As part of Macclesfield College’s recent Industry Focus Week, fashion students completed a live project with internationally renowned digital fabric print company Think Positive Prints.

The students, who are on the first year of a UAL (University of Arts London) Level 3 Extended Diploma course, were asked to produce a one-off print, designed from scratch which would later be transformed into a repeat pattern.

Think Positive Prints’ Director Penny McIntyre and her team printed each student a sample of their repeat print digitally on Nylon Lycra and the group were invited down to their Macclesfield studio to watch the prints come to life.

Angela Devoti, course leader for Fashion at the College, explained, “This has been an excellent learning experience for all the students – the group were given one week to design their print and everyone worked very hard to develop directional outcomes. Nonstop drawing workshops took place in the studio for several days to help students develop their ideas. All the artwork was created by hand, working as freely and as broadly as possible using lots of mixed media to develop a broad range of experimentation.

“Later, students explored their ideas in Photoshop to repeat their design. When designing a repeat print many elements need to be taken into consideration, from colour hues, fabric suitability, the repeat and flow of the design on cloth. Students could relate all their developed skills from the past year to develop their creative thinking further for this project. Penny and her team kindly invited us down for a tour of the studio and to watch each stage of the process of digital printing which was a very insightful experience for all our students.”

Fashion student Sabine Hussain commented, “I really loved creating the print under a live industry deadline. I also enjoyed watching my drawing transform into a repeat print. Seeing the final design on cloth was a very rewarding experience.”

Fellow student Alfred Jackson also said, “I thoroughly enjoyed the digital print process and developing my print. I thought it was really interesting to use my developed skills live in industry.”

As part of the College’s Industry Focus Week work experience Penny also ran a competition picking four of the best designs to be printed on over a metre of fabric so that students could turn their design into a garment piece. With the standard of ideas being so high Penny selected 6 winners. She commented, “We loved the design variety. We especially loved how they were hand drawn and painted, and how all were creative, individual and original in their creation. It was hard to choose the winners – they were all worthy of a prize.”

Fashion student Kaily Lau has also received a commission from Penny herself. Kaily commented, “I really enjoyed my experience of working within the industry during this exciting week. This has been so useful to get more of an insight into digitally printing for the fashion industry.”

Ms Devoti congratulated all the learners on their hard work and added, “The students are now looking forward to completing further work experience placements in the near future. The College’s fashion team would especially like to thank Penny and her team at Think Positive Prints for all their support.”