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Indian Cotton
13 July 2023

The team at Nicoco have a long history with India so it was only natural that we chose India as our supplier for our fabrics.  My first travels in India blew my mind and set the stage for my love of colour and art.  The colour, diversity and variety of Indian textiles is magical.  Travelling from Calcutta across to Gujarat, down the east coast to the southern tip, then across to Rameswaram to catch the boat to Sri Lanka (this was back in the day ha ha) I was just amazed that every region had their own speciality of colours and textiles that were different from each other.  

These days Indian cotton fabric holds a significant place in the global textile industry. Cotton has been cultivated in India for thousands of years, and the country has a rich tradition of producing high-quality cotton textiles dating back to ancient times.  The Indus Valley Civilization, one of the world's oldest urban civilizations, had a thriving cotton industry around 2500 BCE.  India produces a wide variety of cotton fabrics, each with its unique characteristics and regional variations.  

India has a heritage of handloom weaving with many regions in India known for their handloom cotton fabrics, which are meticulously woven by skilled artisans on traditional handlooms. Handloom fabrics are valued for their craftsmanship, intricate designs, and durability.

Then there are their traditional textile techniques such as block printing, tie-dying, resist dyeing and embroidery which are used to enhance the beauty of Indian cotton fabrics, adding vibrant colours, patterns, and textures.

Today India is one of the largest producers and exporters of cotton, and its fabrics are sought after worldwide with a growing emphasis on sustainability, India has also been promoting organic cotton farming.

Indian cotton fabric is deeply intertwined with the cultural heritage of the country. Traditional garments like sarees, salwar kameez, and kurta-pajama are often made from cotton fabrics. These textiles showcase the diversity and rich traditions of different regions in India.

Indian cotton fabric represents a blend of history, craftsmanship, and cultural heritage and continues to evolve with modern trends while retaining its unique identity in the global textile industry.

Digital Printing

28 July 2023

 

Nicoco uses digital printing to apply the artwork onto fabrics using digital printing technology. This process allows for high-quality, detailed prints with vibrant colours and intricate designs.

 

Here's a general overview of how digital printing onto natural fabrics works:

  • Our team selects the artwork which is licensed from the artist.  

  • The artwork is then converted into a digital file format compatible with the printing machine and usually transformed into a running pattern by a graphic artist.  Common file formats include JPEG, PNG, or TIFF.

  • Before printing, the fabric may need to be pre-treated with a special coating or primer to enhance the print quality and ensure proper ink absorption. The specific pre-treatment process varies depending on the printing system and inks used.

  • The pre-treated fabric is fed into a digital textile printer. This printer uses inkjet technology to print the design onto the fabric. The printer sprays tiny droplets of ink onto the fabric, creating the desired pattern or image. The inks used for cotton fabric are typically water-based or pigment inks, which are designed to bond well with natural fibres.

  • After printing, the fabric needs to be dried and cured to set the ink. This can be done using various methods, such as heat pressing or steam curing, depending on the ink and printer specifications. Curing ensures that the print becomes permanent and durable.

  • Once the fabric is completely dry and cured, any excess ink or residue is removed, and the fabric is washed or ironed to enhance the feel and appearance of the print.

Digital printing onto natural fibres offers several advantages:

  • Precise and detailed prints with vibrant colours and complex designs.

  • The process is relatively fast, making it suitable for both small-scale and large-scale production.

  • Digital printing enables customisation, allowing you to print unique designs or even personalised items.

  • And very importantly, unlike most printing techniques,  digital printing does not require setup or plate-making, resulting in less waste of ink, water, and fabric.

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