ASBCI TECHNICAL SEMINAR sponsored by DeSL
Tuesday 9th October 2018
Breadsall Priory, Marriott Hotel & Country Club, Derbyshire
Malcolm Ball, ASBCI Honorary Life President, welcomed all delegates to the Technical Seminar, and in particular thanked DeSL for its appreciated sponsorship of the event
Julian Mussi, Vice President of Business Solutions at DeSL, delivered the keynote speech, on the subject of navigating the challenges and opportunities of digital printing, explaining that this method of printing across all sectors represents between just 2 and 4% to total, with an estimated even lower percentage of adoption in the textiles field
Traditional printing techniques, principally flat screen and rotary screen, remain the dominant methods of production in textiles, and remain highly cost effective for large scale bulk orders.
Digital printing comes into its own on smaller, but highly specific designs and orders, where the unlimited palettes, and speed of conversion from an on-screen design, directly onto the substrate, can be delivered. Customisation, and even orders of just 12 pieces, can be commercially viable
Julian explained how DeSL is well positioned, with its digital colour technology expertise, to deliver master files for digital printing where, for example, a Brand is offering customer-specific prints on a variety of bespoke apparel and footwear products, and it would not be commercially viable to create a screen for that order for an individual customer
Additionally, the DeSL systems and capabilities are able to seamlessly communicate with, and support, a number of leading PLM systems, a growing requirement, with many retailers and Brands now operating this way.
John Newton, Head of Colour Technology at Coloro, then followed. With his 30 year career in fabric mills, clothing manufacturers, and a luxury retail Brand, plus a great knowledge of product design, manufacturing and raw material sourcing, buying and quality control, he is well positioned to be in a role developing digital and swatch colour standards and systems for retailers, brands, and apparel manufacturers
He explained how all Coloro standards have a defined digital standard equivalent, and that the widely recognised QTX fixes are always supplied. Measurement is carried out against such equipment as the Datacolor SF 600 and 800 models, common across the industry. He highlighted the increasing use of digital data, rather than visual matching, by dyers, based on their trust on its accuracy
Due to the growing adoption of PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) in managing product procurement by retailers and Brands, the Coloro system will be linked to 4 PLM systems by the end of 2018
Finally, John commented that, to ensure that robust and chemically compliant recipes are created for their standards, and communicated to clients, Coloro works with at least 3 major dyestuff companies in recipe development, and uses a major Midlands-based fabric supplier to create and replenish its standards
Russell Thorpe – colour management consultant to Verivide Limited
Russell, a highly experienced technical consultant, dedicated his talk to the DigiView system, which links to the well established DigiEye Imaging Cube hardware, and its associated digital colour imaging software.
He explained that capturing both colour and texture is ‘the missing link to colour programs’. The system he described allows a wide array of both fabrics and trims to be precisely image captured, then digitised for measurement against the client’s chosen colour standard
Ultra high definition 4K calibrated monitors, such as those made by Eizo, an industry-leading producer of this equipment, show exceptionally detailed on-screen renditions of the textile or trim materials being assessed
Due to greatly increased speeds of large file data transmission now available globally, the full potential of remote colour assessment and approval has been realised – this was merely an aspiration in the early days of this system’s development
Janet Love – Colour Manager – Matalan
Janet explained how she has been able to bring over 30 years of experience in technical and production roles in the textile industry to develop and deliver a significant improvement in lab dye submissions approval rates, through building a colour library – digital as well as visual – and introducing digital tolerances, to achieve better colour coordinated ranges across multiple supplier sources, and monitoring their performance. All this has been achieved over the past 10 years, in her role of managing Matalan’s colour management programme. A notable measure of the success of this programme, due to the adoption of accurate digital colour standards and tolerances, has been the reduction in average submissions per shade from 6, to just 1.7.
Richard Lawn – Director, Colourmart
Richard, the owner of Colourmart, with a background of developing and delivering dye house systems across Asia colour managed digitally, described how Colourmart’s use of digital colour management provides online colour software solutions for Colour Solutions International, and many of the biggest US-based apparel companies. He elaborated on some of the challenges regularly presented working globally with such systems and all parts of the supply chain, which he and his team have to deal with, and find solutions for, on a daily basis
SookChan Lee, Senior Technical Colourist, Colour Technology, at Marks & Spencer, was the final speaker. She has been instrumental in setting up and implementing many of the M&S colour best practices and procedures over the past 25 years. She is the business expert for the Colour Information System, M&S’s bespoke website, used to manage and communicate colour, and created the specification for the system.
Through a series of archive screen images, Sookchan described the evolution of Colour Technology at M&S, focusing on its innovative years as long ago as the 1970s, when the then senior M&S technical executive laid its foundations in the business. The 1980s were key years in which colour equations were developed by the M&S specialist technical team working with external experts. These were then adopted and rolled out for use across the clothing and home textiles business, evolving into the latest digital systems and own standards used today, working closely with colour specialists within their London Head Office, to communicate colour with their suppliers, dye houses, and regional buying offices
Andrew Filarowski – Technical Director, Society of Dyers & Colourists, attended the event on behalf of the SDC, and took an active contributory role in the lively six speakers’ Q&A session, chaired by Ian Morris, ASBCI Technical Director, at the end of the seminar
Dr. Alistair Knox, ASBCI Chairman, finally summarised and closed the proceedings, thanking DeSL for its appreciated event sponsorship, the speakers for their excellent presentations, and the ASBCI office team for its professional management, both prior to, and at the event