By Melissa Donovan
Quality color is essential in any application, but textiles in particular can cause many challenges. When a designer, consumer, or brand owner is searching for a partner to print designs to their fabric-based projects, it is essential the printer in question understands the nuances of the production process and how to achieve the desired hue.
The Emerson Group Inc., based in Mississauga, ON, Canada, is a family-owned digital textile company. It invested in digital printing technology over the years to bolster its already impressive expertise in color profiling and matching. Combined, the business offers its customers the best colors and quality in printing.
“Integrating a deep understanding of the graphic production process, we help our clients communicate visually with their audiences and customers,” shares Michael Hawke, president, Emerson Group.
Commitment to Quality
In business since 1986, Emerson Group’s variety of digital printing services include direct digital textile and UV printing. It serves event and promotion, retail, display, theater, television and movie, trade show, corporate, as well as fashion and decor. This means providing large format soft signage or a few yards of fabric for fashion or decor designs.
25 employees operate out of one 20,000 square foot location that houses a production facility that includes DuPont Artistri 2020 printers, which are no longer manufactured. The printers are equipped with a sticky belt, which is found to be advantageous for printing to stretchy fabrics.
Water-based reactive dyes are run in the devices when printing to natural fabrics and water-based disperse dye is used for printing onto synthetic textiles. “We use the reactive dye as it bonds very well with natural fibers plus the hand of the fabric keeps its natural feeling. For the polyester fabric we need disperse dye for the same reason as the naturals,” explains Hawke.
The majority of Emerson Group’s business is large format printing of seamless 16-foot wide fabric. These jobs involve custom, one-off prints. According to Hawke, they are completed quickly and look fantastic—eliminating the need for hand painting.
“Digital printing you can print many different patterns or colors in very few yards. With non-digital printing you have to commit to large minimum yardage,” he continues.
It also offers digital textile yardage fabric printing on nature fabrics like cotton, linen, and silk as well as synthetic like polyester. The yardage printing is handled through the company’s custom website, designyourfabric.com, where designers can upload designs, pick fabric, and print from one yard and up.
Customers constantly return to designyourfabric.com. Repeat client Toronto, ON-based fashion designer Anu Raina for example recently uploaded her designs for her Spring collection of apparel. Emerson Group printed on silk in two weeks and when the fabric was completed, the designer cut and sewed 11 pieces together.
Common requests such as this are beginning to return in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, a lot of the large format work for trade shows has been put on hold. Hawke notes that on the custom website side, a large increase in custom printing for fabric eventually made into masks was seen.
In the Details
Emerson Group continues to offer its customers quality work, serving their requests for smaller runs and limited collections. Its attention to detail—from color management to fabric choice—ensures prints off of its DuPont Artistri 2020 printers meet client expectations.
Sep2021, Digital Output