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High-Fashion Fabrics

(March 2011) posted on Wed Mar 09, 2011

Dyenamix's digitally printed textiles grace fashion runways, Broadway stages, and other venues.

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By Mike Antoniak

In the high-profile worlds of fashion, theatre, and entertainment, Dyenamix ( is not a name that’s instantly recognizable – except to those in the know. This New York City specialist in custom fabric and textiles produces the material for the latest designs and costumes seen on Broadway and in the movies.

“With digital printing on fabric, today’s designers can design with less limitations than before the process became available,” says Raylene Marasco, Dyenamix founder and president. “Digital printing gives us a way to provide them with custom textiles that just didn’t exist before.”

Her digital capabilities have become so integral to the specialty services she provides, Marasco estimates 60 percent of her business now involves digital printing at some point. She taps digital printing, via a pair of Mimaki TX2 printers, for coloring material, recreating vintage designs, or printing fabric with new graphics created on a computer. “We print with low minimums, but also have the capacity to do large production quality print runs,” she says.

A specialty niche
Digital printing wasn’t even on Marasco’s horizon when she launched Dyenamix as a two-person shop in Hoboken, New Jersey, back in 1991. Her intent then was to fill a void she identified in a highly specialized market niche: custom-designed finely crafted fabric in small quantities. In those early days, the company established its reputation as a supplier of unique materials through a combination of hand silk-screening, painting, and dyeing textiles.

The business took off immediately. “Our early clients included Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, various architects, as well as costumers for myriad Broadway shows and major feature films,” reports Marasco. Within two years, she relocated the business to a larger space – Mercer Street in Greenwich Village, its home through 2007. There, Dyenamix thrived as word of its unique capabilities spread within New York City’s creative community. “To this day, we’ve never done any advertising,” boasts Marasco. “All our growth has come through word of mouth.”

By 1999, the business had reached a critical juncture. “We were still doing all our designs by hand, but were getting more and more requests for quantity production,” she recalls. “I was searching for a way to reproduce these hand techniques for larger applications, without compromising their integrity or quality of our designs, and I was interested in how the technology could expand our capabilities.”