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May 14, 2019

Have you discovered our monkey print yet? We grab Laura, our print designer, for a quick chat about how this season’s must-have print came together…

FatFace print designer Laura, wearing a denim dress while sketching her new monkey print
A blonde-haired model wearing a FatFace dress with our statement monkey print

Craft has a big influence on our collection this season. And as our expert in all things print, talk us through your influences for summer 2019.
In summer we are taking influence from a blend of cultural references – texture and mark making is important as well as references to hand crafted techniques such as block printing, batik, and Kantha stitch embroidery.

We’re particularly fond of your monkey print. Can you tell us how this idea came about?
We have great history with conversational prints and have previously done well with giraffes and leopards – safari animals are really key for this season so we put a fun spin on it with our monkey prints – updated using watercolour techniques and abstract tribal shapes.

How did you create the print?
The monkey print is hand painted in watercolour - I paint lots of elements that I think I might need to create an interesting repeat.

What are the processes between your initial painting and getting the design ready for print?
The watercolour design is scanned into the computer so I can adjust the colours and separate them. I also put the print into a repeat pattern in order for it to be printed on a continuous roll of fabric.

The first design sketches of the new FatFace monkey print
A close-up model shot of FatFace’s new colourful monkey print

What method is used to print your design onto fabric?
We mainly use screen printing to produce our designs on fabric – for bulk production we use rotary screens that are in a barrel shape, these print each colour in turn in a continuous roller motion.

How does fabric affect the printing technique?
Different fabrics take up the dye differently, for instance, our rayon based fabrics can appear much brighter when dyed as opposed to cotton! Different fabrics also require different printing methods. Our darker based prints are usually printed using a discharge technique which uses a bleaching process, and our jersey fabrics are printed with different dyes to our woven fabrics.

Where’s your favourite place to go to find inspiration for your prints?
I love to go to Kew Gardens to get some first-hand inspiration in the green houses – places like Kew also have collections of artwork and botanical prints that are great to inspire you!

When you’re not creating print, what do you like doing in your spare time?
I’ve recently taken up ceramics which is fun as I get to do something creative that I’ve not tried before.

A blonde-haired model wearing a FatFace dress that’s adorned with our new monkey print