Textile printing by Europrint in Slovenia
phannatiq is known for unique and striking fabric prints. The designs are applied to our organic fabrics by Uros, who runs the family business Europrint in Slovenia. Established 25 years ago, it has a reputation for quality and ecological awareness.
Our fabrics are screen printed rather than digitally printed. We love fabric that has been screen printed because you get texture and personality and small inconsistencies rather than pristine robotic accuracy.
Uros makes the screens by printing massive jpeg files we send him from the design studio onto acetate and using them as a negative to expose onto a light-sensitive layer on the screen. It’s a lot like printing a photograph from a negative made by a film camera.
The fabric arrives at Europrint on rolls, which are loaded onto a stand like a big loo roll holder. It's then stretched over the length of a massive conveyor belt, with screen frames fixed on top where the pigment is poured and pushed through the screen onto the fabric with a mechanical squeegee.
Every time a repeat is printed, the frames lift off and the belt moves one frame along. This is repeated for the length of the roll of fabric. The printed fabric is simultaneously fed into a curing oven and comes out printed and fixed, ready to go back on the roll and be sent on to one of our manufacturers or to our design studio.
Europrint is situated in the town of Ajdovščina in Slovenia
The screens are stretched with device and then glued to the frame before bing cut out.
The screens which measure 150cm x 72cm are stored like books on massive shelves with the company name on their "spine" for reference. Can you spot a phannatiq?
To make the print the screens are coated with a photo sensitive liquid which once dries functions in much the same way as a negative in a film camera. The images we send them are printed on acetate and used to expose the screen. This is achieved by placing the acetate on what is essentially a massive light box with a strong UV light in it. The coated screen is placed on top of the acetate. When the UV light is turned on it hardens or cures the coating on the screen but anything black on the acetate blocks out the UV light. This means any part of the screen on top of the black bits remains water soluble.
The exposed screen is then jet washed in this washout bay, removing any un-hardened coating creating a perfect negative of our textile design
Here is our very own cat stripes screen! As you can see the stripes are see-through. This means that pigment can be pushed through the screen onto the fabric in our desired design
The pigments get added to the binder. It's a very technical process as even the slightest amount off means a different shade
It gets mixed into the binder here
The screens get calibrated to within 1cm accuracy often less so the conveyor belt moves exactly one screen's width with every repeat
The cured fabric comes out of the oven at the other end
The used screens get washed so that they can be used again
The pigment is filtered out of the water
And dried and stored to be disposed of seperately
There is a break area as well as a kitchen and shower
The printed fabric. This is our fly tipping print inspired by fly tipping from around Walthamstow where we are based
Our signature London print
Cat Stripes print
Anna Skodbo visited in 2017 and Petra has been visiting for the last decade. These images were taken by Anna on her visit