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Designing Digitally

One Company Takes Interior Design to a Whole New Level

by Melissa Tetreault

Part 2 of a 6-part Series

Most are aware of the growing demand for soft signage. Especially when it comes to flags, banners, and tradeshow displays. But EDP Textiles, based in Minneapolis, MN is branching out to another division. A majority of its job requests lean more toward interior design. Combining interior design and digital printing creates a whole new business opportunity.

Targeting Fabric
EDP Textiles, entering its third year of business, has enjoyed constant growth in soft signage. Although its client base is primarily in the mid-west, they also have both nationwide and international customers.

Willetta Deyoung, president and founder of the company, had several years of experience under her belt before creating EDP Textiles. She previously worked with Target Corporation in its textile department doing research and development. She translated these strengths into EDP Textiles. The company offers both on-demand textile printing and design services.

The choice to create a company revolving solely around fabric seemed like an easy one to Deyoung because more and more people are choosing fabric over traditional media. One such reason, according to Deyoung, is the environmentally friendly appeal of fabric.

"Companies that contact EDP Textiles are most interested in the environmentally safe characteristics of our fabrics and print process. Our customers appreciate the combination of branding, beauty, and eco-consciousness we help them communicate," shares Deyoung.

Directly Printing to Success
With a staff of both full and part time employees as well as student interns, the company prints up to 20 small jobs per week on its Dupont Artistri 2020 digital textile printer. The Dupont Artistri 2020 is a direct to print machine, compared to a dye sublimation transfer option. Deyoung prefers direct to print over transfer because it "enables better color accuracy and finer detail in the image."

More specifically, Deyoung believes that her Dupont Artistri direct to print machine is integral to her companyís success. One big draw is the versatility factor, "The Artistri provides EDP Textiles with the versatility that we are looking for. We are able to print a broad range of textiles from super-sheer mesh to heavy-weight canvas or terry-velour towels."

In the spirit of staying green, EDP Textiles offers natural, sustainable, and recycled fabrics for its customers. Natural fabrics, such as organic cottons, have a "superior print quality" according to Deyoung even if they are natural. And they are attractive to many of her customers, who if selling their own green products, want to carry that message through with environmentally safe displays.

Unique Output
Thanks to digital printing, EDP Textilesí customers have environmentally safe products entering their homes, display booths, and shops.

But the benefits do not stop there. Digital printing opens up creative options where you, the customer, can dream up any design you want. Deyoung has several customers who have done just that. One woman sent EDP Textiles a picture of her flower box when it was in full bloom. Deyoung and her staff took that image, scanned it, and printed it onto fabric. The end result was draperies for the customerís guestroom.

Another request was from a customer who wanted to replicate an artistís painting onto dining room chair cushions. The painting, an image of a pineapple nestled in green leaves on a brown backdrop, was scanned, a disk was made of the digital art file, and that was sent to EDP Textiles. There the files were ripped and then the original image was printed on ten-ounce cotton canvas, only then to be cut and sewn into cushions at an upholstery shop. The entire process, from the painting being scanned to the last stitch took all of three days.

The beauty of interior design and digital printing is that it leaves the customer with endless options. This in turn leaves companies like EDP Textiles with endless jobs right at their fingertips.

Click here to read Part 1 of this exculsive online series, Soft Signage Ushers in a New Age of Digital Print

Aug2007, Digital Output

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