Publisher Textiles is a Sydney screen-printing institution. As one of the longest running print houses in Sydney, Publisher prepare commission prints for artists, fashion labels and crafters as well as their own range ‘Publisher Prints’ - a collection of original wallpapers, meterage fabric and clothing. One of the benefits of this is that they understand fabrics, strinkage, softness and colours better than anyone.
Publisher’s Leichhardt factory is an eclectic dream, full of vintage treasures and typewriters, street art, motorbike parts and even a life size cow perched above the heat setter. In the middle of all this clutter are two clean and clear 20m long tables. This is where the magic happens. Once you’ve seen hand silk screen printing in action you can’t look at it the same way again.
This seemingly simple art is highly skilled and precise to the millimeter. The space transforms from an artists cave to a surgeon’s operating table. It starts with rolling the fabric down on the table – the selvage needs to be straight, the table is slightly tacky to avoid movement, nobs are adjusted and tweaked. The ink is scientifically mixed by weight and matched with a trained eye to ensure perfect the perfect shade.
The images are exposed onto large stretched silk screens with seemingly inconsequential puzzled edges. Two skilled screen printers work in tandem laying the screen across the width of the fabric, pushing the ink through the screen by passing a large squidgee between them. They work down the table creating a pedestrian crossing of pattern, printing every second position. Large metal fans are working over time, drying what they’ve printed. They return to the beginning to fill in the missing positions and this is the special part – the pattern comes together and the registration is perfect!
For our first range of scarves we engaged Sydney artist and designer Manuela Strano to illustrate our first two screen-printed patterns. Inspired by the flora at Glenwood these two patterns – ‘Glenwood Summer’ and ‘Paper Daisy’ – came to life on our soft Merino. We love that using hand screen printing our scarves can be designed and made here in Australia.
Available in a range of screen printed and over dyed colours the screen print softens with wear. We love the delicate nature of Glenwood Summer’s intertwining grape vines and classic roses; we also love the bold, graphic nature of Paper Daisy’s repetitive patterns. Which is your favourite?
Until next time