5 steps to perfect ‘Placement Print’ Designs

Author Madalena Antao, The Digital Weaver - https://www.thedigitalweaver.com/

Let’s start with a basic explanation of ‘placement printing’… essentially it’s when every garment, in every size, has the exact same print, in the exact same place. This process looks stunning when done correctly and can add value to your brand story, since it is seen as a ‘high-end’ effect.

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Step 1:

You’ll need an clear vision of what it is you want to create. Start by sketching the style or shape of the your garment. You can use a good old fashioned pen and paper to do this …or you can use a program like Adobe illustrator to sketch up a technical CAD (computer aided drawing) if you are a bit of a whiz. Next start to pencil in the textile design into your style, this will take a few goes to get perfect so make sure you can edit your mock-up design easily. I should mention that if you love the idea of designing but need help putting the idea on paper, then it’s really helpful to use an experienced designer or textile designer to help you sketch out your vision in a clear, easy to understand diagram this will really help when you get to the sampling / production stage. What if you just can’t think of any ideas you love? That’s when you make an appointment to see a textile print collection like The Digital Weaver Studio, we have loads of gorgeous exclusive designs that will work for placement printed styles.

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Step 2:

You’ll need to work with an experienced patternmaker to create a digitised version of the actual style you have in mind. This digitised pattern will be graded (all sizes) and labelled clearly including all notches. Put simply the patternmaker will work with you to choose the best fabric for your garment. Then the patternmaker will create a pattern and cut a first sample of your style, so they can work on the fittings with you, this sample fitting process will be repeated until the fit is perfect. Depending on the complexity of the style and the fabric you may need 2-3 samples to create the perfect fitting garment for your brand. Finally the patternmaker will create a graded nest of sizes on a CAD program for each pattern piece.

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Step 3:

Once the digitised pattern pieces have been finalised and approved, they are sent to the textile designer, who will engineer the textile design within the pattern pieces, ensuring that all sizes fit nicely within the design. If the style has panels the textile design will need to match across the seams, this can be extremely tricky to match across sizes. If you’d like to keep the production process as cost effective as possible ideally the style you choose to have a placement print on it, should not have too many panels. At this stage it is a good idea to decide whether you want to go with laser cutting or to go with manually cut blocks. This decision will depend on many factors, best to discuss this with your patternmaker or textile designer.

(HANDY HINT FOR LASER CUTTING: EVERY PATTERN PIECE SHOULD BE LABELLED WITH THE STYLE NUMBER AND SIZE, ALL OUTLINES SHOULD BE THICKENED TO 2MM BLACK LINE).

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Step 4:

Once your placement design is approved and you have decided on your cutting method, your textile designer will send the correct final files to the digital printers for a small colour test panel. Assuming all colours are approved the full placement block panel or pattern pieces will be printed for sampling. This will then be cut and made up for final fit and approval.

(HANDY HINT: CHECK FOR FABRIC SHRINKAGE IF LASER CUTTING AND ALLOW THAT PERCENTAGE INTO YOUR NEXT PRINT RUN)

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Step 5:

Lastly it’s time for the Production run! Work out how many meters of fabric you will need. Just use your yield per placement panel (per garment) and multiply that by how many garments you want. Place your white base fabric order and have it sent directly to your printer. Book in your production with your printer, cutter & maker. Notify your printer when the fabric is due allow at 1-2wks for printing, allow 1-2wks for cutting, allow 2-4wks make/sewing depending on maker availability.

(HANDY HINT ALWAYS ALLOW EXTRA TIME IF YOU HAVE IT, JUST IN CASE ANY ISSUES POP) ALWAYS COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR SUPPLIERS THEY WILL APPRECIATE YOUR WILLINGNESS TO LEARN AND COLLABORATE.

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Author Madalena Antao, The Digital Weaver - https://www.thedigitalweaver.com/