Hand printing has been at the heart of the business for since we began in 2007.
All of our BESPOKE fabric collection and wallpapers are printed by hand in our studio in Sheffield using screen printing techniques. Our 8.5 metre table dominates our studio space and never fails to wow visitors due to it’s size and beautiful simplicity. Very few companies in the UK still hand print fabrics in this way.
All of our base cloths are natural linens, hemp and organic cotton and sourced in the UK or Europe.
For our BESPOKE collection we use only premium water based inks which are solvent free and contain no lead or other heavy metals, CFCs, HCFCs or aromatic hydrocarbons. Our inks are also certified by the Soil Association UK.
Hand Printing Process
We often get asked what is involved in creating our fabrics so we wanted to share a little more about the process with you so you can see the work that goes into printing your length of fabric.
All printing starts with the set up which is the lengthiest part of the process. The fabric has to be unrolled, aligned and stuck to the printing table to make the surface as flat as possible. The screen is then chosen and placed on the table at which point a placement bolt is set on the rail (which runs the length of the table) to mark the start position. The screen is then removed and a gauge stick with measurements is set to mark the screen repeat. We then use that gauge stick to align all the bolts down the length of the table until we have measured out enough bolts for the length of fabric to be pretend. This completes the set up process and leaves the table perfectly aligned and ready for the screen.
All of our ink colours are mixed to our own colour formulas and prepared in advance of the set up process. When we are ready for printing we give the pre mixed ink a good mix to make sure it’s got a good consistency. We place the screen at the first marker and ink up the screen, the printing process can then start.
Printing sessions one and two
During the printing process the squeegee is passed back and forth between printers at an even rate and pressure to get equal coverage, this is done a number of times until we’re sure of a good print. The squeegee has to be moving at just the right angle, speed and pressure. When printing full tables of 8 metres we print all even numbered bolts first so that no print is next door to another. Once these are printed, we scrape off all the ink back into the pot (so no ink is wasted) and wash out the screen with the pressure washer and leave both the screen and the fabric to dry. When the fabric is dry we then repeat the whole printing process but this time with the odd numbered bolts. At the end of the second print the screen is then scraped to remove all traces of ink and washed again.
New Digital Fabric Collection
We have just added an additional fabric collection to the studio, digitally printed fabrics, this is so we can continue to supply fabrics to all our customers whilst Sarah is on maternity leave. Utilising the best in digital print technology, this collection creates a high quality fabric printed here in the UK. Our original hand printed fabric collection has been renamed BESPOKE, and is printed from our studio in Sheffield.