5 steps to perfect ‘placement print’ designs


MADALENA ANTAO - THE DIGITAL WEAVER TEXTILE STUDIO
18 FEB 2019

Let’s start with a basic explanation of ‘placement printing’… essentially
it’s when every garment, in every size, has the exact same print, in the
exact same place. This process looks stunning when done correctly and
can add value to your brand story, since it is seen as a ‘high-end’ effect.


Step 1:
You’ll need an clear vision of what it is you want to create. Start by
sketching the style or shape of the your garment. You can use a good
old fashioned pen and paper to do this …or you can use a program like
Adobe illustrator to sketch up a technical CAD (computer aided drawing)
if you are a bit of a whiz. Next start to pencil in the textile design into
your style, this will take a few goes to get perfect so make sure you can
edit your mock-up design easily. I should mention that if you love the
idea of designing but need help putting the idea on paper, then it’s really
helpful to use an experienced designer or textile designer to help you
sketch out your vision in a clear, easy to understand diagram this will
really help when you get to the sampling / production stage. What if you
just can’t think of any ideas you love? That’s when you make an
appointment to see a textile print collection like The Digital Weaver
Studio, we have loads of gorgeous exclusive designs that will work for
placement printed styles.
 


Step 2:
You’ll need to work with an experienced patternmaker to create a
digitised version of the actual style you have in mind. This digitised
pattern will be graded (all sizes) and labelled clearly including all
notches. Put simply the patternmaker will work with you to choose the
best fabric for your garment. Then the patternmaker will create a pattern
and cut a first sample of your style, so they can work on the fittings with
you, this sample fitting process will be repeated until the fit is perfect.
Depending on the complexity of the style and the fabric you may need
2-3 samples to create the perfect fitting garment for your brand. Finally
the patternmaker will create a graded nest of sizes on a CAD program
for each pattern piece.




Step 3:
Once the digitised pattern pieces have been finalised and approved,
they are sent to the textile designer, who will engineer the textile design
within the pattern pieces, ensuring that all sizes fit nicely within the
design. If the style has panels the textile design will need to match
across the seams, this can be extremely tricky to match across sizes. If
you’d like to keep the production process as cost effective as possible
ideally the style you choose to have a placement print on it, should not
have too many panels. At this stage it is a good idea to decide whether
you want to go with laser cutting or to go with manually cut blocks. This
decision will depend on many factors, best to discuss this with your
patternmaker or textile designer. (Handy Hint for laser cutting: every
pattern piece should be labelled with the style number and size, all
outlines should be thickened to 2mm black line)
 



Step 4:
Once your placement design is approved and you have decided on your
cutting method, your textile designer will send the correct final files to
the digital printers for a small colour test panel. Assuming all colours are
approved the full placement block panel or pattern pieces will be printed
for sampling. This will then be cut and made up for final fit and approval.
(Handy Hint: check for fabric shrinkage if laser cutting and allow that
percentage into your next print run)
 



Step 5:
Lastly it’s time for the Production run! Work out how many meters of
fabric you will need. Just use your yield per placement panel (per
garment) and multiply that by how many garments you want. Place your
white base fabric order and have it sent directly to your printer. Book in
your production with your printer, cutter & maker. Notify your printer
when the fabric is due allow at 1-2wks for printing, allow 1-2wks for
cutting, allow 2-4wks make/sewing depending on maker availability.
(Handy Hint always allow extra time if you have it, just in case any
issues pop) Always communicate with your suppliers they will appreciate
your willingness to learn and collaborate. Contact us if you would like to
book in for a 10min phone preliminary consult.


This brief summary is intended to helped start-ups understand the
placement print process and help guide the decision process. All
suggestions are based on local Sydney suppliers.


Recommended:
The Digital Weaver textile design studio…placement or repeat prints
Sublitech digital printers and laser cutting services
Studio Elastica production services… includes patternmaking
The Spark branding services… logo design, tags, brand identity
Meet that brand marketing services…brand story, marketing strategy

The Fashion Society Aust …mentoring fashion start-ups