Mimaki, FIT Announce 2021 Digital Textile Innovation Award Winner

Mimaki USA, a leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers, is pleased to announce the winner of its 2021 Digital Textile Innovation Awards. A collaboration between Mimaki and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) MFA Fashion Design program, the contest presented emerging young designers with the challenge of incorporating digital textile printing into their cutting-edge fashion collections. The award for the top prize was the opportunity to have the winner’s senior thesis collection printed and sponsored by Mimaki USA.

Entrants — judged by a panel of print industry experts — showed a wide range of techniques from dye-sublimation, reactive, acid, and pigment inks, used with polyester, cotton knit, nylon, as well as silk organza, chiffon, and charmeuse. “The versatility of application type allowed the fashion students to experiment and push the boundaries of digital printing to materialize their vision,” comments Victoria Nelson Harris, Mimaki USA, senior textile segment specialist.

The first-place prize was awarded to Shine He Sang, an FIT MFA Fashion Design student. He Sang’s concept was based on an “Ideal Tomorrowland,” utilizing her background in architecture and fashion to reflect a society free of bias. He Sang’s winning piece was printed with acid inks on the Tx300P-1800B belt model printer. The inks were fixed to silk organza with the Tr300-1850S, compact continuous steamer unit. Ac400 acid inks were selected for their vibrancy of color, capable of achieving the designer’s goal to excite and attract attention visually.

“Digital print technique also allows me to apply what I’ve created on a painting that carries an expressive impressionist style, to multiple fabrics ranging from sheer, lightweight organza to heavyweight canvas to best serve my voice, while still staying cohesive and keeping in the language of fashion design,” He Sang comments. 

Mimaki USA was honored to partner with FIT for this contest, exposing students to the seamless synergy of fashion design and inkjet printers and inspiring the next generation of emerging fashion designers. “We are grateful for Mimaki’s generosity and commitment to education,” says Professor Cathleen Sheehan, Acting Chairperson of FIT’s MFA Fashion Design program. “This collaboration created innovative learning opportunities for Instructor Kathlin Argiro and our students to work with Mimaki’s leadership textile printing and finishing technologies.”