Exploring the sustainable future of digital textile printing

Delve into the realm of digital textile printing, a more sustainable alternative than conventional methods. Compared to screen printing and batch dyeing, digital printing – especially with pigment and sublimation techniques - significantly reduces water consumption, minimises the use of dyes and chemicals, and thereby addresses the issue of aquatic pollution.
students at the printing workshop holding fabrics with fresh prints
Students at the workshop, image by Epson.

Digitally printed fabric collection

The exhibition showcases students’ digitally printed fabric collections, which focus on the interaction of the print and the print ground (material). Some of the works use recycled or upcycled materials as print grounds while others aim to mimic the visual effects of more harmful or complex printing and manufacturing methods or excessive yarn material use. Digital printing enables a more sustainable production of these designs, as fewer chemicals would be released into the wastewater, and a reduced amount of water would be required in the processes.

The exhibition reveals the processes used to create the fabrics. It creates an interesting storyline with explorative designs, combining techniques in such unexpected ways that the viewer does not immediately recognize how they are made – seeing the making process has a surprise element to it.

The fabric collections are results of a design competition organised in collaboration with Epson in Spring 2023.


Maija Fagerlund

Image: Aalto University, AaltoTEXTILES network

AaltoTEXTILES network (external link)

AaltoTEXTILES is a network linking all textile-material related activities within design, technology and business at Aalto University

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Department of Design

The Department of Design is a diverse community of competent, creative and responsible individuals. In design, we appreciate technical skill, social significance and artistic expression.

Wood crystals on a black fabric.

Designs for a Cooler Planet

This fall, the festival celebrates innovative and collaborative designs addressing the impossible sustainability challenges. Experience tomorrow in Otaniemi on 6 Sept – 3 Oct 2024!

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