We are a fully integrated design Studio. We design, hand print and make up finished product in our CMT department. All our designs are hand drawn or hand painted. We create the positives and expose the screens in our own dark room. We are specialists at colour mixing and we take pride in creating colours that sing.
From Inspiration to Design
Inspiration exists in the realm of Ideas, however, the act of creation means you need to bring those beautiful ideas to fruition. This begins with doodling, sketching and playing with colour. The drawings are then scanned into the computer where we will play with scale and textures, and work hard at creating an invisible repeat. This is mostly a challenging process and often we move from the computer back to the drawing process as I often simply have to work in scale. We don’t only create fabric by the metre for curtaining and upholstery we design table linen with borders and this has its own set of requirements.
Preparing Positives & Screens
Once the artwork is approved and signed off, the team then start printing the positives and preparing the beautifully made silk screens for exposing. This is quite a process. We have our own dark room where we coat the screens and leave them to dry. Once dry this becomes a really skilled process as the screen is placed under light exposure and then taken to the wash bay where a High pressure washer shoots out what is not part of the design. Our screens are then taken for some touch up work.
The Art of screen printing
The Process of Screen Printing fabric is an ancient art that requires the hands of skilled artisans. We are very proud to continue this tradition and pass it down to a new generation, particularly in the current age we live in where everything is being digitised. The human touch is slowly being eroded from our culture. In hand printing you capture all the little nuances and imperfections that give so much character to the fabric. There will always be variations and this is what makes it so exciting. Each time a squeegee pulls the ink and the screen is lifted one waits with abated breath and excitement as the print reveals itself with all its irregularities. Then comes the layering with the second and third screen and maybe even a fourth screen. Colour and pattern merge to create a rich tapestry that would be fit for a king.
We then move on to the large table and insert the screen into a carriage. (Our carriages are really old and were inherited from a defunct screen printing outfit, they come from Venice and are really solid and quite beautiful. The reason we use carriages is because we work with very large screens and the carriage ensures even pressure. Fabric design works on the rhythm of a design that is printed multiple times. I just love seeing a table complete with all the colours filled in and the music that is created with the repetition of a pattern. I know I am biased but nothing beats hand printing, the layering, textures and imperfections create textiles with real soul.
Colour Palette & Mixing
Clients often come prepared with a palette that they want to work with. This is easy as we simply have to mix colours of their choice. With my own creations I tend to work in a very loose, often haphazard way as I like to work with experiment and chance and serendipity when I work on my own designs. We have so
many colours already mixed that I usually let The Team play with a large number of variations. We always get one or two surprising results where I think I really would not have chosen to do that. Yes, I would say we are experts on colour mixing and no colour is off the charts for us!
Strike-off & Sampling
This part of the process is so, so, exciting. You simply have no idea what the end results will be. Mostly, we stand back amazed. I think the fact that we now have so much experience means that we are pretty confident the end result will be good. There is simply nothing more rewarding than bringing a design to completion. Colour now becomes hugely important and this can also be a long process. It’s strange, but a beautiful colour can look good as a block of colour but does not work for a particular design. We often have multiple colours together and we want them to sing so we often have to do loads of strike offs.Sometimes we get lucky and the first batch of colours just work.The entire process from beginning to end requires slow mindful, attention, the slower we move the better the results.
Heat Setting, Quality Checking
When the fabric is removed from the printing table it goes to the curing oven to heat set the the ink on the fabric to ensure colour fastness. The fabric is then quality checked and it will either go to our own CMT department or dispatched off to a happy customer.
Cut, Make and Trim. All our items are sewn in house for our own collections i.e. our on line shop, studio shop as well for our stockist. We can offer this service for clients. Please contact us if you would like a full service from design to dispatch and we will review your request and quote. We don’t offer CMT as a service only, it is only something we offer as a complete package.
Custom, Unique & Bespoke
We are skilled at helping our clients’ design truly original and bespoke products for their projects. The challenge of doing this and collaborating with clients who truly appreciate being involved with the process gives us great joy. Our team can help you with your design ideas, as well as help you decide on the colours that will work best for you. Hence, you are sure to end up with a fabric for your project that is truly unique. No colour is too difficult for us to create and patterns can always be worked creatively to make them suitable for hand printing. When you choose screen printing, we believe it’s because you like the layered and irregular look, so there are plenty of opportunities to experiment. Currently, we do not do commission printing as we are a smallish studio with limited resources and prefer to use our skills more creatively.
If you would like to engage further, please do not hesitate to contact us.