Sunday, September 23, 2012

'Rocks That I've Got' Project Update

Today I finally managed to pay a visit to my landlord's factory. Before I left London I promised my friend Rafal Zajko that I would source costumes for a performance of his. The project involves digital printing which is a big part of my landlord's business, so it seemed a perfect match. As always in India though, things take time.

The above is one of the designs to be printed on fabric and then stitched into shirts and trousers. I was initially hoping to source organic cotton, but now it turns out that the non-organic cotton I'd bought was wrong anyway. The printing process needed for 100% cotton would include all sorts of chemical pre-printing and post-printing treatments, so it was decided that the sourcing department of the factory would manage to find the poly mixed fabric. The printing method we decided on is ink deposition, meaning that the ink goes into the fibres of the yarn, as opposed to film deposition which is that plastic piece melted onto cheap t-shirts.

The printing manager did some tests on fleece material. First the design is printed onto a piece of paper with a special coating.

Then the paper is placed onto the fabric and the massive iron is pressed onto the fabric with a lot of pressure. The iron below is actually the smallest one in that room. Behind us, underneath a massive bunch of chiffon tops, there was an iron the width of fabric rolls.

When you remove the paper this is how it turns out. All the ink on the paper is gone, but the fabric is vivid.

Please cross your fingers that tomorrow I will have metres and metres of fabric to bring to a tailor. Meanwhile check out some of Raf's work.

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