Why is Adobe Photoshop the best tool on the market for textile design and color management?

Hello,

As you may know, we have started an Advent Calendar to celebrate that we have finally reached the last month of this special 2020.

During 24 days we are going to share tips, ideas, opinions, and much more about the textile design and printing sector with the aim of ending the year knowing and starting 2021 with extra knowledge.

In today’s calendar window, we are going to discover why Adobe Photoshop is the tool of choice for professionals in the sector when it comes to designing and printing in the digital textile sector.

Adobe Photoshop: The leading tool in the design

In the last decades, Adobe Photoshop has positioned itself as one of the most important tools in the management of pixel-based images. With Photoshop, not only do we have at our disposal a wide range of tools for editing, transforming, and enhancing images, but you can also access a wide range of customized tools that provide the best results regardless of which industry you work in.

For instance, our sector: textile design and printing. With the power of Photoshop and the external add-ons, we have in our hands the perfect tool to make our work faster and more efficient.

But do not forget that the job of a textile designer is not over when the design is finished, there are different processes that are necessary and we must ensure their success. One of the most important processes is that of Color Management.

Color management in textile design and printing

Color management is one of the most popular terms in our industry. Broadly speaking, color management is the process of converting the representation of colors in different devices (for example, converting the color we see on a screen to the one we will see on fabric) to reproduce colors as accurately as possible. When we start a creative process, we imagine shapes accompanied by a color palette. This same palette is the one we reproduce when we design and the one we expect to be printed at the time of production. Furthermore, one of the particularities of the textile sector and in particular digital printing is the repetition of the productions: We launch a collection, produce a print run and if it has succeeded, we produce it again. With good color management, not only will it be possible to print what we have sold but also we will be able to repeat the production as many times as necessary without changing the result.

So why do you need to know about color management if you are a textile designer? Because it is the only way that the colors we imagine in our head, which we later capture in Photoshop, will be the same ones we will see printed in the collection.

Why choose Photoshop for color reproduction?

To the initial question of the post Why is Photoshop the best tool in the market for textile designers? The answer is: Because it is the tool that will best suit your color management needs.

And, how do we do it? Photoshop has four key processes that will help us maintain color accuracy throughout the design and printing process:

  • Allows you to work with embedded profiles: This makes it much easier to work with color management. If we work with an image with an embedded profile, we will see the colors that your output device will be able to reproduce, and we will also be capable of maintaining this information for the production department.

 

  • Allows you to assign color profiles to your designs (Edit > Assign profile): With this tool, you can change the profile you will work with. We will change the initial profile of the image for the one we select. In this process, the RGB coding is maintained but the colors will be changed since the color profiles are responsible for giving the values to the RGB. If these are different, the colors will change to fit the selected profile.

  • It has the functions to convert (Edit>Convert to profile) and test a profile (View>Test Fit): The difference between assigning and converting a profile, is that the latter, when we select a profile for change, will not maintain the RGB coding, trying to preserve the color results as much as possible within the profile. The function of testing a profile is very similar to that of converting the profile, but it simply shows it in Photoshop, without modifying the image. This way, we can simulate the output colors of the job. The function of testing a profile is very similar to that of converting the profile, but it does not modify the image, it simply displays a preview of the results in Photoshop. This way, we can simulate the output colors of the work. If we use both tools at the same time, we will have our design prepared with the profile we want to use and, in addition, we will be able to see the simulation once printed on paper or fabric

  • You will be able to send a file to be printed preserving the color management previously done: Finally, the same tool, as we have mentioned before, will allow you to send all the information of the image and the profile to the production department, so as not to lose any information of our work.

If you want to know a little more about it, you can watch this webinar where Gerard explains in detail the steps to follow for color management with Adobe Photoshop®. If you have any comments or questions, you can write to sales@inedit.com

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neocatalog textile design software

Overcoming challenges with digital textile workflow (Article hosted by WTIN)

The textile printing sector is experiencing a period of inactivity due to the global quarantines established by governments because of Covid-19. The virus was first detected in China last December and soon brought the country’s textile industry to a complete standstill. This sent shockwaves through the textile supply chain and caused a dramatic drop in revenue for companies operating in the digital textile printing market.

By early spring, the virus had become a global pandemic and forced industries to reinvent themselves to overcome the economic and social crisis caused by the pandemic. In the textile printing sector, according to the latest study published by the ITMF, orders have fallen by 41% and a decrease in business of 33% is expected.

However, according to Inédit offices in China, bigger factories have survived by diversifying their activities. In contrast, small and medium-sized organisations have been left struggling to stay afloat.

This situation means companies are now considering new challenges. We find a sector that has come to a standstill, where the production chain remains static due to a lack of active suppliers and buyers. In Europe and the US, the consumption of fashion has been severely restricted to combat the virus, but when high streets are reopened there is no guarantee of a quick recovery. Brands and retailers have limited plans for the current spring/summer season and economists are forecasting worrying sales figures. Textile manufacturers in countries that rely on exports for a strong economy are bearing the brunt of this crisis.

But these current challenges have also opened up new opportunities in the sector. Some companies have chosen to branch out and manufacture much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE). In China, where economic recovery is under way, some textile printing OEMs are looking to expand their product catalogues by introducing a range of new machines that target face mask production.

Other enterprises have begun preparing resources for the implementation of digital textile printing technologies, whereas some are looking beyond the pandemic and are preparing for a more sustainable manufacturing industry.

INFLUENCE OF INKJET

Digital printing has been an ally of textile finishers in this moment of crisis because the technology is much more versatile than analogue alternatives. Companies that have invested in digital structures will be better placed to answer the immediate needs of clients. This is especially true if, during this transition, they have been maintaining the infrastructure that enables customised and on-demand printing.

These processes lead to a reduction in production costs for digital companies that will mean greater flexibility for the manufacturer when adapting to the new situation.

A common question being asked is how to prepare a digital team for this new norm?

We summarise it in two basic points: have everything ready to go; and improve communication in the workflow.

When we advise the client to be ready to proceed, we are referring to the importance of having the infrastructure in place by the time the industry starts up again, which will help to ensure a quick response. It is important to know the status of the printers and the best way to do this is to print a colour proof. With this test, companies will be able to see if their printers are still producing the same colours, or if they match their requirements. If necessary, the printers can be re-profiled to obtain the desired results. With neoStampa RIP software it is an easy process to carry out and this test will help organisations to better understand the health of the inks, print heads and the general quality of the printers they have. Preventative measures can then be taken to minimise machine downtime in the future.

It is not only necessary to prepare the machinery; it is also important to keep the team informed and prepared for new developments. Whether you decide to diversify your activity or wait for the textile sector to start up again, the design, production and commercial teams must be ready to start working.

CONNECTED WORKFLOW

One thing that particularly concerns our customers is how to maintain communication between departments, and even between customers, with current restrictions on mobility. This is what we call having the workflow connected in digital printing: being able to maintain communication between different departments without the need to be physically there.

Inédit Software has been working for years to create these connections, which are becoming more necessary with every passing day. Companies that base their designers at the headquarters in one country and print in another benefit the most from technologies that enable this level of communication. There are different solutions that help to improve this communication flow, which are specialised in the sector.

One of the main points of this workflow connection is the communication with the client. Although production is minimal in most economies due to order cancellations and border closures, design creation has continued and work on new seasons has already begun. Sales teams, therefore, must start selling the designs, but they cannot go to see the client or showcase the products at events.

Neocatalog Textile Design Software

An interesting solution is the creation of a virtual showroom through which clients can be presented with the designs that are for sale. Virtual showrooms enable businesses to demonstrate how simple it is to modify designs at a moment’s notice. There are even tools that will allow a business to present a design in a 3D simulation. The client will have the product at their disposal and the salesperson will have the facility to show it without having to be physically there. One tool designed specifically for this purpose is neoCatalog – a collection of designs that are stored on a business’ own server. neoCatalog enables designs and galleries to be sent directly to clients.

The second area of concern in the sector is communication within the company. One of the consequences of the pandemic has been the increase in teleworking around the world. Communication between design and production departments has always been the key to a good workflow connection, especially because of the need to accurately manage colour throughout the printing process which remains one of the biggest challenges in the market today. But with strategic workflow communication, it should be possible to send designs to print from anywhere in the world with the necessary color profile to obtain high-quality results.

FORECASTING THE FUTURE

We are optimistic about the future of the textile printing industry. Even though we are going through a rough patch right now, we are conscious of the power of digitalisation. We still anticipate big changes to come.

We believe the relocation of factories will be intensified and with digitalisation we are likely to see micro-factories appearing in new countries in response to fast fashion. But in the short-term, we believe companies will continue to expand their operations in order to capitalize on high demand for medical-grade textiles.

The industry needs to come to terms with a new reality in which software and connected systems are the protagonists and remote working becomes the norm. A company that has a well-communicated workflow and has the factory ready to accept orders – as well as one that can invest in new digital equipment – is best placed to survive this new era and prosper in the long-term. It is important to modernise so that customer needs are always met.

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8 workshops for printing designers for less than 15€

One of the secrets of creativity is to be permanently in training. And taking advantage of this quarantine to improve, is one of the best ideas we can have. For this reason, today we bring you a list of 8 excellent courses for print designers for less than 15€ that will help you to improve your skills!

In this list you will find the courses you may need to learn new illustration techniques, to improve the print design process and also to keep growing as a fashion designer. All of them, have been found in Domestika, where they are working hard to offer us their best content at a lower price during the quarantine.

So here you are, the list:

We start with this free proposal that Domestika makes available to us only during the quarantine. In this course, estimated at 39.99 euros, Violeta will teach us illustration techniques inspired by nature and femininity. There are 20 lessons that become 5 hours of training, unmissable for any designer who is looking for innovation and focus their patterns on nature or women’s figure.

 

With this course, Ana Blooms will give you the basis to start creating your own brand, with its history and its line, through the design of prints. You will learn some basics about illustration and the process of printing design.

 

The next proposal we bring you, even if it is not directly related to printing, is very interesting for all those who want to introduce themselves to floral design and then turn it into textile design. Maya introduces us to the world of acrylic with floral design, on the surface you prefer. She will give us tricks of composition, color, techniques, and much more!

 

Here is a specialized course in the whole process of designing textile prints. You will learn from Inés Aguilar how to get inspired by design, how to create different reports, finishes and see how colors behave in digital printing.

 

And if we continue with Inés Aguilar, we find this course, more focused on the creation of fashion garments and inspiration. In this one, the designer will transmit to us more than two decades of experience in the sector, from the complete process of creation of fashionable clothes.

 

With this workshop, take a step further with your illustrations and patterns. Learn to draw different patterns by hand, based on characters living together in colorful spaces. Be inspired by the ideas and techniques in this course to add a different twist to your next collection.

 

Another of the courses that will help you to complement your designs. If you would like to give a floral and botanical look to your new collection, in this workshop, Paulina Maciel teaches us the processes to make botanical composition illustrations in a precise way, taking the flowers and plants as a model.

 

BONUS: 

Find the color palette that best defines you at any given time with this course by Ana Victoria Calderon. You will learn color theory, mixing knowledge and theory to develop two color palettes applied to illustrations.

 

We hope you liked our post and we will be happy to hear from you if you finally do one of these courses and your feedback!

 

Thank you,

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