Textile design students explore the power of Epson digital print

BCU Epson Digital Print

Epson collaborates closely with schools and universities to provide digital printing expertise and technology and, in turn, learn from a new generation of artists and designers.

Recently, Epson invited BA and MA students from Birmingham City University’s School of Fashion and Textiles in the UK to produce a variety of stylish home furnishing designs to demonstrate the superb flexibility of Epson inkjet.

Birmingham City University (BCU) is a successful centre for fashion and textiles education and is renowned worldwide for its students’ achievements, innovative research and industry partnerships. In its superb new faculty, the Textile Design degree course gives students the opportunity to experience broad textile skills and embrace both traditional craft and specialist skills, including digital print. The SureColor SC-F wide format dye sublimation printer and desktop SureColor SC-F2000 direct-to-fabric printer in its digital print suite are in high demand by students experimenting with designs on a wide range of fabrics for fashion and décor applications.

The collaboration between Epson and BCU, under the guidance of Kelly-Marie Sifleet, resulted in a beautiful collection of wallpaper, sofas, cushions and lamps – all produced using SureColor SC-S and SC-F printers. They were displayed as a cohesive interior set at the FESPA exhibition in Germany and attracted considerable interest from designers and print service providers.
As part of the project, the students also attended a colour management workshop at Epson UK’s HQ to gain valuable skills which will enable them to maximise the quality of their designs and ensure comparable quality across different fabrics and other media. Said one: “The visit to Epson was so useful and the technical information about colour profiling was extremely valuable and will help me throughout my career”.

To recognise the potential of digital print and celebrate new designers, Epson presented a ‘Creativity in Digital Print’ Award to Shannon Keenan, a 2017 BA (Hons) Textile Design graduate. For her final project Shannon combined satin and diaphanous textiles, surface embellishments and SureColor SC-F digital print to produce a selection of highly creative decorated fabrics inspired by gothic architecture.

“Working with Epson has been brilliant for the students, showing them the skills and considerations required for commercial print production in relation to our own fabulous facilities. Epson’s generosity in supporting the course in a number of ways shows how mutually beneficial these partnerships can be,” says Kate Farley, Lecturer in Textile Design at BCU.

“Since Epson started working with BCU, we have consistently been impressed by the quality and creativity we have seen from the students,” says Heather Kendle, Market Development Manager, Epson Europe. “This year’s graduation show has reinforced this impression and it was hard to pick one winner. We were looking for work that showed an understanding that digital print is one of a pallet of tools available to a textile designer today. The ability to combine print with other elements is what came through in Shannon’s work, as well as her attention to detail and understanding of what a commercial brief may require. “

Thank you to the following students who produced the designs for Epson: Katie Allen, Abbey Fowler, Amelia Frost, Jess Howard, Kerry Nickson, Lara Oztekin, Ellie Smales, Natasha Warren and Lydia Wells.