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High-Fashion Fabrics

(March 2011) posted on Wed Mar 09, 2011

Dyenamix's digitally printed textiles grace fashion runways, Broadway stages, and other venues.

click an image below to view slideshow

By Mike Antoniak

Unlike the entertainment industry, where the need for a costume can be anticipated well in advance, the fashion industry is much more fast-paced, especially in the days leading up to and during New York’s Fashion Week. It’s a proving ground, and a high-pressure environment that Marasco and her staff thrive on.

“In fashion, everything can change right up until the last minute,” she says. “Because of the fast turnaround with digital printing, we can do a lot of experimentation and development of their ideas. They can see what a print looks like at different sizes, in different colors, or against different backgrounds. It’s allowing them to solidify their concepts before committing to large yardages.”

Dyenamix’s stellar reputation within the fashion industry has helped bring the company visibility on TV. For the past two seasons, the company’s custom work has been featured on the Lifetime Network’s reality series, “Project Runway” and its annual digital printing challenge. Marasco and members of her staff have helped participants choose the colors and designs, which Dyenamix then prints on fabrics selected from its catalog.

Consult and experiment
The show gave viewers a look at the consultative services Marasco and company bring to all projects and all jobs. “We have an in-house design team that provides direct consultation and development,” she says. “Experimenting is an important part of the process. And with digital we can easily produce several samples, on different materials if necessary, until we can provide our clients with exactly the look they are after.”

She encourages clients to consult with her and her team early in their creative process. “We can print just about whatever they want, but we encourage them to come to us and discuss what they want before their ideas are set,” she says. “And, whenever a new customer approaches us, we invite them for a consultation to discuss their project and view the techniques we offer on samples. That really opens their mind to all we can do.”

In addition to its work for high-profile clients, Dyenamix has expanded in another direction, developing and offering the Dyenamix Studio Collection of digitally printed fabrics for home furnishings and interiors. Currently, the line includes 30 designs, which can be printed on cotton sateen, linen, or shantung fabric.

Marasco considers it another example of how digital printing opens up new opportunities in custom fabric design. “In the past we would have had to retain large screens in our archives for every one of these designs. Any alternations of the designs meant creating new screens,” she explains. “But now, with digital technology, designers can re-color or re-scale a design as needed and print it on whatever material they want.”

It’s this flexibility that guarantees digital printing a continued role in Dyenamix’s future: “There are very few limitations in the types of images that can now be printed on fabric,” she observes. “But we’d love to see systems which are even faster, with inks that have better light fastness and wash fastness, and more fabric options.”

She expects to expand her digital department in the future, as the technology advances, without compromising the service which has made her company a contributor to so many of its discerning clients’ successes. “We’re still a small shop, and that’s because of the specialty nature of the services we provide, working closely with our clients,” she concludes.

“Our business is to provide our clients with custom textiles, whatever they need. Digital printing has given us a way to present them with new possibilities.”