Making a scarf from a painted canvas involves many steps of expert processing before the transition can finally be called ‘wearable art’, but what a wonderful thing to be able to do.
An artist will take meticulous care hand painting a canvas. That one-off unique painting can really only hang on one lucky owner’s wall and yet so many more people can appreciate it when it becomes a scarf. Here we follow one of our long time loyal customers – Clare Haggas – who does just that, by tracking each process to explain exactly what’s involved from both the artist and digital printer when creating a scarf.
Country living is a subject very close to Clare’s heart as it’s where she lives and works. Inspired by British wildlife, Clare uses pencils and paint brushes to capture movement and character into her subjects. Her canvases are internationally sought-after and can be found hung in many country houses and hotels. As a successful artist the next logical thing to do was to make her artwork available as luxurious silk scarves that could be proudly worn by her growing fan base. Her range is very popular and includes several limited edition pieces that have become collectable must-haves.
Once the canvas has been created, the image will then need to be captured as a digital file. By engaging the skills of a graphic designer, the subject can be manipulated into a scarf layout. It may be necessary to replicate or add additional content to create a pleasing composition. Experiment with different colour ways, scarf sizes, variation in subjects and borders. Clare invests a great deal of time in exploring options and choosing combinations that are just right to reflect her original artwork.
An artist can soon create a collection from the initial painted canvas. To prepare your scarf for print please ensure that each digital file is saved with the correct printing specifications and complies to the technical constraints relevant to the hemming of a scarf. We know that Clare likes to have her scarves hand finished using our machine roll hemming option and so these are the rules she follows.
Now that the designs have been completed and saved in digital format, they are ready to send to us for printing and making up. Each order is uploaded through our website www.silkbureau.co.uk/upload-form/ and tells us exactly which fabric to print on, how many scarves to print, what size they are and confirms the hemming type.
Our experienced CAD team checks the file and saves it into our bespoke software necessary for sending to our large-scale printers.
We have a variety of fabrics suitable for scarves that have been specially coated for digital textile printing. These fabrics are lightweight and offer a better ink penetration. Digital printing lays down several layers of ink on the surface of the fabric. The reverse side will always be paler and so there is an obvious difference in the front and back of the final scarf. Clare’s preferred choice is 100% Silk Twill. With a 14mm weight the silk has a distinctive diagonal weave giving it strength. An ideal choice for her outdoor themed subject.
As the ultimate purpose of Clare’s digital files are for making scarves, our highly trained Printing team know exactly which of our acid dye silk printers to use and how much saturation to apply.
Once printed, the industrial dyes used during printing have to be permanently fixed by steaming the fabric. This allows the colours to pop into vibrant intense hues picking out all the original details of Clare’s beautifully painted canvasses.
To remove any excess coating and ink the printed fabric is washed and dried ready for hemming.
The hand finished rolled hem sews onto the reverse of the fabric rolling the hem allowance back on itself with a curved needle.
All the corners are carefully hand sewn and then the labels are added. Clare always makes sure we have plenty of her own named scarf labels which she sends to us at the time of ordering. We are happy to sew these into the printed scarves along with our own Silk Bureau care labels at no extra charge.
The scarves are now carefully pressed and packed ready to send back to Clare.
Getting the scarves ready for her customers, Clare has also sourced her own bespoke packaging. Beautiful, branded presentation boxes and wrapping are used for each scarf. They make a wonderful gift for someone very special!
The processes involved in digital textile printing causes the original fabric to shrink. If you are printing scarves, the size of the finished product will be important to you. For example, if you have square artwork, you will be expecting your finished scarf to be square!
To get the printed fabric closer to the size you need, all fabric intended for scarves must go through an extra step to reshape it. Please allow extra time on your deadlines to allow for this process.
Let us introduce you to the …
The stenter is an enormous piece of machinery that has many uses, including coating our fabrics and reshaping scarf orders.
After travelling through a solution to soften the fabric, it then passes over a flat bed, gripped on the selvedge edges to pull it back into shape.
It’s a long and precise process that needs to be carefully monitored.
If you have selected to use our hemming service, we will check the stentered fabric for you before we begin to finish your scarves. If you are not using our service, it’s up to you to check the size BEFORE you cut out the individual scarves from the fabric length. We cannot re-size after your scarves have been cut out.