Read what our Director has to say about Digital Design and the future of Digital Print...Nov 2015

As a young designer back in the 1990’s you specialised in home furnishings so digitally printed interiors textiles / wallcoverings was perhaps a natural progression. Do you think there’s much scope for large-format inkjet print businesses to get involved?

As a young designer specialising in Home Furnishings during the early 90’s, my work evolved both the design and the manufacture of the products I created. Design was moving into the digital world, production was definitely still analogue. Utilising slow, complicated software we would create patterns and prints for design selection.

My earliest digital prints were created on a desktop printer. Spray starching cotton fabrics, and manually feeding them through the printer. These early digital fabric prints were used to create fabric swatches and mock ups for storyboards. The prints would last a few months until eventually they faded away in the sunlight. My digital journey had begun….Soon software could create colour separations, plot films and then engrave conventional rotary screens for colour sampling and production. Design to production would still take an average 12 weeks if not longer. Print was still analogue.

Having embraced the creative freedom offered by CAD in the early 90's, I was to witness the reform of analogue print, changing textiles forever. The Digital revolution had begun. The industry was set for a dramatic, global transformation.

Global textile manufacture will be transformed over the next five years. As companies seek to reduce distribution costs, and increase their "speed to market" localised sourcing will create a strong demand for new print resources. 

Digetex is ‘a specialist bespoke printer of textiles and wallpaper’ by its own definition, but it presents its production capability in a very creative way. Is that because you know how to appeal to a creative market?

Digetex are a design lead, specialist print resource. Our commercial offer reflects our own knowledge base. Yes, we are a creative team but our company strength undoubtedly, is our rich textile heritage.

So who are your main customers, and do you see that changing over time?

Digetex serve clients worldwide, across many different market sectors. Working equally amongst independent creative’s and large corporate clients. Digital is an evolving market place with multiple applications. I’m constantly surprised by our next client, who knows what our innovative team will print next.

Digetex runs a white-labeled division called SurfacePatternPrint ( that has been nominated for the Digital Entrepreneur Awards in the Best Small Business category. (This article will be published 2 Nov ahead of winner announcements Debbie.) Why did you feel it important to set this up a separate online entity?

The digital marketplace has grown, creating the need for clear product placement across all our brands. We developed Surface Pattern Print to ensure that our website engages with this target customer base. It’s a design community for designers and creatives. Talking the same language and offering design support alongside our print offer.

Digetex/ SurfacePatternPrint were involved with the New Designers London 2015 fashion week. How important do you think it is for specialist/niche ‘print producers’ like yourselves to get involved in things like that?

As a designer it’s important to stay on track with Trends globally. Both design and technical developments. Our team regularly visit and engage with the trade at shows or events to ensure that we bring our clients the products they need.

You are making a mark on the speaking circuit, having just presented at Fabric Printing Now and at various other events this year like Heimtextil. Obviously that builds yours, and the company’s profile. But it seems that educating creatives about print digital inkjet possibilities is also a key driver – is that the case?

I have never forgotten that I was lucky to enter this industry whilst it was still vibrant. I had the opportunity to learn from some extremely talented professionals. All of whom had spent a lifetime in textiles and design. Unfortunately the demise of the British Textile and Wallcovering Industries during the 90’s stripped the industry of a massive database of knowledge.

Many young designers don’t get to experience any elements of manufacturing. Digetex work with Universities across the country to give vital access to design, production and training. I personally mentor and run both Internship and placement programs.

What are the company’s key objectives/goals now?

Our specialised digital textile factory is built on a strong textile heritage. We plan to source and invest in new technology over the next 2 years, enabling us to serve an ever evolving market and its demands during this exciting new chapter in Textile History.

How do you think we’ll see the digitally printed textiles market for interiors products play out in the next five years and how can PSPs (my readers) benefit from that?

We envisage a huge growth in our market over the next 5 years.  Our company has witnessed the digital sector grow from strength to strength over the last ten years, creating new markets for our industry.

Whilst Digetex serve clients worldwide, as a company we are committed to localised sourcing of our consumables wherever possible, we also see that change in our loyal client base who choose to print in the UK.

Published in the November issue of 

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