From Fashion to Interiors: The Digital Printing Trend

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Digital printing is one of the latest trends rocking the runway. Fashion houses like Helmut Lang, Akris, Zac Posen, and even Valentino have embraced this new method of fabric production because of its versatility and cost effectiveness. Regarding the former, digital printing provides countless opportunities to incorporate imagery into garments and accessories (Take Givenchy’s Rottweiler tote, for example). Additionally, lower production costs not only make the impossible possible, but affordable too! These and other benefits make it an ideal trend for the interior design industry to embrace.

Looks 13 and 25 from Mary Katrantzou’s 2014 Resort collection exemplify the digital printing trend. Images: (Left) Style, (Right) Style

History of Digital Printing in Design

Digital printer in action. Image: Finger Print Fabric

Although growing in popularity, digital printing was introduced decades ago; in fact, Elle Magazine reports that the technique was initially used in the carpet industry during the 1970’s. It wasn’t until the 90’s that digital printing found its way to the catwalk. The concept itself is simple: use the same technology as your average ink jet printer to produce designs on fabric. But developing the technology took some time. Early prints yielded low-quality images with fuzzy edges. Now, digitally-printed fabrics equal or surpass their screen-printed counterparts in quality and clarity.

Digital Printing in Interior Design

Image: Contemporist

While fashion may be largely confined to textiles, the range of materials used in interior design further the possibilities of digital printing. From wallcoverings to curtains, lampshades to flooring, nearly any surface can receive this innovative treatment. Interior designers and manufacturers can turn to companies like HP to create custom products and provide new design experiences. For example, designer Karim Rashid notes, “I can print an entire floor and even have my clients walk on it before we actually complete the final interior.”

Get the Look: It’s All About Imagery

Image: H&M

To get the fashion-inspired look, it’s less about technique and more about the design (after all, paisley can be digitally printed). Patterns of this trend resemble identifiable real-world subjects, and are often derived from photographs or artwork.

Image: Charles de Lisle

This cabinet is a tasteful example of how digital printing can be incorporated into furniture design.

It may be years before this trend fully develops in interior design. What do you think of the possibilities?

1 Comment

  1. The digital printing is in trend in many ways like in clothing,interior.And Additionally, lower production costs not only make the impossible possible, but affordable too!

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Desiré is a designer, blogger, and lover of all things glamorous. Though primarily a self-taught decorator, Desiré studied at The Art Institute, where she honed a distinct aesthetic largely influenced by the Modern Glamour movement, the theme of her popular design blog, Sukio. Not only is she considered a "closet fashionista," discreetly stashing handbags and shoes whenever possible, but, as an MIT graduate, she’s also an undercover nerd. Fashion, nerdom, and several years as a Washingtonian have combined to shape her unique perspective on interior design.