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Title: Digital laser-dyeing : coloration and patterning techniques for polyester textiles
Author: Akiwowo, Kerri
ISNI:       0000 0004 5369 7649
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2015
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This research explored a Digital Laser Dye (DLD) patterning process as an alternative coloration method within a textile design practice context. An interdisciplinary framework employed to carry out the study involved Optical Engineering, Dyeing Chemistry, Textile Design and Industry Interaction through collaboration with the Society of Dyers and Colourists. In doing so, combined creative, scientific and technical methods facilitated design innovation. Standardized polyester (PET) knitted jersey and plain, woven fabrics were modified with CO2 laser technology in order to engineer dye onto the fabric with high-resolution graphics. The work considered the aesthetic possibilities, production opportunities and environmental potential of the process compared to traditional and existing surface design techniques. Laser-dyed patterns were generated by a digital dyeing technique involving CAD, laser technology and dye practices to enable textile coloration and patterning. An understanding of energy density was used to define the tone of a dye in terms of colour depth in relation to the textile. In doing so, a system for calibrating levels of colour against laser energy in order to build a tonal image was found. Central to the investigation was the consideration of the laser beam spot as a dots-per-inch tool, drawing on the principles used in digital printing processes. It was therefore possible to utilise the beam as an image making instrument for modifying textile fibres with controlled laser energy. Qualitative approaches employed enabled data gathering to incorporate verbal and written dialogue based on first-hand interactions. Documented notes encompassed individual thought and expression which facilitated the ability to reflect when engaged in practical activity. As such, tacit knowledge and designerly intuition, which is implicit by nature, informed extended design experiments and the thematic documentation of samples towards a textile design collection. Quantitative measurement and analysis of the outcomes alongside creative exploration aided both a tacit understanding of, and ability to control processing parameters. This enabled repeatability of results parallel to design development and has established the potential to commercially apply the technique. Sportswear and intimate apparel prototypes produced in the study suggest suitable markets for processing polyester garments in this way.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Textile design ; CO2 Laser technology ; Polyester fabrics ; Surface modification ; Laser-dye patterning ; Textile coloration ; Digital dyeing ; On-demand processing