Colors and Inspirations from Première Vision 2019

Ron Gilboa
Jan 23, 2019

For the best part of forty years the Première Vision exhibition has been the inspiration for the fashion industry with shows in Paris, New York, and Istanbul. For those of you who follow our technology trends in digital printing and imaging, this is not a place to feast your eyes on printing equipment, rather a place where brands, fabric designers, and manufacturers come together to choose the materials for their next season’s collections and be inspired by the color catalogs and textures that are the foundation of the fashion and décor industries.  With over 170 exhibitors, this show draws on the rich New York fashion community, as well as major national brands, as they plan their spring and summer collections.

This is where the Keypoint team ventured to see and touch the output generated by a growing community of fabric finishers and designers that have adopted digital printing to bring their products to market. This 2019 edition of Première Vision did not disappoint. With areas dedicated to fabric designers and textile producers, the show had rich collections and offerings. There was also an area dedicated to a range of innovations from digital design, color sampling, and digital strike off production (proofing).

Figure 1: Première Vision 2019 – Season Colors Available for Visitors

Première Vision 2019 Season Colors

Breaking Out Première Vision 2019

The show’s three distinct areas for digital innovations in Designs, Fabrics, and Manufacturers / Services, provided illuminating examples.

The Design zone was teaming with fabric design companies demonstrating their creations, many of which were produced digitally, either in-house or using fabric finishers from around the world. A typical design may be sold for a few hundred dollars or licensed to reduce the cost. Designers such as JLD Studios (see figure 2) sell patterns and offer production capabilities in their facilities using Mimaki 1.8-meter-wide sublimation transfer printer to the tune of 60,000 to 70,000 linear meters annually.

Figure 2: JLD Studios – Digital Design and Production

JLD Studies - Digital Design and Production

It was interesting to see designers from the US, UK, France, Korea, Turkey, and other countries taking advantage of digital printing to address customer needs. Though most were using synthetic fabrics, some had samples on fabrics that require steam fixation, such as reactive and acid dye printed fabrics. The mystery revolving around this capability by a designer was revealed once we reached the Manufacturing zone of the show.

The Fabrics zone had broad representation from Europe, Eurasia, and Korea. Since we began tracking this event, we have seen that most fabric manufacturers in attendance use some digital printing technology, from small scanning head technology to single-pass, high-volume manufacturing. When we approached the Hantas Tekstil stand and looked at their samples, they noted that their production is all done using digital printers made by MS Printing Solutions, with a capacity of 4.5 million linear meters annually.

Two more interesting exhibitors, representing other types of innovations at the event, were KBC and Adalberto, which we also referred to in our Geotextile coverage. Both are companies that have embraced the benefits of digital printing to produce high volume fabric and profit from the inherent advantages to the supply chain of digital print.

KBC, a German producer of fabric, was highlighted at ITMA 2016 as it adopted single-pass high-volume printing. Today, the organization has expanded to plants in Italy and is using MS Lario, veteran single-pass technology, to produce a myriad of fabrics that are sold worldwide. Portuguese textile mill Adalberto had a very interesting display, touting its commitment to environmental responsibility in all steps of fabric manufacturing.

Figure 3: Adalberto – Committed to the Environment

Adalberto Environment

Another company, Adalberto, has a commitment to the environment that spans all stages in its supply chain, from energy and water to waste and emissions. The organization used 100% renewable energy and reduced water consumption by 92,400 m3 (20%), and CO2 by 2000 tons in 2017. This commitment to environmental responsibility was one of the drivers in the acquisition of the SPGPrints Pike, a single-pass printer with a top capacity of 10 million linear meters annually.

In the Manufacturing and Services zones, several companies showed a range of accessories such as labels, tags, and brand identity decorations, many of which use a variety of screen printing and digital printing with UV inks. However, three companies captured our attention as they address several critical needs in textile manufacturing: color accuracy, design flexibility, and accurate proofing.

Color accuracy is key for every type of fabric manufacturing, whether fabric dyeing or printing with analog or digital technology. Color Solutions International (CSI), a division DyStar, demonstrated its color reference library and reference kits sold to designers and manufacturers. These kits are produced on cotton and can be customized to specific needs or to a brand or manufacturer. New at the show was the announcement of a solution aimed at simplifying color measurements to enable matching of color samples to a digital reference library that can be accurately reproduced on fabric.

Using the Color Reader Pro, a user with a smartphone can take color measurements and compare them to a reference color library loaded to the device. These can be used to measure color accuracy or deviation from a standard reference or aligned with complementary colors. This $250 device can be matched with general or custom color database licensing, which allows users to test how samples match the digital palette of the design tools and the actual dyed or printed fabric. This can minimize repeated testing and a long strike off cycle between designers and producers.

Figure 4: datacolor Color Reader Pro

datacolor Color Reader Pro

On the design side, Pointcarré North America demonstrated its pattern design tools. These intuitive tools are aimed at designers to simplify the design of patterns, while also allowing the user to simulate the design on a fabric of their choice to better model the garment. Additionally, the solution allows users to convert rich color data into colorways (spot colors) in a way that maximizes image fidelity. This also ties in the digital color library from CSI to the tool’s color picker reference library, so that if a user selects these colors, they are guaranteed to reach the desired color with DyStar inks. There are also conversion tools that will enable migration to other ink systems, such as Dupont.

The third solution on display that links the CSI color library, and Pointcarré’s designs, was a proofing system by Digital Print Solutions Group. Using a Mutoh 628 printer with fabric dyes, as well as a small steaming unit, this solution can provide designers with the ability to produce strike-offs (proofs) of their specific fabrics and dyes without the need of an iterative sample production process.

Figure 5: DigitaPrint Solutions Group – Mutoh based Strike-off solution

DigitaPrint Solutions Group - Mutoh based Strike-off solution

InfoTrends’ Opinion

Première Vision provided us with a window into a unique part of the fashion world supply chain. It is a place where brands and suppliers meet to trade and collaborate. The digital output on display represented high quality as well as environmental sensibility. It leaves no doubt in our minds that the 20% growth in print volume called for by the Keypoint Intelligence Digital Textile Forecast 2017-2021 will materialize and continue.

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