Retailing textile designs to local manufacturers and artisans promotes your brand as a designer and is a good opportunity for collaboration.
Importantly select the best materials and manufacturers possible to increase the benefit of producing independently and maintain a local ethos. Keep in mind careful colour selection for non seasonal collections when designing small runs and seek out unusual fabrications.
Things to consider when manufacturing locally are price and minimums and if you prefer your label to evolve on-shore or towards mass market levels of production or to on-sell.
Featured is a collaboration of my textile design’s with industrial designer Ke:ec. Hand drawn textile design’s silkscreen printed onto a cotton drill base cloth and manufactured by Ke:ec into satchel bags. The products were retailed in a shop called Bamakko in Melbourne and online. The product was sourced, designed and made locally.
As part of my Fine Art degree I studied on exchange at the Glasgow School of Art where I learnt the traditional art of silkscreen, the process of separating the colours in an image, design or pattern repeat for silkscreen printmaking onto a substrate.
A silkscreen print is created by reducing a motif in an image to black to create a stencil, painting a silkscreen with photo emulsion and exposing the stencil on the silkscreen to light to create the stencil effect. The stencil is the negative area of the image, blocking out the colour and leaving the positive area in the stencil for the colour. Pigment ink is poured through the silkscreen stencil onto a paper or fabric base cloth to create the coloured print. Repeating this process for each colour in the design. A two colour print would require two silkscreen stencils, printing the first colour, lining up the print and printing the second colour. Ideally if you retain the silkscreen’s the print can then be reprinted seasonally with a new colour palette.
The beauty of silkscreen is the soft, smooth and watercolour like effect it gives a print and how it seamlessly separates the colours so the overall ‘look’ of the print is unified.
The process of silkscreen is fairly labour intensive, especially if you compare printing a single four colour poster image to lining up a screen across many metres to silkscreen bolts of fabric, that may have up to twelve colours in a design.
I designed a collection of silkscreen prints by filming digital video excerpt’s of cityscapes in Glasgow using still image’s from the footage as a basis to design silkscreen prints. I printed the prints and the colourways using the traditional silkscreen printing method onto an archival print paper.