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Mar 9, 2012
Agua de Coco: Patternmaking and Textile Printing

Since its inception, Agua de Coco's unique and exclusive designs have been a core differentiator for the label. With an expert team dedicated to the activity, Agua de Coco's Creative Department researches themes and create patterns that become the object of desire for women all over the world. Here is a closer look into the brand's pattern development process and the textile printing techniques employed by the company:

Agua de Coco Patternmaking Creation Process

As seen above, Agua de Coco undertakes a series of steps to bring about amazing swimwear prints to the market. The process takes months (1-2 months to define the pattern alone) and a series of tests are performed before the final pattern goes into print. And that's no small feat: over 20 new prints were developed for Agua de Coco's 2012 Summer Collection, the latest line to hit the shelves.

ART & TECHNIQUE

Agua de Coco partnered with a textile printing company based in Sao Paulo since its first year in business. Salete Estamparia e Tinturaria employs the latest techniques to textile printing to produce the fabric used in Agua de Coco swimsuits. Here are the stages the fabric undergoes during the printing process:

1. Pre-wash treatment: a white fabric (typically LYCRA for swimwear) is washed to remove loose particles and improve the dye's adherence to the textile.
2. Print: The fabric then goes to print, which can be done via conventional or digital methods - the pattern features and other factors determine the printing method used. Conventional printing includes screen-print or cylinder roller machines and both work much like a stamping process. Digital printing works similarly to a giant printer, with rolls of white fabric passing through the machine and coming out with the design printed in a few minutes (about 22 to 40 meters of fabric can be printed in one hour with this technique).
3. Wash: once again, the fabric is washed for the removal of residual particles.
4. Dry: The fabric goes into a giant drying-chamber until is completely dried out.
5. Softening: After drying, the fabric is moved into another machine for a softening treatment, which returns the fabric to its original dimensions.
6. Color stabilization: The final step activates and stabilizes the color on the fabric.

Textile Printing Process

CONVENTIONAL vs. DIGITAL TEXTILE PRINTING

Digital printing is taking the fashion world by storm. Not surprisingly, when you consider the benefits associated with this relatively new technique. Besides the noticeable higher definition of the patterns, the manufacturing time in digital print averages one week, against the typical 40 days of the conventional methods. The amount of colors per pattern are limited to 10 in conventional methods, while in digital print, the sky is the limit (at Salete Estamparia, 30 thousand colors have already been catalogued - and counting!) Conventional methods also require a minimum quantity to print (300 meters per pattern), something that is not required by the digital printing technique.

The content of this post is a reproduction of an article originally published on Agua de Coco's Verao 2012 - No 05 magazine, by Flavia Galembeck and is reproduced here with Agua de Coco's permission. Image Credits: Divine Designs Panel: Luminosidade (Cintia Dicker photo), Agua de Coco (swatches, background) / Prints Charming Panel: Salete Estamparia (main image), Agua de Coco / Nicole Fialdini ( images - 1, 2 & 3).
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