Introduction: Digital Textile Design for Inkjet Printing and Upholstering Furniture

Hello and welcome to my Instructable about creating a digital textile design pattern for inkjet printing and upholstering furniture.

Step 1: Create the design.
Using a large white backdrop, I photographed several friends wearing Arab headscarves and jockstraps while engaging in displays of affection. On Photoshop, I added a threshold adjustment layer to each image to converts the pixels colors to black or white (The threshold filter in Photoshop lets you turn an image into a black and white image where pixels are either black or white). I then converted all the files to halftone bitmaps and placed all the images into one file to create my pattern design. This specific design was made by 25 different images, organized together in a half-drop repeat pattern so the motif is offset vertically.

Step 2: Printing.
I used the large-format Canon ImagePROGRAF iPF850 (44” wide) to print my design on FabriSign cotton twill (FabriSign is a professional coating fabric used for inkjet inks). The fabric is adhered to a paperbacking that you can easily peel off after printing.

Step 3: The furniture.
For this project, I bought the two Victorian-looking chairs and ottoman at the Alameda Flea Market in the Bay Area. I spray-painted the furniture using high-gloss black enamel paint. I put 3 coats of paint, using a sand machine to sand the surface smooth between each coat. The upholstering was done by James Luker in Oakland. We worked together to create the final look of the installation, adding pillows to each chair.