Textile and wallpaper specialist Lewis and Wood are the first UK company to take delivery of the MTEX Blue with Pigments inks.
The commitment to produce original products starts in their printing studio, where creative director, Magdalen Jebb collaborates with a variety of freelance designers, from different disciplines, to encourage an original approach. They then work with weavers, dyers, printers and finishers to try new techniques – which isn’t always easy, but it does make the result extremely interesting.
The company invested in its first digital printer for printing wallpapers in 2014 and in February 2016, it invested in an MTEX Blue printer with Pigment inks for printing digitally onto fabrics. Stephen Lewis explained the reasoning behind the new investment; “We now digitally print our wallpapers and so printing onto fabrics was a natural extension of this business. We’ve spent two and a half years building our knowledge of wallpaper printing and now we’re ready to start experimenting with fabrics.”
The company will use the MTEX Blue Pigment printer to create samples and experimental fabrics in-house, instead of waiting several weeks for strike-off’s to arrive, by which time the design project may have moved on. By bringing this process in-house, the design department can complete the sampling process faster.
“In order to compete with the big boys, we have to be unique. We need to be unusual and different, which is why we use a wide range of techniques and finishes to create our fabric ranges.” Stephen continues, “We’ve only had the printer a few weeks and we are still learning. There is a considerable learning curve when it comes to printing digitally onto fabrics compared to wallpapers but we feel that in MTEX we have partner manufacturer that is willing to help us with this learning curve and equally through our own experimentation, we can feed back to them to help develop the project. We are very confident that in MTEX we have a supportive supplier that will partner and support us along this exciting journey.”
The MTEX Blue with Pigments was launched at ITMA 2015 and has inline heat fixation for the finishing of the fabric and fixing of the printed dyes.
For more information on the MTEX Blue, visit MTEX at Sign & Digital UK on stand C10.