'Smart Art' for House and Garden
Manufacturer markilux gives its fabric collection an update. 16 artistically designed patterns bearing the name: ‘smart art - the art of smart printing’ give awning fabrics new impetus. They are based on a special technique used in direct digital printing. Weatherproof latex dyes make the patterns glow vividly. And the attractive pattern is even visible from the underside of the cover. These exclusive patterns are intended to underline once again the expertise of the company as a textile specialist and emphasize that textile design constitutes an important part of an awning.
According to Annette Busch, fabric designer at markilux, it is a first to be able to print a solar protection fabric such as ‘sunsilk’ with lightfast, weatherproof and water-repellent latex dyes. The company uses the printing technique to create its current intermediate collection ‘smart art - the art of smart printing’. The16 artistic patterns show natural, geometric and abstract shapes as well as motifs used in modern acrylic painting. In this way, the company wishes to address the demand for new patterns in solar protection fabrics.
The development of the process took many years
‘Other than in the case of more customary printing techniques already found in the market, our patterns can be discerned from underneath the fabric’, Ms Busch explains. However, before the technique was technically perfected and the process suitable for outdoor use, a number of years had to be invested in its development. To start with this entails pre-treating the raw material in a specific way. The application of a thin, slightly elastic and therefore hard-wearing coat of latex dye guarantees its durability. The result is a smooth surface which allows itself to be rolled up without a problem. According to textile designer, Annette Busch, this stays clean longer than outdoor fabrics that have been printed until now. Moreover, the lightfast dyes are more vivid than those used in conventional printing techniques. And on top of that, the fabrics are as weatherproof as those produced using the yarn-dying process.
Printing protects the environment
Even small quantities from as little as 25 metres can be produced quickly and effortlessly using this technique, which is also considered to be very environmentally friendly. This is because exclusively water-based, odourless dyes are employed in this digital printing process. ‘All our fabrics are manufactured by our sister company in Emsdetten, Germany. Therefore long delivery chains can be avoided. Moreover, production facilities in Germany are subject to very high environmental standards, which we as a company fully endorse’, Annette Busch emphasizes. It was of great advantage to us to have the textile engineers and production so close to hand during the development of the raw material. All the more, because the company was able to fall back on the expertise acquired printing indoor materials.
Inspired in the broadest sense by art
The process of creating the artistic print motifs, was a particularly exciting task for the textile designer. She explains: ‘I am extremely interested in art and visit exhibitions regularly so as to find inspiration for my job.’ The great freedom found in art to experiment with colours, shapes and textures formed the basis of the draft versions. So it was that artists of the 19th and 20th centuries actually inspired the patterns. Silhouettes, relief techniques, kinetic art such as that used in oversized mobiles, die-stamped prints and pointilliste pictures formed a template.
Update for the fabric collection
This has resulted in expressive, graphic motifs. Every pattern has been created in a coloured version and in a shade of grey as this is currently very trendy. Apart from that, leaf and flower motifs reflect the link to nature and abstract stripes recall more traditional patterns. ‘These 16 patterns are intended to appeal once again to the exclusive palate of our customers. And we would also like to furnish our specialist partners with a number of visual highlights which expand and embellish our current fabric collection until the new one appears in two years time’, Ms Busch adds. This intermediate collection ‘smart art’ is both a modern update and a further technological leap. This means that the direct printing process using high-grade latex dyes now makes it possible to transfer an enormous variety of artistic patterns onto awning fabrics. This will enrich the personalised style of the markilux fabric collection considerably.
For further information, please visit: markilux.com
An der Alten Ziegelei 34
Fon: +49 (0) 251-1347740
markilux stands for 'Design Made in Germany', innovative new products and excellent quality in the exterior solar protection sector. Since 1972 folding-arm awnings, conservatory awnings and vertical blinds have been produced at its manufacturing facility in Emsdetten, northern Germany. The high-quality products are distributed by professional partners in Germany and abroad. About 1,000 selected companies assure the high qualitative standards during the assembly of the awnings.
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