Epson’s Digital Couture Project Brings Textile Printing on the Runway

In 2015 Epson decided to celebrate the advances of its dye-sublimation and direct-to-fabric printing techniques for the apparel industry with an annual fashion show.

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“In the high-fashion business, nothing stands still. The designer’s vision is constantly advancing, ultimately creating and driving fashion trends that change how we look and feel,”

states Keith Kratzberg, president and CEO, Epson America, Inc. Add this to the fact that the market for worldwide digital textile printing is expected to grow annually at almost 25 percent and it becomes clear why the Japanese company decided to celebrate the advances of its dye-sublimation and direct-to-fabric printing techniques with its own fashion show!

Teaming Up for a Textile Story Time

Since 2015, Epson has been giving designers an opportunity to display their creations made with digital printers. After all,

“[n]ew technologies from Epson are allowing designers to push the boundaries of color and quality while simultaneously giving creative teams incredible versatility and productivity,”

Kratzberg adds.

This year Epson hosted the Digital Couture Project for the third time. Just some days before the Fashion Week made the Big Apple a hotspot for the apparel industry, Epson welcomed celebrities, socialites, and the press at its event held at the stylish IAC Building in Manhattan.

For the show these 13 design teams from North and Latin America joined forces to tell “Textile Stories“ with Epson’s digital printing technologies:

  1. Vanesa Krongold from Argentina,
  2. Daniel Barreira from Brazil,
  3. Sarah Stevenson from Canada,
  4. Daniela Hoehmann from Chile,
  5. Ricardo Pava from Colombia,
  6. Daniel Del Barco and Sonia Chang from Costa Rica,
  7. Carlos de Moya from the Dominican Republic,
  8. Miguel Moyano, Alex Polo and Maria Susana Rivadeneira Simball from Ecuador,
  9. Leonardo Mena from Mexico,
  10. Susan Wagner from Peru as well as
  11. Lindsay Degen,
  12. Sarah Richards and the
  13. Kanbar College of Design Engineering and Commerce, Philadelphia University from the United States.

The textiles for their collections were created with the help of dye-sublimation and direct-to-garment printing. What makes these techniques a perfect match for the fashion and textile industry are their limitless high-quality design opportunities. This allows designers to directly print on a broad variety of fabrics, including cotton and synthetic fibers.

The Magic Behind: Epson’s Digital Textile Printing Solutions

On the margins of the catwalk, Epson showcased their SureColor F series, an industrial machine portfolio using dye-sublimation printing technology that heat-transfers patterns onto fabric. Another benefit for designers is that this range offers them better color accuracy, greater flexibility, and more control.

Also, they brought a Sure Color F2000 direct-to-fabric inkjet printer able to apply patterns and design straight onto garment and to deliver industrial-level production, image quality, and reliability. As it is a quality, affordable printing solution, it is especially helpful for small businesses.

Additionally, the digital printing pioneer presented textile samples of their new brand Robustelli-Epson for the first time. Epson acquired the Italian digital inkjet textile printer maker Robustelli in 2016. Now they are able to leverage their manufacturing capability and to make their digital inkjet textile technologies available to more customers on an international level.

Shaping the Future of Fashion and Technology

But there is more to Epson’s involvement in this sector: The company founded the Textile Solution Center in Como, Italy, together with textile ink provider For Tex, which belongs to Epson since 2015. After all, this city

“is transforming itself from a traditional silk-making center to one that is leading the charge of state-of-the-art technology in fashion.”

Furthermore, Epson also hosted a Fashion and Technology Forum with panels and discussions from apparel industry experts to stress the role that digital technology will play in fashion. All in all, this commitment shows how existing printing techniques can open up new application fields.

“The future of fashion and technology is in the process of being shaped, and we are excited to be at the forefront of the industry – providing designers with printing solutions that offer a host of new and exciting opportunities,”

said Agustin Chacon, Epson America’s Vice President of International Marketing.

The Digital Couture Project is just one of many examples illustrating that the printing and the graphic arts sectors go hand in hand to enhance creativity. What do you think: Which other branches the printing industry may revolutionize not only in a technological but also in an artistic way?