UK Printing Company Brings Fashion Student’s Vision to Life
Outside of London in Uckfield, U.K., Forest Digital works with a number of high-end fashion brands to make their clothing dreams come to life through digital textile printing. However, one of its latest projects involved helping a Kingston School of Art fashion design graduate with her latest collection.
Monika Pohorská has a passion for printed fashion, and according to a Forest Digital blog post, her collection titled “Voices of Nature” reflects her inspiration from nature, mythologies, and traditional textile approaches. Her fine art and Czech background, as well as other cultural influences, come through in her contemporary silhouettes and bold designs.
Fashion and Textile Printing
For designers like Pohorská, she says, “Digital printing makes the process a lot easier and faster.” While she says one disadvantage is the lack of fabric options and the cost, she believes the evolution of technology will make digital printing the way of the future in fashion.
In addition to digital printing playing a significant role in this project, other traditional embellishment techniques like screen printing, lino printing, beadwork, and embroidery were also incorporated. Through digital printing, Forest Digital recreated Pohorská’s designs on fabric without losing any of the intricate details and vibrant colors.
“As my prints tend to be more graphic, digital printing was the best option for me,” Pohorská says. “Through this technique, I was able to get the best and most accurate outcome possible. This manner of printing is also great for designs that use a lot of colors.”
When working with designers like Pohorská, Forest Digital receives the artwork and manages all aspects of printing, says Scott Cooper, managing director of Forest Digital.
For this project, Forest Digital printed one sample panel on Pohorská's requested fabric (cotton satin) and then moved forward with the print run. Cooper and the team used an Epson Monna Lisa Evo, specifically designed for direct-to-fabric printing, to print the fabric using reactive inks. Forest Digital pairs its Epson printer with a Wasatch SoftRIP.
“I couldn’t be happier with the company’s approach and service,” Pohorská says. “Not only did they provide good quality fabrics but also made sure to alter the printing process to my needs. For instance, I mentioned that I wanted one of my prints to have the blackest black. I wanted to emphasize this as I had a bad experience with other companies, sending me digital prints with faded black. The sharpness of the prints I printed at Forest Digital always came out exceptional and colors looked true to the original illustrations.”
One of the challenges of this project, according to Cooper, was the sheer size of the panels. Being about 13′ each, he said he needed to deliver in “long faultless panels” because it was not a step-and-repeat job. Despite that, the Forest Digital team completed it in three days, including print, steam, wash, and finish.
The collaboration between Pohorská and Forest Digital is just one of many examples of how digital printing and fashion meet. Digital printing allows designers and makers to take their fashion visions to the next level, opening them up to a world of possibility.