AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractToday there is an ever-increasing demand for printed fabrics to exhibit an ethnic twist or provide the impression of being hand produced. Some of the reasons for this may be due to a merging of cultures, through increased travel and advances in communications but there is also a growing trend in the importance of identity, place and individualism that has created a renewed interest in craft, one-off and hand produced products. An increasing desire for the unique and traditional: In-praise of the ‘hand’; ‘flaw’; ‘accident’ has potentially resulted in a growth of digital representations of traditional designs, many originating through painterly, dyed or hand printed techniques that produce marks upon or within the cloth that act as indicators of the technique employed and as such exhibit irregularity with the occasional fault implying the influence of the ‘hand’ in its production. The digitisation of traditionally patterned materials that are seemingly too expensive to still be produced by hand has enabled such design styles to enter into the marketplace. But this re-production, copying process of traditional designs using the new technologies of the time is historic, having taken place within Europe since the C18th with the birth of textile printing manufacture, so what makes digitisation of the process any different from a traditional copy? Hopefully successful digitisation of a design helps retain some of the qualities of ‘Slow’ production allowing reproduction of one-off pieces to be successfully digitally printed, even re-coloured. But many questions still remain: ‘Can digital copy with extensive CAD re-working retain the quality of ‘hand’ and ‘accident’ and continue to deliver the magical qualities, depth of colour and uniqueness that hand dyed and printed textiles exhibit?’ or ‘Can ‘hand’ and ‘technology’ unite together in creating a new, unique form of digital copy in the future?
CitationWells, K. (2014). 'Barcode I, II, III’. Digital X Material, Digital Encounters [Exhibition]. Herbert Reed Gallery, UCA, Canterbury. 21-26 June.
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