Printing on fabric
By Kacey King
Late last year, Sew What Inc. (sewwhatinc.com) was tapped to create a digitally printed concert backdrop for musician Brian Setzer’s “Christmas Rocks! Extravaganza” tour.
“We have worked with this client before and enjoy doing their projects. Our favorite time of year is Christmas. We always get excited about participating in Christmas shows,” says Sew What’s Megan Duckett.
Sew What took a client-supplied vector file and used a CSE Colorburst RIP and 120-inch EFI Vutek QS3200 superwide printer with 3M inks to direct print onto Fisher GF4480 flame-retardant, heavy-knit fabric. The staff of 12 created five pieces for the project, which included traditional stage draperies.
“We chose the heavy-knit fabric for two reasons,” Duckett explains. “First, in our industry, being flame retardant to national standards is very important. Both California and New York City also have additional flame-retardancy standards. The heavy knit met this client’s requirements. Second, knit-type materials are perfect when the client needs to store the pieces folded up. When re-hung, the knit fabric relaxes and wrinkles tend to hang out fairly well.”
The brightly colored main piece of the project measured 24 feet high x 30 feet wide and was sewn with a Consew industrial sewing machine and grommeted with a Jopevi electric grommet machine. The crew was given one week to complete the job and finished the printing in four hours and the finishing in 12.
“This type of cartoon-style graphic with lots of color and bright imagery lends itself well to being digitally printed. The blues and bright tones show so well under concert stage lighting,” Duckett adds.