Becky Gooby 

The Development of Methodologies for Designers Engaging with Digital Colour Inkjet Printing in Textile Design

Digital textile printing (DTP) offers exciting, creative potential and entrepreneurial business models in textile design. Designers are no longer restricted to a number of colours or pattern repeat. It has become possible to print fabric without large set-up costs. This relatively sustainable technology reduces water-usage and dye-wastage.  DTP meets Just in Time, Concept to Consumer demand, reducing stock wastage.

However, there is a marked difference between screen-colour to print-colour and software allows a user to select colours unprintable using CMYK colorants. Colour results are further affected by factors such as structure and composition of the fabric, dye type, printer communications, fabric pre-treatments and secondary processes. A textile designer will be required to understand, and experiment with, numerous variables in order to feel colour confident.

Becky’s research project will consider how designers can ensure colour assurance when digitally printing on a range of fabrics through an exploration of existing colour tools and methods. The aim is to produce an accessible colour toolkit for designers, artists, makers, and SMEs, that may not have access to highly technical equipment and software, providing specific knowledge as to how designers can achieve and maintain colour assurance and accuracy.


  • To create a tool kit, accessible to artists, textile practitioners and similar, without access to commercial resources and chemical colour knowledge/ science, which provides guidance to assuring a colour match when printing from digital printers on to fabric.
  • To investigate creating an historical digital colour palette that re-creates colours from the interwar period, in digital print on fabric.Objectives
  • Review the existing literature on colour expectation in textile design for digital print, as well as the colour palette in the British interwar domestic interior.
  • Bring together a network of experts to facilitate colour conversation case studies.
  • Establish a coherent body of colour work using digital textile printing.
  • Identify historical colours from archival and primary sources.
    Create a historical archive of colour use in the British domestic interior (1918-1939).Anticipated outcomes and impact
  • Openly accessible, online, tool kit comprising guidance and documentation of methodologies for assuring colour in digital textile printing to be used as a pedagogic tool developing into a user generated, source of knowledge for designers (and similar) – empowering them in the manufacturing process.
  • An exhibition of colour work comprising of printed textiles and associated material.Written resources.
  • Series of Case Studies – ‘Colour Conversations’.
  • Shared knowledge with recognised industry bodies such as Society of Dyers and Colourists (Bradford), Textile Institute, etc.
  • Historical colour archive including visual colour palettes.

Becky undertook an undergraduate degree in Fine Art at Bath School of Art & Design, where she specialised in soft sculptural installation, followed by a Masters in Textile Design (print) graduating in 2009 from the Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture & Design.

She is part of the 3D3 Centre for Doctoral Training, funded by the Arts and Humanities Council.



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