Friday, 5 July 2013

Getting custom-printed tights

Recently I put together a folio for entry to a fashion design course. One of my pieces drew on some fabric patterns I had designed to be printed onto tights. The theme of the designs was 1980s Berlin punk, so I titled the collection "Ein Berliner" after the famous speech that US President Kennedy had given to the West Berliners, where, by saying in solidarity with the audience "ich bin ein berliner", he had actually said "I am a doughnut" and not his intended "I am a Berliner". Fact or fiction, it is a great story! I took inspiration for the colours and motifs from spray paint graffiti colours and paste-ups, as well as images of punk and post-punk fashion.

I had simulated my designs onto photographs of tights, which looked pretty good, but I really wanted to see how they looked on an actual pair of tights. The particular design I selected was a spray painted stencil of lips, scanned and digitally coloured.

I found a site in Germany called Funnylegs that custom-prints your own tights. It is pretty simple to use, although a lot of the information is in German, and fortunately they send their products all over the world. Another site that also looked good was Digital Art Wear, which has a wide range of custom digitally-printed clothing, but unfortunately they only appear to ship products within the USA.

I had the tights printed at Funnylegs and I think they came up pretty well! My other designs included a digitally manipulated sketch of a doughnut, overlaid and coloured to look like an animal print, and a paste-up letter F that was duplicated and overlaid with checks to create a punk-like tartan.

If you're interested in getting your own design printed on tights, I'd encourage you to have a go! It is a lot of fun, and it is very satisfying to see your print on a final product. Of course, if you would like one of my designs custom-printed on tights for you, please contact me.

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