Big Picture - November/December 2017 - 29
P H O T O G R A P H Y, S T Y L I N G , A N D C E R A M I C S B Y A N N C U T T I N G .
Wax collection (right) designed by Philomela Textiles and
Wallpaper and printed on Libeco P139 Oyster.
Batik collection (above) designed by Philomela Textiles and Wallpaper and printed on
Libeco P139 Oyster.
Wallpaper, says there are five qualities of a print
vendor that are "absolutely imperative": honesty,
accountability, professionalism, transparency, and reliability.
"Designers" - Philomela's clients - "are not in a position to
accommodate late orders or orders that are not done properly.
So, it is absolutely critical that I come through," she adds. And
this means it's absolutely critical that her print partner comes
through, as well.
That trusted partner is Adaptive Textiles (West Chester,
Pennsylvania, adaptivetextiles.com), founded in 2004 by
Jeanelle Dech, a drapery workroom manager. The shop's
clients are primarily small textile designers and startups who,
like Philomela, want to maintain a low-inventory model.
Besides an established collection of samples, nothing is
printed until an order is placed. Typical runs on Adaptive's
DuPont Artistri pigment ink printer range anywhere from
36 x 11-inch strike-offs to orders of 500 yards or so.
And, Adaptive Textiles often drop-ships the yardage, says
Sales Director Mandy Morgan, saving the clients a step, with
the end user none the wiser. It's a brilliant offering that saves
the client time and reduces environmental impact.
"One of the driving forces of the contemporary market
is that people don't have a lot of time," says Saland, "so
anything that can be done to make it easier for the user
seems to be a good bet."
Another key differentiator in this business is a strict
dedication to color. It's one of the reasons why Saland opted
to go digital in the first place. "I was only able to get that kind
of nuance and opportunity with a range of hue with digital
printing," she says. But it's not without its challenges. Running
short orders is great for keeping inventory low, but trying to
keep color consistent across different lots of fabric can be a
major obstacle - especially when collections are reprinted
again and again over the course of many years. Adaptive
Textiles sets a color standard for every collection, and every
order is compared against that standard.
"They rely on us to do that behind the scenes, and they
don't even need to see it," says Morgan. "They just know that
it's going to be accurate."
Reduced waste is another Adaptive Textiles tenet
that's appealing to textile designers. The shop has an
in-house workroom that fabricates end-use textile
products, so they understand exactly how the fabric will
be used when it comes off the press. At the prepress stage,
they carefully engineer print layouts to conserve as much
material as possible.
"So when we print for a pillow," says Morgan, "we're really
just printing two squares that get cut out and sewn together.
Not only does it make it so that every pillow is perfect and the
same, it also makes it so that the client is buying exactly the
amount of fabric that they need."
PHOTOGR A PH Y BY DI A N A KOENIGSBERG .
onnie Saland, founder of Philomela Textiles and