First Time Heimtextil Exhibitor guide - part 1.Printing your designs large format for the Fair.

You are probably a textile designer, who has a few years of experience with textiles and designs in the interior market. You have seen your designs on products before, and have an idea about the difference between designing for fashion and for interior.

You have probably already visited a show or few of them.  And now you want to exhibit. Where to begin? How to prepare?

This guide is a summary of my personal experience as a first time Heimtextil Exhibitor.

I have shared my booth with a friend, who was participating for her second time. Doing things together is so much better than alone, especially for the first time!

Here is my own list of maximizing your printing. You may do things differently, but I hope it will at least give you a reference about where to begin.

Our stand on Heimtextil.  Left side is Natasha Levental's beautiful designs, right - me, Elena Belokrinitski

Printing the designs:

From my personal experience, files of 200 dpi and up, look good printed for textile. If you don’t have a professional printer at home, I’d suggest to research the market for the right printshop for you. Try same test image and print it on different printers and papers.

           Things to check:

  • The whitest paper color (some are yellowish)

  • The blackest black

  • Intense colors when you want them bright.

  • How easily the color brushes off (some blacks almost cannot be touched - the will be brushed away and left with finger prints immediately. You are not framing your designs, but will touch and move and roll them - choose not too gentle print quality).

  • weight of paper 140 gr/m and up will do, depending on the quality of the paper.

Printing on roll paper is always cheaper than on single sheets.

I’d say that most of the designs, presented at Heimtextil are 23” x 31” and up. There are many different paper rolls which may suit you for this size, consult your printshop.

  • I’d suggest printing few of your best designs immediately, carefully inspecting the results results at home, and only then proceeding for the whole batch.

  • Printing is slow. For a large number of designs it may take a few days, maybe even a week. Plus, if you chose a special paper, the print shop might need to order it for you. Give at least 2 weeks for that.

  • Also, print a color palette. Pick colors with an eyedropper in Photoshop, and create your own color test palette. It’s essential for:

  1. Having spacious designs with lot’s of same color backgrounds - make sure your plain color is what you intended it to be.

  2. Having to deal with shades of off-white/ eggshell / milk / beige / grayish / champagne /  ivory - check before your print! Subtle tonalities may be translated poorly into paper unless you calibrate.

  3. Also colors like mustard/  taupe/ brown/ grey / camo/ khaki may be confusing.

Just an example of a design, which palette should definitely be tested prior printing - if the gentle colors come out dirty or messy, it's a pity. 

You may decrease the size of your prints to lower costs and to ease transportation. However, keep in mind that a full repeat must be shown in your format, and if not, at least add a mock up with a full repeat.

large format printing: seeing your repeat as appose to printing smaller format, and attaching a mock-up of the repeat - it can be very beneficial.

That's it for now for printing your collection. I did not touch the issue of creating your collection, because I assume that if you are interested in exhibiting, you have it good and ready. But if there will be a need for such post, I will write some of my own thoughts about it. 

The next post will be about the equipment that you need at home, stay tuned.