As part of the 8th semester curriculum we are able to take a screen printing class in Lago di Como, about an hour north of Milan. The Lake Como region is known for its silk production as well as for its printing factories. Factories in Como produce the finest most high-end silk that is used in all of the major design houses worldwide. Aside from its world-renowned factories it is also one of the most beautiful and scenic cities in northern Italy.
Every Monday I hop on the train to Como and arrive at the Politecnico di Como where they have amazing fabric printing facilities. In this class we are working on developing our own prints for our senior collections. I have come to learn that adding personal prints to a collection is a much more complicated process than I ever imagined. We have had the amazing opportunity to travel to multiple design houses and printing factories in Como in order to see the entire process from start to finish!
The first step is designing the print tile on the computer. Next you must separate the colors into individual channels. Once this is done you have to decide weather you want your print executed by screen printing or digital printing. If you decide to use screen printing you must take your file to an engraver who will use ultraviolet light to engrave you design into multiple silk screens. Once the screens are engraved they must be rised and then they are ready for ink!
Technicians prepare a test print on paper. The place ink at the top of the screen and pull it down. Where the screen was engraved the ink will pass through creating the design.
For my print, I opted to use digital printing because I want a more photographic effect, however I loved being able to see the entire process of screen printing from start to finish. It is an incredibly complex process. Below is the first test print of my individual design! More to come…