March 10, 2010

The CAD Has Arrived!

Here continues the story of how a fabric is made. As I mentioned in a previous blog posting, the bright yellow fabric above is my original artwork which we are in the process of making into a linen/cotton fabric. I send the original design to the screen making mill and they mimic the design the best they can on the computer in some case and by hand in others. They then send me a paper sample showing the fabric reproduction that shows how the fabric will look and how the colors will be divided. Once I approve it, they will make a screen. A screen is a large wooden or metal board that will lie on a table and create one color of the design There is a different screen for each color in the design. Each color of a design is printed individually and then left to dry so that the next screen can be placed on the table for the next color to be printed....and over and over. So the more colors a design has, the more screens a design has, the more runs a fabric goes through and of course the more time-consuming and expensive a fabric is.
In the design above I asked the screen maker to make this design a little washy and toned...Above is an extreme version showing the depth of variance I am able to achieve, if I desire. The design can be more single toned like the original or double toned like the CAD...depending on how extreme I choose the 2 colorways to be. This design has 2 colorways, so for it to be extreme I would pick a light yellow and a dark yellow. For it to be more single toned (like the original) I would pick 2 similar yellows....Once the CAD is approved the screen printers send the carved screens to the printing mill and they start on all my color ways. I will let you know when I receive those (the most fun part ;-).


  1. I worked for many years in fashion design and the most fun was seeing the textile designs come back, the strike-offs of the various colorways.
    I traveled to see textiles in Europe, in Asia and loved working with the textile mills.
    I love your original, it has a charm and vibrancy in that sunny yellow!

  2. what a process - thanks for letting us in on this! Loving that yellow burst of colour! KG

  3. Lulu, this is so fun, and so many people do not have a clue about screen printing !! very educational and I cannot wait to see the results. I have a new work of art up on my site! let me know what you think!

    Art by Karena

  4. Very pretty! I design fabrics, too, isn't it fun!?!

  5. Lulu,
    This is so great! I have been invited to teach an art class next fall to a small group of very talented highschoolers. I can teach whatever I want and was thinking about screenprinting for one idea. You have inspired me to give it a closer look. Thanks for taking the time to explain the process from the designers point of view! Fascinating. Lisa