Until recently, fabric printing tended to be a costly and labour-intensive process, utilising such equipment as wooden blocks, stencils, engraved plates, silkscreens and rollers.

Today, the modern digitalprinting systems such as developed by Canon and Hefeihave made high quality fabric printing accessible to a wide range of budgets.

This relatively new printing medium has presented all manner of organisations with a new way of representing what they do – whether their work relates to business, the public sector or to non-profit activities.

Whatever an organisation does, it may be regarded as a brand – whether it is a charity or an insurancecompany. Bespoke digital fabric printing offers organisations a more unique way of reinforcingthe look and message of their brand.

Such fabric-based designs could be used as part of crowd control barriers graphics at events, exhibition graphics or as flags – among many other uses.

Digital printing systems can print on to a wide variety of fabric types, meaning an organisation can chose the most suitable medium for their objective. Some fabrics show off bright colours particularly well, while others may have other properties – such as being flame retardant.

For those who have never considered fabric printing as an option for brand development, any visit to a commercialexhibition or event reveals the extentto which organisations are harnessing the medium. A cursory glance at any UK high street also demonstrates how effective fabric printing can be in attracting attention from the public and reinforcing brand values. The fashion sector in particular has harnessed fabric printing to great effect, as a visit to any high street clothing outlet can attest.

Equally, the motor industry uses large, eye-catchingfabricgraphics to great effect. They are used at showrooms, on forecourts and at motor shows around the world. Such locations and events demonstrate how well contemporarydigitalprintingmachines can cope with ‘oversize’ graphics.

A wide range of fabrics can be printed on, including cotton, silk, polyester and nylon. For each of these, specific ink types are used in order to create the most visually alluring effect. Digital print fabric firms can provide guidance on what kind of fabrics are most suitable for a given objective.

The latest digital printing systems also permit a much faster turnaround than was previously possible. This means that high quality fabric prints can be created at short notice for exhibitions and events that an organisation is participating in.

Fabric printing technology has had a lot to live up to. The quality of prints on paper, cardboard and other hard materials is now extremely high. But printing manufacturers such as Canon have developed digital fabric printers that can output graphics at a comparable level, ensuring outputs are of a very high resolution.

The growing interest in digital fabric printing as a method if underpinning and promoting an organisation’s brand is only likely to increase as the required technology spreads – and as ever more high quality fabric graphics enter the public domain.

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