colour management was the biggest single factor in holding back the technology. Key to this was lack of training and education.

Linda Hodgson, Design Manager at Sharps Fabric Printers picked up on these themes looking at recent changes in the industry. She stressed the importance of having a good understanding of colour in the first instance and how important it is to carry on learning.

This North of England event was organised in partnership with the University of Huddersfield and was chaired by Professor Parik Goswami. The event finished with a lively panel discussion. Thanks to all the speakers and also to the delegates for engaging in such an interesting debate. Check the website for details of future events.

Not yet a member of the SDC? Join today to receive invitations to future events and many other benefits. Contact: members@sdc.org.uk for details.

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    anup das gupta

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    great , best wishes

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