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‘On-shoring’ of fabric print at The Textile Hub

Friday, 23 March 2018
By Patrick Howard

‘Dancing with technology.’ Tom Tjanaria, chairman (centre) with Romeo Sanuri and Andrew Oskar of Next Printing at the opening on The Textile Hub.

Next Printing’s new venture aims to revitalise the Sydney fashion industry by enabling short runs of printed fabrics as an alternative to offshore production in China.

The Sydney-based enterprise has bought a complete of fabric printing production line from a local swimwear manufacturer. It launched the new service this week with the promise to deliver affordable and high-quality printed fabric in run lengths and time frames to enable local designers to bring their production back onshore.

According to Julian Lowe, creator of The Textile Hub, the idea had its genesis during a visit six years ago to a village in Italy that was inkjet printing baby clothes. “I thought if they can do that here, why can’t we do something similar in Australia,” he said.

Matt Ashman, of Durst agent, PES, (left) with Julian Lowe.

The Textile Hub is committed to solving a persistent problem faced by local fashion and clothing manufacturers – and indeed by Australian entrepreneurs generally. To create new materials requires a substantial order to factories in China. Designers are then at the mercy of the overseas producers and have to plan a long time in advance. It’s expensive and there is no way of trialling new material.

With The Textile Hub they can order a small amount for a fashion show to see how it’s received before committing to a big investment. The new factory at Sydney’s Alexandria is adjacent to Marrickville that Lowe maintains is the remaining centre of local designers and fashion producers. His intention is to create a network of professionals that can help revive the industry’s fortunes. “We want to educate people to print again in Australia,” he said.

The textile factory is centred on an EFI Regianni Renoir Compact inkjet printer. It also operates Roland and Mimaki wide format injets. Australian-made Rimslow coating and washing units prepare the fabric, which after printing is steamed at high pressure before being washed and dried. The industrial process ensures customers have high-quality fabric at optimal run lengths. An onsite fabric cutting service is also available.

The new venture is one of two new initiatives from sign and display producer, Next Printing. At this week’s event it also launched a photo book printing company, Oliphan, aiming at the competitive album printing market.

According to Next Printing chairman ,Tom Tjanaria, the company’s venture into new areas is part of an ongoing vision to “dance with new technology.” The company is currently investing in top of the range Durst industrial inkjets for its conventional signage and display operation. He invited the assembly to join them “in the technology dance.”





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