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viscom shows unlimited possibilities with digital printing processes
08
Sep '11
Swimwear is one of the trend segments in the fashion industry, but individual patterns are still rare. This is why Nadia Schiller, a student at the Niederrhein University, wrote her diploma thesis on the subject. She designed a swim and leisurewear collection for the C&A fashion group. The colourful models were produced using digital printing.

Modern printing processes open new creative possibilities to designers, limited colour concepts are a thing of the past, and manufacture even of small runs is possible at limited cost. State-of-the-art techniques and applications will also once again be on show at viscom, International Trade Fair for Visual Communication, Technology and Design from 13 to 15 October 2011 in Düsseldorf. About 11,000 trade visitors, many of them experts from the processing industries such as textile and fashion are expected. One of the exhibitors is Niederrhein University.

Playing with the (in)visible
With the first rays of spring sunshine their time comes again: triangle bikinis, one-pieces, tankinis, swimsuits. The simple sports models have long been replaced by swimwear with a décor so elaborate that it also looks good at the beach bar or even as a top to be worn in the city. As a result customers have high expectations of design. Increasingly this is also true for the lower-priced categories. Nadia Schiller who took her textile design degree with Professor Angelika Rösner of Niederrhein University in the spring of 2011 was not interested in working for Missoni or Emilio Pucci but with the German fashion group C&A.

Digital printing as connecting link
“For my diploma thesis I worked together with C&A Buying KG in Düsseldorf”, the designer says. “The task was to design a printed, individual line of swim and leisurewear for 2011. Since the swimwear sector quite generally sees a change toward more individualism, the collection is not limited to a particular age group but aims to appeal to different types of women.“

With this in mind, Schiller developed a broad selection ranging from a teeny surfer bikini to models with stronger support for curvier figures, as well as matching beach bags, sarongs and beach towels. But style and fit were only marginal considerations in her thesis – after all, she studied Textile Design at the Department of Design at Niederrhein University. Her subject is part of the long-established Product Design course which covers a broad field. Glass, ceramic and textile design are taught here, but also product design and colour design. The challenge is to handle the numerous restrictions imposed by the production process creatively and effectively.

In textile printing, for instance, lengths of repeat and number of required dyes are significant. Since this is difficult to visualise on the computer, Professor Rösner's laboratory houses a small-scale digital production line for different inks and technologies, among them the Arachne Combo 74/V8 digital printer manufactured by the South Korean company Dgen and a large variety of specialised design, engraving, colouring and colour management software.

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