Art by Andrew Alan Matthews


Classroom Demonstration DVD

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A DVD of my classroom demonstration of how I produce my paintings

The DVD is one and a half hours long 

The video comes in a plastic envelope and printed on the disc is my logo and DVD Title

UK Delivery only

free delivery in the UK 

delivered within 14 days of order

My Art video Diaries

First in a series of demonstration video diaries of how I produce and paint my cityscape paintings of Manchester Salford, London and beyond. Having a laugh and telling life how it is. 

This is the sketch outline for a painting of Urbis in Manchester 

Andrew Alan Matthews Urbis demonstration episode 1

A classroom demonstration of how I paint.

Urbis episode 1  stage 2 of the painting

Urbis painting Episode 2

Urbis Episode 2

Episode 3 of Urbis classrom demonstration

3rd episode of Urbis classroom demonstration

4th episode of Urbis painting

the 4th episode of Urbis painting , drawing the characters.

Urbis Episode 5 Clear Varnish

The final stage of the painting, clear varnish, talking about philosophy and life

My Art Video Diaries


Art of the present and the past


L S Lowry’s Art  & Andrew Alan Matthews Art  

To be read before watching the video of the painting of Urbis

When I went to University I loved the whole learning experience I attended lectures on various artists and one artist who stood out to me was L S Lowry.

I used to think Lowry’s Art was crap. 

That was until the Art lecture on Lowry.

Now Lowry was capable of producing a high degree of art and was an accomplished artist. He chose to paint in his style. I also choose to paint in my style.

Lowry’s Art is nostalgic & a heritage of 20th century life of Manchester & Salford  

My Art is nostalgic of modern Manchester & Salford 

Now Nobody paints like Lowry, he painted in oils & only used five colours, almost like a frescoe building thick layers of paint.

I use a wide colour pallet & use Acrylics, 

I prefer this paint as it gives me the free-flowing style I am looking for and I can apply my paint in thick layers to give texture.

I put emphasis on dark and light using lots of colour to give a modern but nostalgic feel to the Art trying to reflect Manchester & Salford today.

Now Lowry painted in muted greys and whites & reflected Salford & Manchester at the time.

Now Manchester in the 19th century was the hub of the British empire exporting around the world & workers were not regarded as human beings but as cogs in the machinery of the industrial revolution & conditions were poor.

Now Lowry wanted to paint a story image of the people of his time. 

he had selective vision and only put in what he wanted to put in reflecting his vision of life at the time. in a way this is what I do in my art. 

I select modern Manchester, Salford and London scenes and try to do a story image of the people and Manchester, Salford, London today. 

Lowry chose to paint his art in a primitive way. Just like cave paintings of primeval man coming from the primordial soup of life.

he wanted to breathe life into his art.

Lowry’s art is nostalgic of his time .

My art is also nostalgic of my time.

I try to bring my characters to life in the painting by the use of my croquis method in my style, allowing the characters to evolve from the paint.

Lowry was an expressive painter, so am I.

I try to express Manchester, Salford  and London in my style allowing the characters to evolve and come to life in the paintings I produce

I try to paint a picture of the people & scenes of Manchester, Salford and beyond and express it in my style and is an expression of Modern life as I see it today.

In my Work stress collection which can be found on my website there can be a resemblance of workers in call centres as cogs in modern machinery with the aid of the computer.

The “I am not a number ?” painting and corresponding artwork is a reflection of this modern day technological revolution. and of people working in call centres, worker Bees and cogs in the modern technological revolution.

But is only a selective vision of Modern work today.

some companies are better than others.

The company I work for now is a good ethical company that looks after the well being of the staff they employ. 

I suffer from stress and I use my art to overcome this, by using my website and video diaries to voice my opinions, this helps relieve my stress.

Now Lowry’s art is a memory of a past gone by with a rich heritage of Salford & Manchester nostalgia. 

I believe my art is nostalgia of modern Manchester & Salford.

I try to reflect the mood of people and scenes in my paintings and put this on canvas in my style.

I paint my art because I enjoy it and it helps me to deal with my stress.

You have got to enjoy life to the full because you never know when the big man or woman upstairs is going to say come in number 13 your time is up.

I take a leaf out of my Dads book now and always look on the bright side of life. 

So my message to you is BEE positive guys


Modern Manchester Urbis & Printworks

Modern Manchester 

Urbis by Dusk with Man on the cusp of a positive life


I have just completed the painting today 29.11.2018 and uploaded a video of this to my website and you tube. 

I will be varnishing the painting tomorrow and doing my final video of how I produce my paintings. 

I have been looking at the painting and can see subliminal messages in the painting, the figure that I painted in the foreground to fill the void in the space on the painting is a kind of expression of where I am at the moment. 

To me it shows a fleeting glimpse of people on the move, going about their everyday business. 

The isolated figure stands out looking at Urbis contemplating the building and life in general, a worker Bee and a cog in the machinery of life wondering what life is all about. 

A figure that is highlighted as standing out from the crowd but mingling in and can represent me.

The painting is full of colour in the skies and buildings. And as I was having the conversation with the people in the art class. One person asked the question “do you have different moods in the paintings because the painting looks like a shakra of colours and she said the colours look like healing colours ”

I guess the painting does represent me as I am overcoming my stress and positive things are beginning to happen to me, I am in a healing place now. 

The figure in the painting is contemplating life in general and wants to believe he is not a number. Just like my work stress painting where the worker BEE is in a call centre and struggling to break free from the daily grind. 

The “I am not a number?” comment comes to mind and he is beginning to believe that he is indeed not a number but a person with thoughts feelings and emotions and not a slave. He knows a brighter life is on the horizon bringing happiness and wellbeing in the future.

So, I have decided to title the painting 

Urbis by Dusk with Man on the cusp of a positive life

Link to Queens song I want to Break free

Link to Madness song "I chase the Devil" 


"I am not a number ?"

The work stress collection was produced in a previous employment and was made to put a lighter spin on the stresses and strains of work helping to deal with my anxiety.

• The I am not a number? Painting is a depiction of a call centre worker in an anonymous call centre who wants to believe he is not a number but questions the reality of this. 

• The painting also depicts the stress of working in a call centre where the dehumanisation of workers treated as numbers by there log in codes, passwords, PC numbers, desk numbers and the never ending pursuit of tidy desk policies takes away the human element of people, leaving the feeling of being treated as just another number. 

• The workers are in modern day slavery in the form of the telephone depicted as a ball and chain which they have to man for 7 hours a day to the second, there hands are handcuffed depicting the futility of there day to day struggles with stressful telephone calls, targets and pressures of the working day. 

• The left hand of the painting begins with a slight human form gradually moving to the right of the picture the people begin to turn into computers depicting the ever increasing drive for efficiency and the feeling of being just a number, where the staff can be replaced by the next person in the dole queue. 

He is a number of many and like the Borg of Star Trek will be assimilated into the hive, resistance is futile. 

• My spin on this comment was my way of bringing laughter to a stressful situation in a previous employment to help with my work anxiety and stress. 

We may have all felt this way, especially when you get up go to work and come home again only to start again the next day, like groundhog day.

So the question is - Are you a number, or are you not a number ? Do you feel any futility in the working day ? .

Video's & updates


Testimonials from the classroom Demonstration of Urbis painting

Andy, Thanks for sharing your time & showing us your unique way of painting. its encouraged me to break away from the "norm"  Vicky.X.

Thank you very much for the demo. It was very good & we all enjoyed it, Alma.

Thanks Andy, I enjoyed your painting demonstration very much. Liz.

Lovely demo, really enjoyed it Andy, Thank you. might have a go at this. Luv Elaine. XX.

Andy it was so nice to hear your story on what has inspired you to express yourself through the medium of painting. Bernie.

Thanks, Les.

Thank you Andy for letting us watch you paint a wonderful picture & relating stories about your Dad, Ruth. 

Thank you Andy for a good day, Tom Callaghan.

Anthony Agar, Hero

The painting of the police uniform you see here was painted for my friend Anthony Agar, to me he is a hero, he was there for me at one of my lowest points in my life and helped me when I thought all hope was lost. if you are looking at this Anthony, get in touch mate I would love to catch up on things

Article 13 EU dictatorship rules

So as you know my latest video has been blocked because WMG blocked it. it must of been because i had the radio on. 

I thought it was my dad dancing and ugly mush for the reason 

but I have just read about article 13 which the EU dictatorship of Europe is trying to pass. this affects millions of people and companies. and stops people like me producing videos and supresses the voice of the people this is yet another reason why the EU dictatorship is trying to control you and stop you having freedom of speech and taking your democratic rights away from you. 

The sooner we get out of the EU the better . we do not want to be tied to the EU in any way shape or form. 

Stand up for your rights and let the UK walk away from the negotiating table with no deal.

we can trade on WTO rules. 

give the EU the two finger salute

Latest Updates


Latest updates 

I have been in correspondence with joey swift the Unite Union regional Manager and he has confirmed that the training and development department for the Union want to use the Artwork presentation and art in there training department and will be conducting a meeting with me in the New Year to put this in place.

Also A local media company has arranged an interview time slot to interview me in January regarding my life story of overcoming stress  and are very interested in promoting this in a positive way. watch this space.

I have conducted videos of how I do my artwork talking about my stress and how I have overcome this through my artwork and website. 

I conducted an artclass demonstration and this has been uploaded to you tube and my website. 

The Artgallery I sell my paintings through have contacted me and they will be promoting my artwork and videos very soon and will be contacting me early January about this. 

I have contacted other media outlets and art galleries etc and have had a discussion with ITV and they are currently reviewing this as well. 

After an absolutley horrible year of 2018 I am positive that 2019 will be a year of positivity for me, my family and friends.

I am currently continuing to recover fro m the stress and doing positive things watch this space for future updates.

Piccadilly Gardens Manchester Episode 1

Video of Piccadilly Gardens Manchester Episode 1  

Piccadilly Gardens manchester Episode 2a

Piccadilly Gardens Manchester 2b

Piccadily Gardens Manchester Episode 2c

Essays, thoughts and opinions

Piccasso's Guernica

Piccasso's Guernica


Picasso’s Guernica


Andrew Alan Matthews

One Artist who has had a major influence in making a political statement & exposing the political occurrences of the time was Pablo Picasso; in particular I make reference to Picasso’s painting of Guernica.

The 26th April 1937 has been implanted into Spanish historical texts as the date of an atrocity that outraged the world & enthused Spanish republican feelings. The Spanish Civil War was steeped in political unease at this time, but from the start of the Civil War in 1936 there had never been such a violent act on a defenseless civilian town. This town was Guernica the capital of the four Basque Provinces which are situated along the Cantabrian Sea, Bay of Biscay, between Balboa & San Sebastian.

The implications of the painted mural Guernica has been extensively documented since its creation by Picasso in 1937 & has evoked ideas throughout the cultural, social & political spectrum. Due to the nature of the painting as a whole it has no immediate apparent reference to the atrocity of Guernica, but as we look closely to its wider implications we can see the outcry of all human conflicts both past & present. In Picasso’s Guernica its imagery has been used for posters against the Vietnam War in 1966, demonstrating its importance on the World War events through the decades.

This is not merely a painting which has one single idea in mind or a mural which has evolved purely out of a 

moment in time. It involves the culmination of centuries of Art development; the vast scope of its interpretation is so wide that I will deal with the political message behind the mural, its representation of the characters within & how it is perceived today.

Politics is an expression of differing opinions from both sides of a void, This void is Guernica in which the struggle for survival is ever present in its imagery, One side of good the over evil, In the mural we can see on the left the bull representing Picasso's idea of brutality & powers of darkness. Here the bull is pictured as if overlooking the whole scene organising the whole event as the massacre of the innocents reel about the painting in agonised & tortured way. 

This to me is the most striking interpretation that is closest in resembling that of Franco’s forces. They instigated a barbaric act of war upon the civilian population by the use of German Heinkel fighter planes Bombers & Junkers deploying their bombs & incendiary devices onto a defenseless small Basque town. General Franco created the situation in Guernica as an example to demonstrate his power & bring his Fascist ideas to the forefront of the people of Spain, and to show the world his prowess. 

In Paul Preston’s “The Spanish Civil War 1936-39” He stated that “The Spanish Civil War was the playground of which fascism & communism would take shape & is the forerunner to the second World War. “ However, feuds between the wealthy elitist elements in Spanish politics & their reaction against socialist reforms of the under privileged has been present for many years prior to this outbreak of Civil War.

German, Italian forces and interests ensured Franco’s success over the republican government in 1937. Hitler, Goering & Mussolini found the Russian involvement with the republican government a threat to the German interests & intervened with Goering stating off the record on the 26th July 1936, “That this would be an excellent opportunity for testing his new & inexperienced Luftwaffe under Wartime conditions”. Goering’s Luftwaffe while operating in Spanish territories developed quickly & under the command of General Franco it operated as an independent unit know as the Condor Legion, commanded by General Hugo Von Sperrle. Morale slipped away from the republican Air Pilots at the time of the bombing of Guernica as leading Air Ace hero Felipe Del Rio crashed. Advancing Nationalist & Italian troops converged upon the retreating Basque forces, they together with the ever increasing force of the Condor Legion continued there attack. 

The first bomber led by Von Moreau dropped its three thousand pound bombs onto Guernica. Then followed the main fleet continued the campaign that lasted from 4.30 to 7.45pm they failed to hit on the presumed intended target the bridge. The actual bombing of Guernica 

has been surrounded in controversy and secrecy on the part of German involvement, the reported German version by Captain Adolf Galland stated that Guernica “was an error” & that the intended target was the bridge. However three surviving Air Pilots spoke of a secret dispatch to Berlin, in which Von Richtofen stated that the Germans “concerted Attack” on Guernica “Was the greatest success”. This great success was the birth of what is now known as the Blitzkrieg. This comment shows clearly the German wartime activity in Spain and confirming a total disregard for human life. 

During the uprising there were pitched battles & executions all over Spain. This coupled with the political motivations of wartime activities from Germany mounted to an ever increasing powder keg waiting to explode. The agreement drawn up by the three powers of Germany, Italy & Franco’s Spanish rule in October 1936 underlined the need for raw materials to pass over into their hands. These needs included Iron ore, Cole etc. The other interests lay in capturing the shipbuilding facilities in the north of Spain, This indicates yet again that power and the need for material gain overcomes the needs of innocent victims in wartime struggles.

In several military journals, one of which appeared in Militar Wochen Blatt proposed that “Total War” should be the order of the day. This was justifying the wanton massacre of refugees fleeing from Spain to the French borders. Their reasoning being that amongst them were armed forces, making them a target. 

Guernica was painted in a moment of anger towards the atrocity, but it does not seem to reveal any resemblance to Spain’s conflict itself. We cannot see any landmark or sign to say this is the bombing of Guernica as is the case of Salvador Dali’s “Soft construction with boiled beans premonition of War”. In his work it clearly demonstrates the tearing apart of Spain, Which was a forerunner to what Dali believed to be proof of his own premonition of the conflict that was about to explode in Spain, i.e. the Spanish Civil War. 

The actual mural leaves us open to a message of world wide abomination to such tragedies, in whatever form, Guernica it can be said. Is a culmination of Picasso's work over the last decade in which he experimented with imagery from historical works of Art & Artifacts’ and used them in a way that broke the conventions of time. This breaking down of the logical into an illogical manner leaves us with a feeling of curiosity about the actual work of Guernica.

David Siqueiros “Echo of a scream” painted in 1937 displays vividly the image of a child’s head screaming against a back ground of destruction interlocked with imagery of war, the head spewing out of a full body of a child, as if pain is doubled on pain. This is a striking image of war along with that of Salvador Dali’s construction with boiled beans premonition of Civil war, which demonstrates a monstrous figure tearing itself apart in relation to Spain tearing itself apart.

Both of these paintings are equally as politically correct a statement as that of Picasso's but the difference is that Picasso's’ status and idea and indeed the use of Cubism he employed for the piece, has made Guernica the most revered Art work of this last century. 

Picasso called Guernica “an allegory!” He has left the symbolic interpretation open to question and so the decades that have passed since its creation has left Guernica a symbol against all world war events and to serve as a reminder of brutality to mankind. Guernica burned for several days and has also burned into the memory of a scar on the horrors that will befall man during wartime activities… 

Guernica has been a place of pilgrimage in which the Spanish rulers from the 12th Century have acknowledged there guarantee of an autonomous society, During the CivilWar the Basques Capital was raped of that right, Picasso who was deeply affected by these events in Spain accepted the commission from the republican Government at the time to produce a mural for the Paris exhibition of 1937. 

Picasso made a public statement, Pg 9 Picasso's Guernica “When the rebellion began, the legally elected and democratic republican government of Spain appointed me Director of the Prado Museum a post which I immediately accepted. In the panel on which I am working I shall call Guernica and all my recent works of Art, I clearly express my abhorrence of the military caste which has sunk Spain into an ocean of pain and death

This clearly shows Picasso who up until this time sought to ignore political statements in his Art, publicly demonstrated his feelings over such a violent act. He began the preliminary studies for Guernica’s in a burst of energy taking all of ten days to complete and by the end of June he completed the finished masterpiece. People might say this was rather a quick painting but if your whole being is enthused with such anger that feelings of distress filters ever more so onto the canvas. Making this a part of yourself.

The painted mural Guernica is 11ft x 25ft 8” and painted with oils through a spectrum of neutral to purplish and bluish greys, with brownish grey colours emphasizing the somber event and utilising the cubist technique developed by Picasso and Georges Braque to a striking effect. The scene is placed in darkness with women posing in distressed situation, one holding a lamp to light the scene , another falling and another clutching a baby, who is overshadowed by the bull indicating the bulls power over life and death. 

The bullring a cultural heritage of a Spanish way of life, a place of bloodlust and a struggle for life and death, is paralleled in relation to the work of Guernica. The bull has been a constant symbol in Picasso's work throughout his life and has been a lurid fascination derived from the Spanish Bull; ring (Plaza de Toro) although this imagery spans time immortal, Primitive man has placed the bull as a mythical being almost sacred with power such as depicted in ancient Egypt, Crete and across the Mediterranean and symbolised as the minotaur. 

The bull’s brutality is weighed in the balance with depictions of a horse that represents all that is good and has also accompanied the bull throughout Picasso’s earlier works of Art. Depiction of the bull goring the horses intestines demonstrates the vulnerable, in an interview Picasso said “The horse represents people and the bull brutality and darkness “. However in Spanish History the bull is seen to be a formidable beast and one that is held in high regard as in the bull rings of Spain the toreador who kills the bull is seen to have a great power, but in Guernica the bull is the power demonstrating death over mankind instead of death over the bull. In the bullfight the protagonist is man, Picasso often depicts the bull as a Minotaur, hence man and bull the protagonist and the horse the ever innocent. The depictions of women and babies in agonised situations with the horse, demonstrates 

the innocent civilian population. Picasso was fascinated with the movements and writhing that would appear when picador, horse and bull collided together depicting them sometimes intertwined expressively gruesome yet hypnotisingly beautiful in its form. This I can see why his fascination led him to depict his characters in Guernica. The innocent and not so innocent playing in a role of life and death. 

Goya too was drawn to the struggle of the bullfight and pictured similar scenes which show fascination for this drama that captures our inner senses and awakens our inner fears and trepidations. This I feel sums up the use of Picasso's characters for Guernica for life and death are primeval and is in our inner most recesses of body and mind. Both interpretation of good and evil, life and death are closely linked to the political aspects of this mural. In Guernica both Horse and bull are closely pictured together, demonstrating the close struggle over good and evil. The horse placed under the crowned lamp shedding a political beacon of light on the atrocity before it confirms this idea. 

Guernica is thought of as a continuous protest against the brutality of Fascism in particular and modern warfare in general. John Berger goes onto question this Idea “How true is this? He also goes onto say that the significance of the painting has been increased (& perhaps changed) by later developments. 

Although Picasso did not expose Franco’s abominations to the world he did feel moved enough to commit a statement to canvas. To display at the Paris exhibition of 1937. As previously highlighted, this extra statement of political comment adds to the evidence of what occurred at that time and enriches the collages of emotions of that era. Picasso’s statement on canvas serves as a warning to man of an atrocity that will befall man who ignores and wilfully destroys the most vulnerable. Democracy is an expression of an individual right for freedom, justice and peace of the most vulnerable, Picassos Guernica is to me a statement of oppression from democracy and gives warning to those elements who turn their backs on democratic principles. 


1. Arnheim Rudolf. “Picasso's’ Guernica; the genesis of a painting”

Faber and Faber Limited London 1962

1, Berger. “Success and failure of Picasso”. Granta Books London 1992 ed 165

2, Ibid p.166

1. Chipp, Herschell B “ Picassos Guernica; History, transformations meanings, 

University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles California 1988 P 22

2 ibid p 31

1. Dali Salvador “The Life and works of Dali” Paragon Books service limited 1994 p.43

1. Gilot Francoise. “Matisse and Picasso an Friendship in Art”

Bloomsbury Publishing ltd London 1990

1. Preston Paul “ The Spanish Civil War 1936-39”

Butler & Tamer ltd London 1990

1. Russell, Frank D “Picassos’ Guernica the labyrinth of narrative and vision”

Thames and Hudson ltd London 1980 


My thoughts and opinions on Brexit, my plan resolution, apologies & moving forward with positivity

The above essay of Picasso’s statement on canvas of the painting Guernica is an allegory and serves as a warning to man of an atrocity that will befall man who ignores and wilfully destroys the most vulnerable. Democracy is an expression of an individual right for freedom, justice and peace of the most vulnerable, Picassos Guernica is to me a statement of oppression from democracy and gives warning to those elements who turn their backs on democratic principles. 

We are at a crossroads in our society where the unelected dictators of the EU want to take away our democratic freedoms that we have thought so hard to uphold.


lets never forget the wars of the 1st and 2nd world wars and all conflicts before and since and the brave soldiers and civilians of all the commonwealth ,US and all races and creeds that fought for our freedoms during those dark days they fought and died for our freedoms we enjoy today. 

Brexit means Brexit. stand and deliver this for democracy and the people of the UK. the people want an autonomous thinking society in control of its own borders, laws, societies and trade. we do not want to be tied to the EU in any way shape or form. 


This is a message for the government

Andrew Alan Matthews

Brexit and society at a crossroads and the way forward 

Apologies, Resolution -Final decision and demands of the UK

First and foremost, I am not a politician, I am not an activist I am not a racist. I am an Artist. My name is Andrew Alan Matthews and this is my apology and thoughts and opinions on brexit and the way forward. 


 I am a hard-working family man who has had a lot of stress in life, but I have overcome this through my art and website.

My apologies can be found after the speech below.

The below speech is what the whole country and world want to move forward with positivity and these are our demands and needs.

The most important issues facing our country, society and the world today

I believe the way forward for our country and the social cohesion of a nation and society needs to be addressed on all fronts. The questions, concerns and problems we face today is at a crossroads with the most important decisions of our countries history in the balance. The ineptitude of our government and politicians all arguing and not making clear decisions has frustrated the nation and its peoples. 

Therefore, I would like to speak on behalf of the people of this country and bring together all points of argument and come to a conclusion of the way forward for our nation at this important time in our history. Also, thoughts and opinions on the problems in the world today and to find a way of peace and prosperity for the people of the world with sharing the wealth and building happy cohesive societies free from wars poverty and beliefs that only serve to help cause conflict and aggression and troubles throughout the world. 

Through my experiences recently I have realised and now understood that there is a powerful force at work. My wife, family and friends have suffered enough of anxiety and negativity I am moving forward with positivity. I start from now to move forward in a positive and constructive way. I start with my artwork and using this as a way to turn negatives to positives. 

my motto is BEE positive.

The reason why people voted for Brexit was on many fronts and the reason why I and many other people voted for Brexit in a democratic process which resulted in the decision to leave the EU unelected dictatorship of Europe. The EU dictatorship of unelected elite dictators which has control of our laws and peoples and full of red tape has held our country back for decades. 

This is the will of the people and should not be retracted or reversed. 

The people have spoken and action should be taken to come out of the EU and walk away from the negotiating table as it is clear that the EU are, as always inflexible and are following their own hidden agendas. The EU does not care about the UK other than the UK money it will lose and will never care for the will of the British people, they want a United States of Europe where the voice of the people is quashed and they can control the people for their own benefit. The plan for a new world order is at a crossroads and this is the point in history where the British people have stood up and made their voices count. Putting a stop to this ideal.

The decision should be to walk away from the negotiating table with ought a deal and stop trying to pander to the EU elite dictators. Once we are out of the EU they will soon realise they need more from us than we need from them and will strike trade deals accordingly. Countries like Germany is reliant on the UK as one of their largest trading partners and will lose massively from our trade in goods and services. We can trade on WTO rules.

we should not hand over a single more penny to the EU, we have paid in full from the 1st and 2nd world wars by our brave service men and women, and commonwealth nations from all races and religions that took part in the wars. Not forgetting the huge help, we had from America. After the wars we had a huge debt and we are burdened with this debt still till today. We helped rebuild Germany from the ashes and it is now the prosperous country it is today with our help and money. The EU dictators are quick to forget the huge sacrifice that all of our grandfathers and grandmothers did to fight extremism, fascism, dictators, the holocaust, and all the evils of wars.


The EU dictators are worried they will lose the most important trading partner that props up the EU purse. This is why they are using all the hard tactics to frighten the British government and public into submitting to their demands. They are also worried the collapse of the EU agenda of a new world order would bring about the demise of the EU plan.  And bring back control to the countries of Europe and enabling each country to have their identities back. Before the countries had the euro they were relatively prosperous countries and had their own identities and currencies. After the euro was introduced it became more expensive across all countries. 

The EU dictatorship has overruled many laws and decisions that the UK politicians and governments of the present and the past wanted to put into practice but has prevented the UK from doing so. Common sense will prevail in our politicians and governments. we are a tolerant diverse society today and the laws of the land will be in line with the keeping of our values and traditions. 

The benefits of coming out of the EU


We can decide which contracts are to be given to foreign countries which is the benefit to the UK people and is in favour of developing our product base for the future. We should however concern ourselves by promoting British businesses and goods and services and to be able t trade freely throughout the world. We can also bring back our manufacturing base back to the UK also using our commonwealth partners and world trade agreements.  we built this country out of making and producing goods to the world. This has been eroded over the decades with the sell offs of train, gas, coal, steel industries etc. and profits going to foreign lands when the profits should have been re-invested in infrastructure of this land and would have brought our economy to a higher and much better position than it is today. 

I worked as a design separation Artist in textiles in the last death throes of the cotton industry in this country. The slow decline of the textile industry in this country is now virtually non-existent today. Manchester was a mass of cotton mills in the 18th century and was the bread and butter of the nation alongside, steel, coal and manufacturing. This has all gone now. We need to invest in our industries again, and look for new and exciting ways of developing technologies for the benefit of the many and not the few. Investing in our natural resources, there are technologies out there where we can take the most advantage from. Action needs to be taken on this to build the future of Britain again and to be able to trade freely and take on the ideals of a cooperative approach in society striking fair trade deals with our commonwealth partners and the world. 

UK Fishing rights, 

we can stop the fundamentally wrong imbalance of fishing quotas dictated by the ridiculous EU legislation. And stop throwing away perfectly good fish stock that is a waste of time, money, resources and damages fish stocks and the fishing industry.  The UK fishing industry can be rebuilt taking control of our fishing borders ultimately leading to increase in jobs, wages and prosperity 

Farming, the farmers can begin to trade more with the world. And start growing more British produce and selling more in the shops. we can bring our good British brands to market and promote across the world with ought the restrictions of the EU dictatorship.  If we build on the ideals of a cooperative then communities and societies will prosper sharing the wealth of the people fair trade for all.

Halal Meat and animal cruelty.

The practice of slaughtering animals in a humane way is enshrined in our laws of the country. This is to allow the animals we slaughter the dignity of a pain free death. But the allowance of slaughtering with ought stunning based on religious reasons is inhumane and is at conflict with British values. This is an inhumane way to treat animals and is animal cruelty based on medieval laws and religions. The Muslim World League declared in 1986 that pre-slaughter stunning is lawful. And this should be adhered to. 

The Shackling and hoisting conscious animals seems to violate both the humane intent of Islamic slaughter law, and Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) comments on the process of slaughter.

Regarding stunning, Al-Masri  notes that stunning has been declared as acceptable by a fatwa (unanimous verdict) of the Al-Azhar University in Cairo. Furthermore, the Muslim World League declared in 1986 that pre-slaughter stunning is lawful when the weakest electric current renders a nonhuman animal unconscious before slaughter. Requirements and methods of stunning which are acceptable by Islamic authorities in countries such as Malaysia have been published

Foreign Aid and Fair-Trade cooperatives

I agree with helping and aiding countries with famine, wars, droughts where there is a genuine need for our help and as a nation we should promote this. However, there are regimes that embezzle our money and aid and it does not go to those in need. We should work towards a cooperative style approach and take this as a basis of building a future that is bright and for all and not the few. The money and aid should not go directly to the fraudsters of nations who embezzle the funds, we should not hand money over to the fraudulent embezzlers of our good faith and aid money. This needs to be addressed.


I suggest that foreign aid to the regimes that misuse our money should stop and in place of this we have direct action using cooperatives to do fair trade deals and give direct help to each nation according to their needs. Direct action on the ground. A cooperative approach would bring countries out of poverty and distribute the wealth fairly and evenly. I also suggest that when we leave the EU we can build on our commonwealth countries which are in need of help so we can trade ethically and bring out of poverty the peoples of these nations.


People of the poorer nations just want to work themselves out of poverty and be free of the problems of wars and conflicts. we can promote this by addressing the problems individually to each nation bringing help where needed and stop causing wars over oil and natural resources and hidden agendas of the Elite in power.

When we come out of the EU and walk away with no deal we can begin to trade ethically with farmers, fisherman, manufactures of all the world.  Using the basis of a cooperative which benefits the many and not the few. This approach would be of benefit to the UK and the world. Bringing people out of poverty in their own countries and beginning to build a lasting infrastructure and cohesive society that would go some way to stop disaffected countries and people of those countries wanting to make a better life in the UK and the EU and help stop the huge influx of damaging mass migration and the problems this brings with it.


They can begin to build a prosperous country in their own lands with our trading help that coming out of the EU would bring. Fair trade for all. My vision would be that instead of countries affected by wars and famines and lack of structures and socially broken-down societies they are to be prosperous countries that you would want to go to. And not be as in the words of Donald “trump Shit hole countries”.

I work for a large ethical company and this company has the correct approach with helping communities and charities and fair trade around the world and has done so for well over a 100 year. It has prospered with this basis and foundation of being a cooperative and benefiting the many and not the few. A sharing caring cooperative for all. With the community at the heart of everything. Building a socially coherent society that benefits all. This is the way forward for this country and the world, actions and not words. 

The foundation of a cohesive, prosperous society is found in the ethics of a cooperative society. 


We can take back control of our own laws and stop with the red tape from the EU unelected dictators holding the country back.

Laws like extraditing people to return to there place of Birth who are a threat to our people and country. There needs to be laws that can extradite people who try to harm our way of life and people who do not abide by our laws of the land.  hate preachers preaching hate in all its forms of hatred to religions and races promoting Radicalisation and hatred for our British values and way of life. 

The people who promote the vision of sharia laws and all its medieval ways and wanting to create a Muslim state and ideology and wanting to change our laws to a sharia law system in our country and promoting twisted ideals based on medieval laws. laws Like stoning people, chopping hands off, beheadings. These ideals are barbaric and have no place in a western or British society today, these laws were also in our medieval past and has thankfully been resigned to history. But history can repeat itself if we allow the extremists ideologies to take over our future.

Emily Pankhurst thought for the rights of women and successfully brought about a change in the UK for the better. I promote the fair treatment of all people, races and religions and men, women’s and animal rights. The problems now arise today of the mass influx of foreign cultures who do not share our ideals of this country or western civilisation. Like the use of the burka or niqab a full-face head covering which obscures people’s identities and is for me a sign of oppression of women and control over them. I have seen and witnessed women in the burka or niqab walking 10 paces behind a man in western clothing and is a sign of oppression and control.  This is abhorrent to me as this to me is a sign of oppression of women and goes against our western values. 

Extract from wikipedia

A niqab  "[face] veil"; also called a ruband) is a garment of clothing that covers the face which is worn by a small minority of Muslim women as a part of a particular interpretation of hijab("modesty"). According to the majority of Muslim scholars and Islamic schools of thought, the niqab is not a requirement of Islam; however a minority of Muslim scholars assert that in their view the niqab is required, especially in the Hanbali Muslim faith tradition. Those Muslim women who observe the niqab, wear it in public areas and in front of non-mahram (non-related) men.

The face veil pre-dates Islam, and had been used by certain Arabian pre-Islamic cultures. Culturally, it is "a custom imported from Najd, a region in Saudi Arabia and the power base of its Salafi fundamentalist form of Islam. Within Muslim countries it is very contested and considered fringe."[1]

Today, the niqab remains traditionally associated, and most often worn, in its region of origin; the Arab countries of the Arabian PeninsulaSaudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. However, even in these countries, the niqab is neither a universal cultural custom nor is it culturally compulsory. In other parts of the Muslim world outside of the Arabian Peninsula, where the niqab has slowly spread to a much smaller extent, it is regarded warily by Sunni and non-Sunni Muslims alike "as a symbol of encroaching fundamentalism."

This is also a security risk to the nation you cannot allow obscuring identities of people especially with all the terrorist activities we have had over the years.  I am a Motorcyclist and I cannot walk into a shop or a bank with my helmet on and the laws should not be any different for people who wear the burka or niqab. The people who choose to wear this should be able to do this as it is there democratic right to do so if they wish but they must remove the full face covering when entering shops and public buildings 

The Niqab or burka to me and lots of people like me feels that it also promotes segregation of people who do not want to integrate into the Western way of life, there are factions and enclaves of towns and cities that do not want to learn our way of life and instead want to bring their own religious ideals and cultures to the UK. This country is a proud nation of democracy and people have a right to free speech and dress and express themselves in an appropriate manner to not cause conflict and promote hatred etc. but there has to be a line that is drawn which does not impact the cultural identity of the country and does not affect the good-hearted nature and tolerant culture of our British society. If this is left to grow then the country will become a Muslim state and sharia laws will take over. This is not what I want for this great country. I do not want my country turning into a middle eastern state where third world problems will be more prevalent in society.

We can see through social media and is not reported by the main stream media the growing problems in Europe and the UK with lawbreaking and escalation of crime and violence by the huge influx of mass uncontrolled migration from nations that have different ideologies and have not got the same laws to the UK and EU. The people of these lands generally have not grown up with our laws to keep them in check. 

The mass migration we see today is due to wars, conflicts and economic migration and people wanting a better way of life. They can clearly see that Europe and the UK are prosperous and a safe place to live, it is common sense that they want to come here. There are a lot of economic migrants however who want to claim benefits and housing and will try anything in their power to reach the UK to obtain this. I understand the reasons why there is mass migration towards the UK, if I was in their shoes I would want to do the same and do not blame them for trying to get into the best country in the world which is the UK. 

The problem is we are only a small country and is the most densely populated country in the world our public services and NHS are at breaking point with the mass influx of people. We cannot help the whole world coming into the country and a stop needs to be done on this madness. 

The main stream media which is promoting left-wing ideals and not reporting on the real issues and having a reasoned debate on the real problems we face today and acting on the problems we face. Instead we watch pointless reality shows to dumb down the public and not highlighting the real issues and problems we face today. This is a form of propaganda to subjugate and dumb down the British public for Fear that the truth will be told about the growing problems across the UK and the EU countries which will ultimately lead to conflict and uprisings in the country.

This is a deep problem that the politicians and governments are not addressing for fear of an uprising in the country by a growing ethnic society and British people disaffected by the ineptitude of the politicians not making clear and concise decisions for the future of our great nation.

Our values of a tolerant diverse nation of peoples, religions and culture is tipped in the balance and will ultimately lead to conflict.  when an imbalance happens, it will lead to society breaking down and conflicts arising. 

The people of the world are like batteries we all have positive and negative energies within us. we all have good and evil in us. my wife and I are like a battery both positive and negative energy we are at opposite ends of the spectrum and somehow we work. The world is full of positive and negative energies and is at constant motion. The UK has now got an imbalance and is at conflict with itself the natural balance needs to brought back in line and mass migration and the problems that have caused this needs to be changed.

Immigration and Emigration

The huge influx of uncontrolled mass migration from wars and economic migration has been allowed to grow by the new world order hidden agenda and the EU unelected dictatorship agenda. This has caused a social and cultural imbalance in the UK and across Europe. 

There is an increasing dissatisfaction of the people of the UK and the people of Europe are waking up to this fact too. The cohesion of society must be balanced, but when there is a huge influx of differing cultures and peoples this erodes our tolerant societies values and erodes the British way of life taking the British identity away from the people. With the EU dictatorship not allowing the UK to control its borders allowing the influx of uncontrolled mass immigration on a scale unknown before in British history causes society to become at conflict. 

Now I for one agree with immigration and emigration where it is for the benefit of the UK but it needs to be controlled to a sustainable level. The points based system like Australia would benefit the UK by only taking on the workers you need and not handing the benefits out to all and sunder.  We are only a small nation and cannot look after the world. Our public services, benefits system and pensions and NHS are at breaking point and this madness has to stop. It is not racist to say this and reasoned debate needs to be brought to the table to address the problem.

To address the problem of mass migration is complicated. To start with the migrants, need to be processed at the first point of call whichever that country is and they need to register them at that point. Once registered they would need to be allocated to places of safety first and foremost, they will be in a traumatised state and would need help. From this point on the countries of the world would need to take their fair share of refugee migrants that are fleeing conflict.

If it is deemed they are  economic migrants they would be handed back to their place of origin. Often the migrants do not have documents or have disposed of them because they know they cannot be taken back to there place of origin.

In this case a suitable alternative country would be allocated to the migrant allowing a choice of countries which can sustainably have them giving the size of the country and infrastructure and that they can contribute to society in work and employment etc. not be handed benefits. they can become a part of a cooperative of employers, countries and societies around the world, building a long-lasting future based on a cooperative society where the wealth is distributed among the many and not the few.

Building a lasting cohesive happy society and would restore the natural balance of the world.  helping clean the world of pollution and other damaging effects we have created over the decades. Also allowing fair trade deals around the world to bring the people out of poverty.

Now putting myself in the migrant shoes if I was a genuine refugee fleeing from wars and conflict I would be grateful that I survived a war with my life intact. I would also want to return to my place of birth and to rebuild it after the war was over. I would not want to live anywhere else as I was bred in Manchester in the UK. 

This must be in the mind of the migrant also. And the world should help them rebuild their country after the war or unrest was over.  The way to help rebuild a nation and the foundation of a cohesive, prosperous society is found in the ethics of a cooperative society. Where this benefits all.  this would go some way as a start to the stopping of mass uncontrolled immigration and to help to stop wars, unrest and conflicts arising. 

Wars and conflicts 

Wars and conflicts have been prevalent throughout history whether through religious reasons, greed for natural resources, hidden agendas by evil means of the elite of the world or difference of opinions leading to escalation of violence. This is the route of all evil and there must be a better way to resolve conflicts for the benefit of mankind and the destructive power that we hold in our hands today. We can destroy mankind and civilisation with a press of a button. 

Therefore, only One thing can be said about this and in the words of Edwin Star.

follow the link

 (War, what is it good for?) Absolutely nothing
(War, what is it good for?) Absolutely nothing
(War, what is it good for?) Absolutely nothing

[Verse 1]
War is something that I despise
Because it means destruction of innocent lives
War means tears in thousands of mothers' eyes
When their sons go out to fight and lose their lives
I said

(War) good God y'all
(What is it good for?) Absolutely nothing, say it again
(War, what is it good for?) Absolutely nothing

[Verse 2]
(War), It ain't nothing but a heartbreaker
(War), Friend only to the undertaker
War is the enemy of all mankind
The thought of war blows my mind
War has caused unrest, within the younger generation
Induction then destruction. Who wants to die?

(War) good God y'all
(What is it good for?) Absolutely nothing, say it, say it, say it
(War, what is it good for?) Absolutely nothing

 [Verse 3]
(War), It ain't nothing but a heartbreaker
(War), Its only friend is the undertaker
War has shattered many young men's dreams
Made them disabled, bitter and mean
Life is much too short and precious to be fighting wars these days
War can't give life it can only take it away

(War) good God y'all
(What is it good for?) Absolutely nothing, say it
(War, what is it good for?) Absolutely nothing

[Verse 4]
Listen to me
(War), It ain't nothing but a heartbreaker
(War), Friend only to the undertaker
Peace, love and understanding
Tell me, is there no place for them today?
They say we must fight to keep our freedom
But Lord knows there's gotta be a better way

(War) good God y'all
(What is it good for?) You tell me, say it, say it, say it, say it
(War) good God y'all
(What is it good for?) Stand up and shout it (Nothing)

Therefore the harmonisation of the world needs to be addressed. Harmonisation,  peace and prosperity for all will not and cannot prevail until the people with hidden agendas are brought to account. 

These are my values in what I and many like me look to achieve if we implement this this will bring peace and prosperity to the UK and the world. 

These are our demands. 

So to recap 

The above is what we all want to break the impasse and look to implement, also our demands are 

1, we want peace now and forever for all peoples of all lands and cultures

2, we want a share of the wealth to be distributed evenly and fairly to all 

3, Build cohesive happy societies free from wars and conflict using a cooperative society values to help change the world to be a better place. To live and work in safety and peace. And not overloaded with work that causes stress, having a balanced work and home life 

4, end suffering in all its forms

5, implement and find new cures for all illnesses that stops suffering to people and animals

6, end the influx of mass uncontrolled immigration

7, protect our borders and people

8, create jobs for all

9, help the homeless into homes, and help give training and jobs to them to re build there lives

10, develop new technologies to help benefit all mankind

11,  End all wars and conflicts bring peace to the world

12, take back control of our own laws

13, leave the EU and walk away with no deal we can trade on our own rights and if the EU want to trade with us we will tell them what terms will be imposed. Which is using cooperative values in society free and fair trade for all sharing the wealth and prosperity

these are our demands, respect the wishes of the people. the people have spoken.

A little history of my background and thoughts and opinions on building a socially coherent society, racism and tolerance of cultures and societies and my apology.

I grew up in Moss Side in the 1970s and 80s, and was in a melting pot of cultures and religions in Moss side and understood the problems at the time. 

this was a predominantly Asian and Black area of Manchester where I as a white person was in the minority. I witnessed first-hand racism in all its forms both against ethnic minorities and against white people, racism is present in all cultures, societies and religions and is not a one-way street.  This is not a detriment to the ethnic minority community it is just the way of life in every society. There are always good and bad in every society no matter what colour skin you are.


In 1981 I witnessed the Moss Side riots were the brewing tensions in the ethnic minority erupted into violence and looting of shops and burning of buildings. This was due to a growing unrest in the black and Asian communities due to stop and search practises and high unemployment

This caused tension and a breakdown in society in the 1980s, we do not want to return to conflict in any way shape or form and we need to all work together to make this vision a reality, bring harmony back to the world and work together in a socially coherent cooperative society. 

I have realised that I have had a deep-seated anxiety running throughout my life and I was a worrier by nature. I try to be a happy family man that tries his best to help in any way I can. Eileen has put up with my problems for decades and has always brought me to my senses, she is my rock in a storm.  A strong caring beautiful woman that takes very little and gives a lot. Yes, we argue and both stress each other out mainly because of my problems.

I will always love Eileen for being who she is. My one and only true love. Let’s start healing and loving again.


I have now addressed my stress issues by confronting my problems head on grabbing the bull by the horns, with the help of Cognitive behaviour therapy organised by my doctor I have addressed all my issues and turned those negatives to positives. firstly starting with writing a letter to the person who was the initial cause of my stress apologising for any negativity I may have caused her or caused anybody,

 I also wrote a letter to the power in charge & also the highest power in charge and apologised for causing harm and negativity to anybody in the past, present, the future and the here and now. I set both of these letters on fire sending this negativity to the heavens to cleanse.

I can now move on with positivity in my life and by turning the negative artwork of my work stress collection and stress & anxiety collection into the turning negatives to positive presentation I have achieved this.

 These presentations will be used in the Unite union for there training and development department in the Unite union and the artwork will also be on display with them.

by producing my  positive cycle  T shirt collection and artwork and setting up this website. I have achieved my goal of always looking on the bright side of life turning negatives to positives and battling to fight negativity wherever that may BEE.

My philosophy is looking on the bright side of life and turning negatives to positives, focusing on what positives can come from my artwork in the future so my final word is


Bee positive everybody enjoy your life every second of every day because you never know  when the power in charge  is going to say come in number 13 your time is up. 

Bigus Dikus video clip


Bee positive

So as in the song always look on the bright side of life, 

this is what cheers my Dad and me up.

My Dad Harold Alan Matthews is the most positive person I know. I take a leaf out of my Dads book now.

follow this link to the song and movie clip. 

Dissertation by Andrew Alan Matthews


"To what extent has CAD/CAM affected printed textile design and production"

Andrew Alan Matthews BA (Hon’s) Textiles 

Year of Presentation 1999

“A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in the department of Textiles/Fashion, faculty of Art and Design, the Manchester Metropolitan University. No part of the work referred to in this dissertation has been submitted in support of any other degree or qualification in the University or any other Institute of learning.”


I would like to thank Theresa Squires for her help and expertise in the preparation of this dissertation. I would also like to thank the employees of all the companies I interviewed and would like to express particular thanks in their hospitality and patience whilst I conducted these interviews of which they gave valuable advice and information. I would also like to extend particular thanks to my wife for her help and support throughout my period of study who made this period in my life all possible.



List of illustrations


Chapter 1 Converters use of CAD

1.2 Production Methods of Engraving

1.3 Employment of CAD

1.4 Quality of reproduction

Chapter 2 Production Methods of Printing

2.2 Laser Engravers

2.3 Continual Inkjet Printing

Chapter 3 Research of CAD within the studio

3.1 Investment in CAD at Tom Lewis Studio

3.2 Investment in CAD in Design studios

3.3 CAD Training

3.4 Design with CAD

3.5 Design marketing





Fig 1 Ned Graphics Promotional Leaflet 1998 CAD/CAM for Printed Textiles.

Fig 2 Photocopy from Tom Lewis Studios Archive Material.

Fig 3 Btree Software promotional Leaflet, Treepaint, Graphic software for

Textile Printing.

Fig 4 Illustration of Design by J.Dedman Freelance Designer 1998

Fig 5 Diagram designed by A.A.Matthews 1998-11-14

Fig 6 Ned Graphics Promotional Leaflet 1998 3D Textile Presentation Systems

Fig 7 . Diagram designed by A.Matthews 1998.

Fig 8 Tootal Textiles yearly review, Tootal Line number two 1987

Fig 9 Illustration of Line drawing, Illustration taken from Lourie.J.R. Textile 

Graphics Computer Aided.I.B.M Systems, Science Institute, Fairchild 

Publications, New York.

Fig 10 Design from T.F.S Studios Archive Material 

Fig 11 Btree software Promotional Leaflet, Treepaint, Graphic Software for

Textile Printing.

Fig 12 Illustration taken from Stork Promotional Leaflet 1998. 

Fig 13 Illustration taken from Konica Promotional Leaflet1998, Konica Textile 

Printing System.





Design in textile printing has followed a gradual incline of artistic developments, This is a reflection of the technical achievements that have been made over the centuries. From the humble beginnings of block printing which took place around 2000 BC and is still in use today, to the relatively new development in textile printing and design methods of CAD/CAM. 

Computer Aided Design has been in existence in the printed textile industry for around 10 years and for Computer Aided Manufacture for around 40 years. This introduction has not come without its problems.

The textile printing industry has encountered problems whenever a new invention has been developed. We can look back on history to the discovery of copper plate printing by Francis Nixon in 1752. At the time this was a revolutionary new process, but problems occurred for workers under threat of job losses and also the loss of skills from the old method of block printing. 

Today a similarity can be struck within the textile industries with the advent of Computer Aided Design and Manufacture (CAD/CAM). These new skills and methods have to be defined in order to successfully establish a coherent approach to design and technology today, and to show the designer the way ahead in the future for design. 

This dissertation will try to highlight the use of CAD within the printed textile industry and its affects on various components that make up the printed textile industry. This will be undertaken by a series of interviews and questionnaires conducted and recorded by myself. I will also undertake case studies of Tom Lewis Studio and T.F.S studio to gain a balanced view of the design and engraving industry at present.

The main focus will explain the designers use and role of CAD and the converters use of CAD in the textile industry. I will pay particular reference to the methods used in each process and show how they are now changing with the introduction of CAD. I will also highlight the importance of quality being maintained with the use of CAD.

Screen-printing techniques are being affected by the intervention of CAD/CAM, in particular the uses of new developments in printing technologies such as laser engravers and inkjet printers. I will address this issue and try to establish a realistic view of the printing industry at present. 

The investment in computer equipment also needs to be scrutinised to understand the need for CAD in today’s market place This has to be questioned thoroughly to understand that CAD is not just a desirable item but it is also a practical tool and will be considered throughout my research.

Training is an essential part of CAD usage and investment and will be discussed with emphasis on new Designers. The designer’s role will also be put under question with the input of CAD and show how CAD has affected the designer today in terms of design and design marketing. 


Chapter 1, research into CAD within the studio

To establish how the designer’s role within the studio environment is affected with the introduction of CAD, research into various design companies was crucial. This was achieved by conducting a series of interviews and questionnaires relating to the relevance of CAD in a studio environment, The accounts of these results are highlighted within the following Pages.

The studios that I have considered utilise the CAD workstation in various ways, from designing to re-colouring. This is demonstrated through research into Tom Lewis studio and accounts from various other Design related studios. The effects of CAD on the working practices of the designer and their use of CAD will be investigated. The effects of CAD on the whole industry is far reaching and I will try to analyse the state of the industry at present.

The affect of purchasing a system uncovers many varying aspects that affects the whole business and this study of CAD within the textile industry has led to a more informed approach to the whole process of design and production.


Tom Lewis studios based in whaley bridge Derbyshire is a global design studio, there main markets are the UK, America, Europe, south Africa and the Far  East, 

The company has developed enormously over the past four years concentrating on the wallcoverings and home furnishings end of the market. The products that they produce are split 50% wallcovering and 50% Furnishing designs.

This design studio purchased the first CAD system three years ago as part of its continuing growth. After identifying the importance of CAD they undertook an investigation to find the systems that best suited their company, they found that Ned graphics were the best for their needs. They purchased two Ned Graphics Delta systems and one Desitex VI. Following continued demand for designs created through the packages the company has just recently installed a further two Delta systems to meet continuing demand. (see fig 1) This highlights the importance for CAD within this company today and that they are utilising the systems to great effect, Indeed many design companies incorporate CAD as a part of their continuing growth.

Tom Lewis studio found that the system was ideally suited in creating complicated textural effects that repeat with ease. The CAD designer was able to embark on creating these innovative fresh design styles and freed the painterly designer from this restrictive type of design..(see fig 2 ). These designs would normally take an extremely long time to produce due to their nature and CAD can generate these styles with relative ease compared to the traditional method of production.

“One immediate benefit that CAD brought the company was that it gave a different looking product to the market”.1

The input of this design style immediately put Tom Lewis in a strong position for gathering commissioned work from customers. The accuracy and speed that the CAD was able to produce this type of design meant an increase in actual design output, giving more ranges and choice to the customer. 

Tom Lewis studios now utilises the CAD system by producing the bulk of all wallcovering designs on the CAD and they have a huge library of designs held on the CAD data base that they can call upon at any given time for sales trips etc. This type of archiving is in common use today throughout the industry and this studio finds it an essential way of storage, Designs created several years ago can be stored and recalled with ease from digital data taken from optical disks. This is a quick method of gaining a design’s directory compared to the traditional way of finding a design and is an advantage for CAD. Designs saved in this way have the advantage of easier accessibility and can be immediately reworked or altered to fit in with a customer’s requirement. 

The original ideas behind the investment in CAD have far exceeded the expectations of this company and continued interest is still shown from customers. This interest has undoubtedly added to the increase in computer generated designs in this company. 

At one time Tom Lewis studios were the only company utilising CAD as a design medium, this gave the company a huge advantage in selling designs. Today many companies are following suit and have taken this medium on board as a tool for design creation, This increases the competitiveness in computer generated designs on the market. 

This company is highly successful and is one of the leaders in their field in relation to CAD design and they are also one of the leaders in design studios today. One reason for this is that many manufacturing companies are only utilising their CAD systems for colourway production and rescaling designs. 

Today most companies still utilise CAD as a colouring tool and do not want to take the initiative in designing on the CAD for they feel it may be too time consuming, or they prefer the traditional way of producing the design.

They also feel that the computer takes away the more laborious method of production, freeing the designer and enabling them to produce more traditional painterly designs. However companies like Tom Lewis have to be constantly aware of producing new ideas on the CAD to keep ahead of their competitors. What was once a new innovation last year is now just the run of the mill today.


Interesting similarities appeared throughout the whole textile and wallcovering industry through my research data. The findings found that with the input of CAD in design studios there was an underlying element of cost and time savings that are essential in today’s competitive market place, 

One such company who I interviewed, Fine Art, displayed that if they employed a painterly freelance designer to reproduce a design in their Portmerion range, it would take anything up to two weeks to complete and cost roughly £300 for a printed wallpaper border and £650 for a repeating design of a size 640mm by 750mm. The CAD would be able to produce a Border and a repeating design in half the time it would take by the traditional way. This application and intervention of CAD frees the designer to produce more design ranges and is cost effective to the company.

Traditionally the studio or freelance designer would laboriously copy the design by the traditional method and a new design range would be produced. This method has to some extent been taken away by CAD. The major change has come about by the Computers ability to scan an original design into the system with complete accuracy and its capabilities are such that it can be reduced, enlarged, tossed around and placed onto a number of backgrounds in any infinite number of ways. This is an advantage for CAD in competing with traditional methods of design reproduction and I have found through my research that most design companies today utilise CAD in this way.

However it can be argued that you cannot replace the painterly designer and I believe this to be true, but the printed textile industry is fast becoming a computer orientated manufacturing unit that believes in cost savings. This ultimately leads to fewer designs being bought by the major companies like Vymura, Fine Art etc and makes selling designs increasingly difficult for the freelance designer and independent Design Company like Tom Lewis Studios. This is one direct result from the use of CAD in many design companies and is a disadvantage for the freelance designer when selling their designs on the market. 

Nevertheless the industry still requires the services of independent designers to inject a variety of different handwriting of design to their portfolio. A company recognizes the value of the freelance designer and that they give added strength to them, they also ensure that the studio does not become stagnant. 

“The CAD designer has to be more efficient than a painterly designer due to the costs of training and machinery, whereas all the painterly designer has to contend with is a box of paints and paper and their artistic flair.”2

Although this comment is subjective and is in favour for the CAD designer it indicates that speed and efficiency is an essential ingredient in the CAD design process. The CAD design process is affected by the time allowed on a specific design. The rate at which a CAD designer can produce a design according to Tom Lewis studio should be about 50% faster than a painterly designer and this rate of speed normally increases to roughly 80% before sales trips and exhibitions. The importance of maintaining a high level of design output from the CAD designer is of utmost importance to balance a company’s finances in design creation. Tom Lewis studio has realised that;

“The studio encourages the designers to interchange the skills allowing a flexible workforce. But the tendency is to stick with the designers specialising in their areas. This is due to the fact that productivity has to stay at a constant level and you have to get the most out of the CAD for it to be able to run at a budget and to the deadlines.”3

The running costs of CAD are extremely important in the management side of the business and the hidden costs such as maintenance contracts to keep all the machinery running are essential. Fine Décor has compared the overall cost to the traditional method of production and they have found it to be about 50% more efficient in costs and about 60% more time saving 

Companies like Fine Art find that they are able to produce more designs from the designers that they employ, This is due to the freedom that CAD offers the designer. The laborious tasks like re-colouring a design is now produced through the CAD and enables the designer to be more articulate in their choice of colour. (see fig 3)

“It is important to remember that CAD is a tool for an expert to enhance their specific part of the process and add to the overall success of the business. If we let the skills disappear, the technology will have little on which to base developments.”4

What this comment underlines is the issues surrounding CAD and its usage, it is true to say that if there is no creative input from a designer the developments in CAD software become pointless. It is essential that the Designer is included as a part of developing a package for the designer, in the past this was not the case and they were excluded from any decision making. However today the input of the designer is a fundamental element in producing a design package for the printed textile market, This is realised by Ned Graphics and they develop their software to the requirements of the designer.

The software packages on offer ten years ago were not as easy to use for the printed textile designer and the packages were based upon the computer expert’s view of how a design package should operate. This resulted in a package that was not really suitable for the printed textile market and there were limitations to the output of artwork and usability of the software. The design packages of yesteryear were more suitable for Draughtsmanship and woven textiles, which were based on more linear drawing styles. These packages resulted in the printed textile designer being unenthusiastic to the usage of CAD in design.

However today this is changing, the systems have now become extremely user friendly to the printed textile designer and is changing the designers view of CAD today. Designers of the past were reluctant to use CAD as a design tool, but today they are now eager to take the initiative and use CAD as a tool for the design process. This is highlighted by the increase in investment in CAD workstations throughout the industry today. 

“A few years ago draughtsman were happy to work with pencils and rulers; nowadays those who don’t know their way around an AutoCAD or some such programme are very few and far between”5

One other benefit for CAD is that the designer can gain a representation of the design’s separation. The CAD can separate a design’s colour into individual screens and can be either viewed on screen or printed out for the customer. This was not available to the designer before the introduction of CAD and the design would normally go to production before a customer could see a sample of cloth. Customers like to see the engraved screens in order to assess what they are getting for their money and speeds up the process of approval. 

However the quality of the screens produced by this process are of a low standard compared to the traditional method, nevertheless they give a representation of what they may look like and are perfect for customers to gain an idea of what the finished article will look like. Companies like Vanguard, who caters for the low end of the market, would often use these separated screens for their final separations. Companies such as this find CAD an ideal tool in these situations and are often not interested in gaining a quality product. In this instance the cost savings are the most important aspect that CAD has brought this low end of the market company.

1.3 CAD Training

A question arises to the relevance of CAD training throughout the industry and the freelance designer should not be overlooked. The need for training is not as essential to the freelance designer unless they are actually going to purchase a system and compete with creating computer generated designs. Although a designer needs to be aware of the relevance of CAD within their creative field and that CAD can aid their process of design by its speed of manipulation and colouration. The freelancer can effectively utilise CAD as a tool for design and sell that information on optical disk to a company. With these factors in mind I believe training is important to develop designers for the future and CAD should be included as a part of that design process. 

In my opinion in order to gain training for new designers, more investment by Universities is needed and time should be given to accommodate a training package for new designers. The software used in Universities should reflect the same packages used in industry. Although Manchester University does have a good CAD department and has a Desitex 6 system installed, they nevertheless do not accommodate the latest software packages such as Delta designer, which most of the printed textile industry uses. The training on CAD systems today is left almost entirely to a company who has invested in CAD.

However it is realised that the view of most design companies is that they will provide training to the people they employ and that CAD training for new designers is not as essential as design training. Although it is of my opinion that CAD training is also important in today’s competitive market and the CAD trained designer is at a further advantage when facing employment within a CAD orientated studio. 

New designers emerging from Universities are at a disadvantage to the industrially trained CAD designer, for they are given minimal training on CAD systems and are not equipped to cope with the demands of CAD in the industry as yet. This is understandable because of lack of resources and the programme of study time. But I believe that this problem needs to be addressed in order to create more competent CAD designers for the future, indeed the input of CAD to the traditional designer would be advantageous to both new and old designer for it enables more scope for creative thinking and working.

I believe in the future CAD will play a greater role for designers and the freelancer will need to invest in CAD, they will also have to review the way they work in order to compete. Training will also have to be undertaken by the freelancer. 

I approached Mr P Bowman of Ned Graphics and asked the question. Do you provide training to people?

“We supply training as a part of the installation of the equipment and it is built into the system, Additional training costs £250-£400 per day. We do not provide tuition to independent designers because we are not geared up to doing it at all, this is because the biggest chunk of investment is development. We do offer additional training to our customer base but to people with no systems it has a limited value to us”6

This highlights the dilemma to the new designer, generally employers require more competent designers than before to enhance their business.and to gain training on a CAD system that textile companies use today is extremely difficult. 

I asked the question is their any way of gaining training for the freelancer?

“There are freelance trainers about who we use on occasions who would be pleased to do it, but are not cheap”7

This is an indication of the state of the training industry at present and that there is indeed a need for a recognised institution to take up the challenge of giving designers the training required on such industrially based systems.


The understanding of a Designer’s occupational responsibilities to the process of design has to be given careful consideration in relation to the input of CAD. Today the role of the designer has, and is being affected by, its interaction of artwork on the system.

A survey of how CAD has affected the designer was undertaken by myself, this was achieved by a series of questionnaires and interviews, 

And when evaluated it uncovered specific areas that affected the designers use of CAD. 

95% of designers employed by a company found that the system had given them the desired requirements that they needed in terms of manipulation, whilst the remainder found either the software they used, hard to use or more restrictive. 

98% of designer’s replies found that the areas of scale changes were very good and the remainder found the system they use to be lacking good scale changes.

90% of designers found that colour manipulation was excellent for their needs whilst the remainder found a need for small improvements. Indeed most designers employed by a company showed an enthusiastic response to CAD as a tool for the design process. However the questionnaire uncovered that dependent upon what system the designer used depends upon how the designer reacts to CAD.

Successful design creation varies from company to company and how they utilise CAD also varies, each individual company therefore requires certain elements from CAD to achieve an end goal. They all however have a common ground, CAD design has to give colour accuracy and good manipulative qualities. Most CAD designers who I interviewed or returned my questionnaire found CAD to be excellent and was an essential part of the process of printed textile design.

I asked the question, How good is the manipulative abilities of CAD?

“The CAD system is extremely easy to manipulate for repeats and to generate textures and background effects. We generally use the system to scan a design idea into it and manipulate that. Rather than actually design with the CAD, it is far simpler to scan a design into the system and produce various colourways, generate room settings etc.”8

This highlights that Design creation is best undertaken with an original idea, it is extremely rare that a company would design straight on CAD, however generating checks is one example of design creation straight on CAD, this is more suitably used with woven design. 

At Tom Lewis Studio the CAD designer would start off with a line drawing which is firstly drawn out by the painterly designer, textures would then either be scanned in or recalled from the archives that are stored on optical disks. When creating a textural design the painterly designer would create the original texture by hand and scan it into the CAD. Designing would begin and a sort of layering process is undertaken using the many functions installed on the system. Creating a design from the texture libraries in this way is extremely fast and accurate compared to the traditional method of design creation and is an advantage for CAD. 

My findings have found that design creation on CAD is restricted to certain designs which can be created with ease, these designs as stated above are easily produced, but an input of some form or another is still essential in the design process. You can create designs with no input from outside sources by the use of a light pen, which recreates a number of different tools such as a brush, pen and airbrush but these tools are often used in conjunction with already scanned in material.

“Virtually anything can be scanned in to give a design idea. It is extremely rare that the studio would draw something on the CAD, it would take too long to produce something that way, due to the expense of the CAD it has got to produce a lot of designs very quickly.”9

The design process on CAD is linked to expense in an important way and this statement highlights the reason why most companies do not produce designs created straight on the system. I believe this shows that cost and time within a company restrict innovative design. 

The future of design creation solely by CAD with no input may lie with the freelance designer who has not got the restrictions of a company who dictates the use of CAD. These designers may begin to produce innovative designs exclusively by CAD alone.

Today companies are reluctant to pursue a design that has been produced directly from the computer with virtually no input from outside sources, they believe that the painterly designer’s hand will never be replaced by a CAD design and that the proper use of CAD is being adhered to already.

Hopefully in the future these practises will be overcome and a more open-minded approach to design will be made. Designers like Mr J Dedman an ex Textile Design student at Manchester University who is now a freelance designer utilising CAD, has shown that his method of design can be both visually appealing and maintain quality in design by manipulation entirely by the use of CAD (see fig 4) 

“Design is changing, and the role of designers is also changing.”10

Although CAD is an amazingly beneficial tool in today’s workplace these approaches to design will have an effect upon designer’s perspectives on design and will optimistically lead to a different looking product for printed textiles.

1.5 The freelance designer and CAD

The freelance designer has to be recognised within the design industry as a fundamental part of design input and they need to be given the credit that they deserve. They are often the most innovative in terms of design creation and their place within a CAD orientated environment needs to be looked at in more detail.

The designer working in a studio environment differs to that of a freelance designer, The studio designer undertakes briefings from managers and clients and work within a team, they also benefit from gaining the latest marketing and seasonal prediction information which benefits the design process by gaining informed design decisions. The freelancers work independently and rely upon their own marketing predictions, Although in some instances they may gain information from companies who commission their work. The amount of work produced in comparison can vary, but on average the studio-based designer is more likely to be working on a design with the use of CAD in one form or another throughout his time employed. 

The freelancer can effectively choose for himself the time he wishes to work., Although they may often have to work longer hours than a studio based designer and there are no strict rules that govern the allocation of a designer’s time in a given week for the freelancer. The freelance designer normally has little contact with CAD unless they have specifically purchased a system and their time is mainly spent on creating painterly designs.

“How much actual designing he (the designer) does depends very much on the size of the studio, and the talents and capabilities of the designer”11

Although not all designers are in constant touch with CAD there has been a shift towards more integration with the designers and CAD. This integration of CAD design into the workplace has effectively changed the way of producing and purchasing certain types of designs.

“If we produce a collection we spend about £10000 on artwork, if we do it on CAD it would cost about £2000”12

This reduction in costs is because the company would purchase fewer designs and create the co-ordinating ranges by scanning the original artwork into the system and producing the collection from that. The freelance designer becomes increasingly disadvantaged to this approach and they are realising that the market place is unsympathetic to their situation 

:“ The freelance designer will find it increasingly more difficult to sell designs, because as a company with the input of CAD we produce more designs anyway, reducing the need for buying in more designs or sending out commissions to designers”13

This highlights the immediate effects on the freelance designer and independent companies like Tom Lewis and Artwork Design who are in competition to gain a share of the market in selling designs. This is a disadvantage to the freelance designers with less artwork being available to them and this may lead to the weaker designer abandoning that career. 

“We have had to let a number of people go due to the investment in CAD, you cannot expect to invest in equipment and have the same amount of personnel”14

This fact within this studio has helped to increase the vulnerability of the designer and only helps undermine a designer’s worth within the industry today. In my opinion the loss of skilled workers only increases the lack of creative input within a company and leads to a stagnation of innovative design. However it is realised that this process of elimination may have an effect of achieving resilient and dynamic designers for the future, this could be a positive aspect and needs further investigation in the future. 

CAD is proving its worth within a company by its cost and time- savings. Nevertheless I believe that the effects on the freelance designer will become so acute that they will not be able to compete in selling their artwork or simply become disheartened by the lack of work available. 

I believe in this instance CAD is a major disadvantage to the freelance designer but is positive for a company who can exploit design to the maximum.


The process of design follows a route from design ideas through to production and are fundamentally linked to the whole design industry, whether it be the designers role or the production methods of recreating a design to the marketing of a product.(see fig 5)

It is important to realise that design today is not exclusively in the hands of the designer. Information has been gathered from all sectors of the design industry from colour predictions, design themes and sales information. This helps predict the next season’s collections and aid the designer to informed decisions. Competitiveness in this industry is fierce with this fact and design has to be focused in order to sell. 

Today competitiveness is not restricted to the UK markets it is reflected world-wide. This is shown in the interest to shows such as Intohome, Indigo and Heimtex, where designers and buyers converge to assess and purchase designs from around the world. Interaction between buyers and Designers at this stage is crucial to gain more informed design decisions.

“A picture is worth a thousand words. A visual image that bears a close resemblance to the finished product enhances the communication between designers and buyers, between sales and marketing, between buyers and stores and within departments and organisations”15

Design companies all competing to sell are increasingly aware that design today has to be of a higher standard in order to sell, and are aware that on average a design is often sold at a lesser price than it should be valued. At shows, like Intohome, when buyers purchase designs they look for quality, colour, design-style and how much they can buy the design for. They will often be swayed to a purchase if they can get discounts on a bulk buy. This reflects the state of the market in design today. Designers are therefore under constant pressure to produce quality designs at budget prices and the value of a design has decreased with this attitude. This depreciation of a Designs worth is a reflection of the state of the market at present. 

Designing today is market orientated, market research is undertaken to gauge what is the likely design style for the coming season. It is useless trying to design something that will not be relevant to a market area and the design will not be used, this is often the attitude of most design companies today

“ At one time the customers would look around for a design for something they can use, but now it is more market orientated”16

Buyers are aware of market research and their judgement on purchasing a design is based on these predictions. Most companies have cut down on expense and are choosy in what they buy. This means the designer has to be more in tune with what a company wants in order to sell their design. 

The marketing of a design has to be considered as an essential part of selling in the design business and the use of CAD utilising presentation packages to increase the saleability of a product needs to be highlighted.

These packages increase the salesman’s selling power by displaying the design in a environment without the need to go to the expense of doing room set ups which can run into thousands of pounds.(see fig 6) With CAD you can produce roomsets in a matter of hours and the outlay is minimal. To create a true room set would take time and normally costs between £2000-£3000. 

“Designs can be displayed in several ways; firstly on a high resolution monitor, where initial Design concepts can be rapidly, easily and inexpensively altered. Secondly printed on paper, generally for presentation purposes to support theme boards, but also to give a better impression of large images. Thirdly printed onto fabric by a thermal transfer or inkjet-printing route. This sample design fabric is made into garments for design buying reviews.”17

Companies such as Crown Wallcoverings find this way of displaying certain designs the simplest and most professional way of working and 

find that this is the most cost effective way of portraying their design ranges to clients. Presentation is the key to a companies selling capabilities to prospective clients and CAD provides this by its application, Room-sets can be displayed on a laptop computer and several design ranges can be shown within this environment.(see fig 6) CAD in this instance has provided professional standards and quality coupled with cost savings and shows an advantage for CAD.


1, Brown.P. Design studio Manager, Tom Lewis studio, Crown House, Bingswood Tradin Estate, Whaley Bridge, High Peak, Derbyshire, SK3 7LY. Interview date 25th 2nd 1998.



4,Davies.R. Cad in the real world’; Using Cad Clothing/ Textile systems in industry.’ CAD in clothing and textiles.’ Blackwell Science. 1992. P104.

5, Pickering.A. (July/August 1991) Image Processing p.6.

6, Bowman.P. Managing Director, Ned Graphics Ltd, Synergy House, Guildhall Close, Manchester Science Park, Manchester. Interview Date 29th 5th 1998.

7, Ibid. P.3.

8, Byrne.G. Designer, Dorma, C.V.Home Furnishings Ltd, P.O.Box 7, Lees Street, Swinton, Manchester, M27 6DB. Interview Date 21st 1st 1998.

9, Brown.P. Design studio Manager, Tom Lewis Studio, Crown House, Bingswood Trading Estate, Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire, SK3 7LY. Interview Date 25th 2nd 1998

10, Diani,M., (1988) Design issues Vol.IV P.10

11, Albeck.P., (1969) Printed Textiles P.21 (Oxford University Press) London.

12, Barridich.C. Designer, Fine Décor, Victoria Mill, Macclesfield Road, Holmes Chapel, Crewe, Cheshire, CW4 7PA. Interview Date 8th 7th 1998


14, Byrne.G. Designer, Dorma, C.V. Home Furnishings Ltd, P.O.Box 7 Lees street, Swinton, Manchester, M27 6DB, Interview Date 21st 1st 1998.

15, Walter.C., “CAD in textiles and clothing- a collection of expert views” Blackwell Science Ltd 1992. P.85

16, Brown.P.Design studio Manager, Tom Lewis studio, Crown House, Bingswood trading estate, Whaley Bridge, High Peak, Derbyshire, SK23 7LY, Interview date 25th 2nd 1998. 

17,Perkins,P.E. Hands on CAD  Casell, 1989 (1st Ed) P.8.


Chapter 2,


Today computer-aided design has governed the way textile companies work and has revolutionised the intermediate processes of design production onto cloth. The software packages on offer by various CAD companies supplying to the textile industry, whilst starting off very crudely compared to the paper printing industry, has developed to such a point that the printed textile companies have now taken CAD as a serious option if not the only option to enhance their business. 

One such company that specialises in the reproduction of designs and is renowned throughout the Northwest for their quality in converting designs ready for printing is T.F.S. studios. Based in Reddish Stockport this studio has seized upon the technology as early as 1992 in order to keep their place as market leaders.

“It is essential for any business to take the initiative and invest in its future”1 

T.F.S. is a commissioned engraver, which began as a engraving service for Tootal Textiles. The company has undergone changes and take over bids from Coats Viyella group, currently owned by CHA Textiles group and is a part of ABC.

Mr D.R.Bradley heads a 14 strong team of reproduction artists these include three CAD operatives who contribute to the success of the company.

T.F.S realised the need to invest in CAD and were persuaded by TCS (now Ned Graphics) to co-operate in producing a software package based around their needs and the needs of similar companies to themselves. TFS and ABC purchased three TCS systems at a cost of £70000 and began working together to produce the product that they needed. The product software that was produced changed and constantly developed to the new packages that are on offer today at Ned Graphics such as Delta Engraver, Delta designer, Delta studio, Delta colourist, Delta colourmatch.(see fig 1)

“We feel there is a constant need for upgrading of new software to speed up and make the whole process more simple and less time consuming”2

Today T.F.S have invested in the Ned Graphics delta engraver and they are benefiting from the increased manipulative abilities it offers. The early packages that were being utilised by them gave limited scope for tonal work to be undertaken, but the improvements in technology by Ned Graphics has overcome this downfall. This latest package has enabled them to gain a stronger foothold on their niche market area and their options have now been increased with regards to in house production methods. They have found that this system has got all the capabilities of reproducing the artwork with quality and is also reducing the cost of separation times and engraving costs considerably.

Delta engraver as stated in a promotional leaflet;

“Output from the system can be placed in a wide range of industry standard formats, either for direct transfer to laser engravers or high resolution film plotters. Thus, Whether you have your own engraving department or work with a commission engraver, Delta engraver ensures that your designs are quickly and faithfully reproduced in the final product”3

This highlights that CAD has increased its abilities enormously over the years and is a serious contender to the traditional sketchmaker. However the conventional way of reproducing designs still has an important role to play within this company today, indeed the industry still utilises the skills of sketchmakers to produce a quality product, But there is a constant threat from the input of the computer with such packages as Delta Engraver. 

“The sketchmakers will always be needed to reproduce the designs by the conventional way, and experience tells us that it is not practical to rely solely on CAD because it only gives a representation of a design and the quality is poor”4

Is this entirely true or is it a viewpoint accepted to calm the fears of the artists today? I believe, at present certain designs are not practical to be placed on CAD and this point of view can be upheld. Although developments in technology are increasing almost daily and it will not be long before this viewpoint will be reconsidered, especially regards to companies like Ned Graphics who have a policy of constant development.

“ The artwork produced from the CAD is an accurate representation of the design when it is printed. Manually separated artwork has always got to detract from the original design, and a lot depends on what the colour separation artists interpretation of what that design should look like. So for me it has improved the quality because of its closer representation of the design”5

This contradiction in terms regarding quality demonstrates differing points of view on the subject and the skills and abilities of a sketchmaker is put under more scrutiny with this. Sketchmakers are beginning to question their place in the industry with the input of CAD. The sketchmaker and indeed the designer needs to know where they stand today and whether they have a place with the new technology of the future. My research has uncovered that the sketchmakers role is changing incorporating a more computer integrated approach to separating designs and are effectively moving with the changes in technology. The sketchmakers have found that CAD is an extra tool for the process of production. 

“At the end of the day CAD is just a tool, there isn’t a system as yet that can create the separations from the design. I feel their will always be a need for an Artist to sit and manipulate the Designs, or create original artwork from a brief.”6


To understand how changes in the production of engraving has affected the reproduction of design with the utilisation of CAD we have to illustrate the differences in each process and show by example the methods used by each process. This will be displayed by the methods used by T.F.S. studio.

T.F.S receives a design from a customer such as Stead Mcalpine Alexander Drew etc. The design is then assessed to see how many colours it can be reduced down to, and it is confirmed with the customer as to the specifications of separation. The engraving method is selected and determined by the end use of a design e.g. liberty type designs use copper roller production while fashion designs are usually produced by the rotary screen method, and furnishings can be either rotary or flat screen printing. Designs for rotary printing are usually for fashion fabrics in which a quick and cost effective printing method is employed. 

The design process does not stop once the design has left the designer, Alterations are a frequent necessity in producing the product that is fit for printing purposes. These procedures described below are fundamental to reproduction methods and are an essential part of the occupational responsibilities of the designer and sketchmaker.

1, The repeat of a design must not show obvious faults such as runs . (tramlines that appear when the repeat is stepped several times)

2, The size of design must be within the limits of the screen.

3, The design must be balanced & maintain a pleasing look.

4, The amount of colours should not exceed 26

5, what type of printing method will be employed & understand the reason 

as to why. 

Upon receiving a design for reproduction there has to be an awareness of certain elements these being:

1, Are the design measurements correct to the size of screen used?

2, Can a suitable boxing limit be found inside 29inches?

3, Has the customer stated any alterations to the design?

4, Are there sufficient colours to accurately reproduce the design ?, if not . . suggest remedies.

5, Is the design more capable of use as a solid or a tone to create the desired .  effect?

6, Has the design got large open areas of blotch tone ? If so try to avoid . . . .. cutting through these points or use of wrong selection where possible.

7, Has the design got any obvious runs ? If so correct & check with 


8, Would the design be suitable for any other printing method?

These points show how design and reproduction has a series of checks that are carried out as the design is evaluated and produced, all of which are still relevant in the utilisation of CAD.


Once the method of production is decided the design is passed onto the sketchmaker, he then decides how the design is to be reproduced and the design is examined in more detail. The design has to be exactly reproduced to the correct measurement for fit on the screens to either the circumference of the roller or the screen.

The decisions for designs to be placed onto CAD are discussed in detail with both management and artist. The decisions rely upon a number of aspects, whether it is to be done:

1 By Traditional hand reproduction,

2 By both CAD and Traditional hand reproduction

3 By CAD undertaking the whole process.

(See fig 7)

The first method is the traditional way and uses the sole ability of the sketchmaker.(see fig 8) This is often thought of as a slower and more time consuming process. The designs that are now generally put through this process are usually the furnishing type of design. These designs will generally be of a large scale and tonal in nature.

The conventional method of reproduction requires that a pencil sketch of the tonal work has to be traced in order to show the edges of the tone to be painted. This sketch will be drawn accurately and to a scribed out section measured exactly to the screen sizes.(see fig 9) This method takes anything up to a day to complete, but with the introduction of the CAD this can be eliminated, dependent on the size of the design.

The tonal work can be reproduced accurately to the design, This is achieved by reproducing tones in shades of jet black to white paper. Skill and craftsmanship is needed in reproducing and interpretation of the tones from the design.(see fig 9)

This aspect of reproduction is a time consuming process, but now with the input of Delta engraver this process can be eliminated by scanning the whole design into the system and manipulating the images tones on screen by its many varying functions.(see fig 11) A furnishing design involving 24 colours, of a size 640mm by 700mm, would take anything up to 4 weeks to complete by the traditional method, but now CAD can cut this time by at least half. The use of CAD for this type of work is generally restricted to the smaller designs and it has found that the flatter design styles are more successfully operated through the CAD rather than by the traditional method.(see fig 10 )

The employment of CAD and traditional separation artist is the second method of production and the type of designs that will be placed on these are usually complicated in nature, often requiring multiple tones and effects which are created through both the artist’s ability and texture libraries on the CAD. The artwork will often be tonal, which at T.F.S will be produced by the sketchmaker and then scanned into the CAD. These will be combined and manipulated by the CAD operator.

This method has proved to be the most cost and time effective at T.F.S and is a positive aspect of CAD production. The ability of CAD in this instance, is that the reduction in production time can free the sketchmaker and CAD operator from the pressures of trying to create quality artwork in a short space of time, this reflects on the work produced.

The third method of production is entirely by CAD and the input of design is restricted to flat intricate design styles. Designs such as Liberty type prints (see fig 10) can be totally scanned into the CAD and manipulated with ease. These designs are extremely difficult to reproduce by conventional methods and only a highly trained sketchmaker can accomplish a quality product. In this instance CAD is perfect for reproducing this design style and advantageous to the sketchmaker for it frees them from this time consuming and delicate process of reproduction. 

The designs produced in this way are separated out into their various components and plotted out onto film or onto optical disk which in turn goes directly to laser engraver, this method is extremely fast and is the most cost-effective way of producing finished artwork in the studio. 

Figures for production in T.F.S. in 1995

28% …………………….….of total work done on the CAD system.

30% ……………………….of total work done in the studio.

42% ……………………….of total work done in outwork and homework.

Figures for production in T.F.S in 1997

33% ………………………..of total work on CAD system

47% ……………………….of total work done in studio

20% ……………………….of total work done in outwork and homework

These figures demonstrate that although over a short period of time the introduction of CAD has increased the output of CAD generated designs and has affected the amount of work needed to be produced outside the studio environment. The company feels that the most cost-effective method of production is through CAD, illustrating the importance of CAD as a tool for the process of design reproduction. 

The effect of CAD on production has altered the distribution of design reproduction both inside and outside the studio and is also reflected in these figures. 

I put the question to Mr Bradley “If you had not invested in CAD where would your business be today?”

“I believe we would be struggling to keep a share of the market, because all the industry has CAD systems and there is that much information flying around on disk from company to company at the moment, if we were not able to accept that information then we would lose a lot of customers”7

The importance of CAD in the industry is realised with this statement and shows that computer reliance is necessary for a company to become competitive. This, however, can become a problem with initial costs, but has to be accounted for if a successful company is to exist.

After consulting a number of companies on the matter of investment, I found it was crucial to gain this medium to compete in the open market. Financial constraints however play a huge role in the running of any business and some companies are unable to invest in the systems. 

Companies like Barry Ward Colour Consultants Limited who specialised in the making of Screens for the printed textile industry were unable to react to the technology of the day and ceased trading in May 1997. This was partly due to lack of investment in CAD technology and its incapability in producing computer generated imagery also through financial misjudgements in the investment of the business. This company had to rely entirely on the traditional method of reproduction and they found it increasingly more difficult to produce screens of quality in a quick and cost effective manner.

Although the initial outlay for a CAD system is expensive the reduction in design reproduction time and costly film outlay demonstrates the importance of this new tool within textile design today.

2.4 Quality of reproduction,

Quality is always a governing factor in the industry, history tells us it always has been. William Morris has demonstrated this aspect through his designs, which are still used today in the textile and wallcovering industries. T.F.S. has taken this ideal as a foundation on which to build upon quality but with technology as a leading aspect in its business. There is however a dilemma, The customer expects competitive completion dates and with the advent of computers the need for speed is an uncompromising matter. Quality is not always feasible under these circumstances. There is always constant pressure of how fast and accurate one can produce screens in the industry, but it is the company that can best retain quality out of all the engravers, that will be able to exist in this competitive market today. Technology today has influenced the industries way of producing and reproducing designs and quality in some instances has been compromised in favour for speed of production. 

We can see a change in the industry with its usage of CAD in Design studios and engraving studios, but does it necessarily mean better quality for the industry? 

After asking the question, “Do you feel the quality of a design is reduced when scanned into the system?” Mr Byrne stated;

“No the quality of the design is the most important thing, and it is imperative as a company to be able to keep that quality in the design. If a customer sees a croquis idea that they want to develop further it is important to keep that existing quality maintained throughout.”8

Quality is the most important aspect in maintaining a design likeness and is especially true when involved in re-creating a design in engraving. 

There are several consequences relating to quality in this industry one such consequence regarding computer reproduction is what the final image looks like when plotted out onto film and whether it maintains quality. The early plotters for CAD were crude and costly pieces of hardware, which gave a limited scope for design reproduction consequently the need for film checkers was still required to touch up the film work. (see fig 8) 

The quality of a traditionally reproduced design is only achieved by a sketchmaker’s ability, which has been nurtured over many years. The hierarchy within any company begins with the most skilled or talented at the top and filters down to the lower echelons at the bottom. This is true to say with a sketchmaker’s ability. This usually reflects in the designs given to an individual, the more complicated and beautifully painted the design requires the most talented artist.

This highlights the importance of a fully trained sketchmaker compared to a computer operative who uses only a mouse for their skills. Although both play a huge role in producing designs, the quality needs to be maintained throughout, emphasis should be placed on creating quality designs and technology of today shouldn’t overlook this. Companies like Ned Graphics indeed place this at the forefront of their agenda. 

The industry at present is lacking good quality sketchmakers with these traditional skills, but the industry is not sympathetic to this dilemma Instead, the emphasis is placed upon how fast a design can be reproduced today. This is a disadvantage to the sketchmaker where their skills are being gradually reduced by the intervention of CAD but is positive for the use of CAD in engraving. 

“The sketchmaker’s ability is an important aspect of the business, it is true to say that the sketchmaker’s ability will be replaced, to some extent, sometime in the near future”9

Quality in the design industry is important to maintain the same look as the original design. Traditionally the quality engravers were based upon the abilities of a sketchmaker and how they can interpret that particular design. Today CAD is changing that view, a reasonable quality can be achieved through CAD and is being used extensively throughout the industry. However I believe certain designs still have to be produced by hand to gain quality, but this view may change with new software developments and will be a benefit for CAD nevertheless this gain will be at the loss of traditional sketchmaking.

The engraving industry plays an integral part of maintaining quality in the pre-production process and CAD today plays a huge role in maintaining the quality of certain design types but what is important is that design maintains a standard that is able to be reproduced.

“It is essential in the industry to produce a design that can be reproduced, it is like designing a car that doesn’t go, it is no good if the design looks fabulous but doesn’t work.”10

Design and reproduction has developed close links in production methods and has encountered problems over the centuries, One such problem was the decline in printing standards during the 1830s. This decline was attributed to the introduction of progressively cheaper engraved roller printing and new chemical dyes, also the introduction of cheap imports. This is a reflection of today’s dilemma in the industry, Similarities occur with cheap imports from Pakistan etc and cheaper production methods of printing such as the use of separated imagery straight from the CAD, which has not been of a high standard of reproduction.

The decline in printing standards of that era was later reversed by the introduction of the designer’s influence in the industry. These were professional designers trained in Art schools. Who raised the standards to the highest ever reached in England. Put into today’s context of design and use of new technologies such as CAD/CAM, designers today should look towards the future and realise that Design may change with the advent of Inkjet printing technology. These changes could alter design repeat formats and not be restricted to sizes of screens or rollers but to the size of file required on CAD. In my opinion new design utilising new technology could be the key for innovative different designs of the future.


1, Bradley. D.R. Managing Director. T.F.S. studio Unit 5a Hammond Avenue Reddish Stockport .Interview Date, 12th 11th 1997.

2, Albiston.J. CAD Operator, Meshtex Ltd, Second Avenue, Poynton Industrial Estate, Poynton, Cheshire, SK12 IND.

3, Ned Graphics, Promotional Leaflet, CAD/CAM for printed Textiles, 1998.

4, Bradley.D.R. Managing Director,, Unit 5a Hammond Avenue, Reddish, Stockport, Interview Date, 12th 11th 1997.

5, Nicholson.S. Seperation Department Manager, C.V. home furnishings Ltd, P.O.Box 7 Lees street,Swinton, Manchester M27 6DB. Interview Date 21st 1st 1998.

6, Ibid,

7, Bradley.D.R. Managing Director, T.F.S. studio Unit 5a Hammond Avenue, Reddish, Stockport. Interview Date 12th 11th 1997.

8, Byrne.G. Designer, Dorma, Newtown Mill, Lees Street, Swinton, Manchester, M27 6DB, Interview Date, 21st 1st 1998.

9, Bradley, D.R. Managing Director, T.F.S. studio, Unit 5a Hammond Avenue,Reddish, Stockport, Interview Date 12th 11th 1997.

10, Brown.P. Design studio Manager, Tom Lewis Studio, Crown House, Bingswood Trading Estate, Whaley Bridge, High Peak, Derbyshire, SK3 7LY. Interview Date 25th 2nd 1998.


Chapter 3,




Laser engravers today are used in conjunction with CAD thus by passing Traditional sketchmakers and film checkers.(see fig 8) The screen makers that also produce the cylindrical rollers for engraving are also affected by eliminating their production, which demonstrates the far-reaching effects of CAD/CAM. The whole industrial process is gradually changing in favour for the latest laser engraving machines. This is due to its cost effectiveness.

“CAD to Laser without any film work is about 30%-40% cheaper than CAD to film.”1

This method of production is by far the most cost effective and time saving way of producing engraved rollers for textile printing today.

“The immediate benefits that CAD brought production was reducing the amount of film work needed.”2

Technology is increasingly becoming more sophisticated and it will only be a matter of time that you can print almost anything through CAD without the need for film. 

Asked if film work would be eventually fazed out in favour for the laser engraving or continual inkjet printing 

“ The only reason that we use filmwork today is for the production of flat bed or large scale designs or single quilts”. The reason for this is because the size of file required for CAD would be around 300 mega bytes and the processing time for that image would take too long for it to be advantageous on CAD”3

For CAD/CAM to become a viable option in producing such large-scale designs the processing capabilities need to be improved by software manufacturers that provide these state of the art machines. In the future these changes may come about and the need for film work will truly be a thing of the past. Although at present such large repeats are too cumbersome to be produced through CAD.

Companies like T.F.S have undergone changes in the way they reproduce designs today, One major change was the introduction of laser engraver. There are advantages and disadvantages to this change, One such advantage for CAD to laser engraver is the reassurance that the final image will not misalign, unlike film, which has a tendency to shrink and expand in atmospheric changes thus creating misfitting designs at the printing stage. This is an aspect that film reproduction of the past has lived with, indeed CAD to CAM has reduced this element by its precision transference from floppy disk to laser engraver.

One disadvantage for CAD is its precision! When a design is scanned into the computer the image is reproduced with all its flaws. The computer does not discriminate in its choice of image and it takes the human eye to correct the obvious mistakes in the design. This aspect demonstrates the need for a fully trained CAD operative that has also the understanding of design and separation to exploit its full potential.

The manipulation and separation of a design also ensuring the repeated image is correct is left entirely to the artist and CAD operator. This is reassuring to the separation artist because experience has now proven that to gain a perfect design reproduction of a design, The artist’s ability to recognise the build up of tones from a dark screen to a light screen is imperative. This is an aspect that CAD as yet cannot change, it can only see one shade of colour, and CAD cannot at present distinguish between three separate screens as is needed in textile printing. 

One other advantage of CAD is that T.F.S is now working more closely with designers from various companies to produce what they need now. In the past designers would normally go straight direct to the printers for there problems and clarification of what they want from there designs, they now turn to the engravers directly This shows technology is improving communication in design today.



My research has uncovered interesting possibilities that may effect the textile industry. I have also found that technology in CAD to CAM is undergoing changes. These changes are in particular reference to continual inkjet printing in the textile industry. In respect of the Design studio environment, many companies have purchased an Iris Realist printer this printer is capable of printing quality artwork on both paper and fabric. The advantage of being able to print onto fabric is obvious, the customer gets to see immediately the look and feel of a finished design on cloth without the costs incurred in going into full production. This is extremely useful when trying to sell your product to a potential customer.

A question arose in the screen-printing magazine to a Mr Sean O’Leary the technical Editor of the big picture Chicago. What technologies do you expect to have the greatest impact on screen printers? 

“It is relatively clear that inkjet machines of one description or another will ultimately emerge as the “replacement technology” for screen printing. It doesn’t make me particularly happy to use that term, but each generation of inkjet takes another chunk out of traditional screen printing territory”.3

This viewpoint is upheld by Mr Paul Fleck the health and safety representative of Crown and who has been in their employ for seventeen years he has worked on every aspect of production excluding design. 

“The CAD system has been the mainstay of the design process here for some years and I can see that continual inkjet printing will play a future roll in design production, also the pre process production department will be phased out and replaced with new technology that will speed production up saving on time and pay costs, Each roller that is produced costs £500 to make just for samples”4

These views represent the changing face of production in the 1990s textile industry and highlights problems for the traditionally skilled workforce 

The technology is advancing quickly in printing with many companies such as Konica taking up the challenge of producing systems such as the Nassenger KS-1600, a textile printing system that fits into an office environment and can produce textile prints from digital data and is compatible with windows 95. The standard operating system that all companies will be using in the millennium.

The benefits for this type of printing as the company claims are that textile printing jobs take around two months with the conventional method of screen printing but with the Nassenger it is cut to just two weeks from design to finishing. They also claim that rush orders can be completed within 24 hours. These claims ultimately lead to a more competitive edge in the processing of designs for textile printing and I believe is the way ahead for future development. The restrictions that can be foreseen in the use of CAD to CAM are in its processing power capabilities.

CAD/CAM has restrictions only limited to the size of file and processing time it takes for the design to be printed. If a design of a size of a duvet was put through the system, then the file size would be in the region of 300mega bytes and the processing time for that image would take an extremely long time to produce a printed length. At present it may not be feasible to produce a design through CAD with such a large Design size but maybe future developments may overcome this downfall. 

The system is designed with an environmentally friendly approach as well, it reduces waste water generation and saves on resources. This reduction in waste water and unfixed dyestuff effluent is a huge incentive to the short run printing industry were the need for screens and printing pastes are no longer needed with this system. It is so environmentally friendly that it is ideally situated within the office environment 

The benefits are obvious in terms of the environment with less pollution and faster printing methods 

Companies such as Konica are aware that the future lies in faster production methods that can also give quality and precision and lend to a environmentally friendly approach as well. At the moment these methods of production are used for short runs of printing and are not as yet developed enough to go into mass production.

As a tool for the future, this type of printing will eventually be put in place for longer run printing. But before this is achieved the technology has to be able to cope with mass production. The quality of dye fixatives and the quality of finish to give that lustre on cloth that is now achievable by mass production in the screen printing industry needs to be achieved.

“Digital desktop printers have already shown impact on short run and custom applications as well as other niche markets. Look for an invasion from the high speed, high volume digital presses that are currently being utilised in the offset printing world. As the variety of inks and substrates for these presses increases, so will their impact on replacing the traditional automatic screen press”5

This statement uncovers the state of the industry in printing method technologies, there is constant developments taking place to develop a machine that has the capability of printing in mass production. 

I asked the question to Mr Paul Bowman.the managing director of Ned Graphics:”Do you believe continual inkjet printing would go to mass production?” 

“ There must be a trade off between what meterage you can get out of it. The first is the traditional way and the relative cost. I can see where shorter run printing is going to win is 30 to 150 meters of a specific fabric then fine but when you get into 20000 or 30000 metres of fabric and it is really quick. I don’t see how you would want to do it. But it has a lot going for it, because it is continuous and not restricted, in repeat it gives you much more flexibility in your design, as well.”6

This answer highlights the contention between new and old methods of production, if there is to be a drastic change in design and printing then continual inkjet printing must be put in place , for the restrictions in design are held back by the conventional methods of production. Once this hurdle is overcome then the prospects for design can open up to a non-restrictive form. In theory you can produce a design of almost any size that does not repeat enhancing the look of a product and breaking free from the traditions of repeating designs. This is just one aspect that continual inkjet printing could offer 


1,Bradley.D.R. Manging Director,, Unit 5a Hammond   Avenue, Reddish, Stockport, Interview Date 12th 11th 1997

2, Nicholson,S, Seperation Department Manager C.V.Home Furnishings Ltd P.O.Box7 Lees Street, Swinton, Manchester, M27 6DB.

3, O’Leary. S. Technical Editor, The Big Picture, Screenprinting Magazine 1998. P.26-27

4, Fleck.P. Health and Safety Representative Crown Wallcoverings, Crown Wallcoverings, Belgrave Mill, Belgrave Road, Darwen, Lancashire, England, BB3 2RR, Discussion Date 4th 3rd 1998

5, Grant.S. Owner, Grant Graphics, Screenprinting Magazine, 1998. P.26-27

6, Bowman. P. Managing Director, Ned Graphics, Synergy House, Manchester University Business Park, Manchester, Interview Date 29th 5th 1998.



The textile industry has increasingly become aware over the past ten years that CAD has an important place within the studio environment. This was in contrast to the apprehension found in the industry before this date. Today it is clear through my research that the use of CAD has increased within the studio environment and the Designers perception of this new technology has changed. 

My research has revealed some interesting opinions towards CAD within the studio and it is clear that as CAD software for design has developed and has been constantly updated and improved there has been a shift in attitudes by designers and managers of textile companies. These attitudes towards CAD are positive and the enthusiasm expressed by Designers who use CAD demonstrate that this is an important tool within the studio environment today. 

However my research has uncovered certain aspects that concern the freelance designer. There has been a decrease in commissioned designs being put out to tender by the major companies, and this reduction means there is less work available for the freelance designer, one reason for this is the speed and manipulative abilities of CAD. This is not the only reason for the reduction of commissioned designs other factors such as the state of the market at present has also contributed but it is true to say that CAD has had a major impact on the industry. 

The role of the designer was at one time thought to change with the input of CAD and it has to some extent shifted to a more computer integrated approach to design. The role has altered principally by its incorporation of new skills coupled with status. Throughout the transition to CAD the designer has increased in status and has realised that CAD is just another tool to work with the designer and not against the old principles of design. In fact CAD has aided the design process and speeded up productivity of designers within the studio. John.W.S.Hearle pointed out in a paper on Computer-Aided Textile Design at the Institute Conference in Lucerne in 1972.

“The role of the ‘designer’ would become that of a selector.”1

This was at the time a sweeping statement on the future for design but today his opinions on the subject has altered and he stated.

“That is not what it is all about. The creative input of the artist within the designer is needed; the computer is just one more tool to help make this manifest”2

This opinion has been echoed throughout my period of research and I have found that CAD design as yet has not reached a stage that it will take over the traditional way of producing designs One reason for this is the way the market is set up. Companies are used to a tactile form of art that they can hold and feel compared to a digitally created medium. Although there is a shift towards digital artwork by companies like Tom Lewis studios. This area of design creation will be more prelevant in the future with the introduction of cheaper computer software packages that freelance designers can afford, look out for competitiveness from freelance designers who have to be more computer aware in order to compete. It is increasingly more acceptable for a company to receive digital design information as a part of the purchasing of designs today although it has not as yet been exploited to its full potential. 

My research has also found that CAD training is an essential ingredient to enhance prospects of designers within the industry and constant career advertisements reflect this. Although outside the industry there is limited training for new designers, or to gain this training is simply too expensive. This is a problem that needs to be addressed in order to strengthen the skilled design workforce in the future. 

The input of CAD/CAM new technologies are constantly threatening the traditional methods of production and my research has found that continual inkjet printing is the future in printing technology. I believe that within ten years there will be state of the art printing machines put in place that will be able to cope with printing mass produced quality designs, with virtually limitless colours at a limited cost and be environmentally friendly. The look of these printed textiles could literally be the start of the new revolution of printed textile design. With this view of the industry today it is clear to me that CAD/CAM is indeed the revolution of the Textile industry in the 1990’s.

The transition between old ways of working and the new has to leave casualties in one form or another, but hopefully this will be addressed by creating new jobs in place of the old traditional ways of working. This is not unlike the revolution that occurred with the introduction of copper plate printing in the 18th century, where the skilled labour of the old was transferred into new skills. I believe this modern day revolution will enhance the textile industry with its new technology and will bring a much-needed revitalisation into the industry. 


1, Hearle.J.W.S. Physicist and Textile Technologist, World review of Textile Design XXXVII, International Textiles and Textile Institute, P. 1994.

2, Ibid. P. 




Albiston,J. CAD Operator, Meshtex Ltd, Second Avenue, Poynton Industrial Estate, Poynton, Cheshire. SK12 1ND.

Barridich,C. Designer, Fine Décor, Victoria Mill, Macclesfield Road, Holmes Chapel, Crewe, Cheshire, CW4 7PA. Interview Date 8th 7th 1998.

Bowman.P. Managing Director, Ned Graphics Ltd, Synergy House, Guildhall Close, Manchester Science Park, Manchester. Interview Date 29th 5th 1998.

Bradley,D.R. Managing Director, T.F.S.Studio, Unit 5a Hammond Avenue, Reddish, Stockport, Interview Date 12th11th 1997.

Brown,P. Design Studio Manager, Tom Lewis Studio, Crown House, Bingswood Trading Estate, Whaley Bridge, High Peak, Derbyshire, SK3 7LY. Interview Date 25th 2nd 1998.

Byrne,G Designer, Dorma, C.V. Home Furnishings Ltd, P.O.Box 7 Lees Street, Swinton, Manchester, M27 6DB, Interview Date 21st 1st 1998.

Fleck,P. Health and Safety Representative, Crown Wallcoverings, Belgrave Mill, Belgrave   Road, Darwen, Lancashire, England, BB3 2RR.

Nicholson,S. Seperation Department Manager, C.V. Home Furnishings Ltd, P.O.Box 7, Lees Street, Swinton, Manchester, M27 6DB. Interview Date 21st 1st 1998.

Albeck,P, (1969) Printed Textiles P.21 (Oxford University Press) London

Aldrich, Winifred.CAD in Clothing and Textiles. Blackwell Science, 1992 (2nd Ed)

Dianni,M, (1988) Design issues Vol IV P.10

Grant,S. Owner, Grant Graphics, Screen Printing Magazine, 1998. P.26-27

Hearle,J.W.S. Physicist and Textile Technologist, World Review of Textile Design XXXVII, International Textiles and Textile Institute P.  1994

O’Leary,S. Technical Editor, The Big Picture, Screen Printing Magazine 1998. P.26-27

Perkins,P.E. Hands on CAD Casell, 1989 (1st Ed) P.8

Walter,C. “The impact of computer graphics on clothing design.”CAD in Textiles and Clothing- a collection of expert views” Blackwell Science Ltd 1992. P.85

Aldrich.W. CAD in clothing and Textiles- a collection of expert views. Hartnoll Ltd, Bodmin Cornwall 1992.

Council of Industrial design. Design Policy in Industry. Council of Industrial Design. 1951.(1st Ed)

Cook, F.L. Textile Printing enters the technological revolution- Textile World, 145, 73-79, 1995

Dreyfuss, H. Designing for people. Paragraph Books, New York. 1967. (1st Ed)

Fisher,R. & Wolfthal. D., Printed Textile Design. 1987 Fairchild,  New York.

Garrett, J. Design and Technology. Cambridge, 1991. (1st Ed)

Hastings, Ashley J. CAD Making the most of Computer Aided Design. McGall- Hill, 1997 (1st Ed)

Holme. I. ‘The way ahead’ Textile Horizons. Nov. 1989 

Ingham. P.C. Computer Aided-Design in Further Education.F.E.U.

Jones,P.F. CAD/CAM Features, Application and Management. Macmillan Press Ltd 1992.

Kate. H.T. Future of Textile Printing Revista delle Technologie Tessili. 4, No. 3; VI-VIII Mar 1990.

Lourie,J.R. Textile Graphics/ Computer-Aided. Fairchild Publications Ltd, 1973.

Watkins,P. Innovation in Print. World Review of Textile Design, International Textiles Aug/Sept 1991 IV.



Tom Lewis Design studios



Interview conducted with Mr P.Brown design studio Manager. 21st January 1998

The company puts collections together from three areas,

1, The CAD,

2, The studio,

3, The Freelance Designers.

The collections are targetted to specific market areas.

“At one time the customers would look around for a design for something they can use, but now it is more market orientated”

“This is like a follow my leader way of doing things”

“This is why customers are now looking for specific design themes, i.e. geometric, floral etc. Otherwise the customer will have a series of designs that they would not use which becomes rather expensive.”

“Most companies have cut down on expense and are choosy in what they buy so the designer has to be more in tune with what the customer wants in order to sell the design”

“The company cannot survive just selling to the U.K.and when selling at places like Intohome or Heimtex you have to be among the best in design to compete”

“Quality is everything in this competitive market it has also got to be coupled with the ability for the design to be reproduced”

“It is essential in the industry to produce a design that can be reproduced, it is like designing a car that doesn’t go, it is no good if the design looks fabulous but doesn’t work”

“You are looking to produce a quality product of a very high standard and also a product which is relevent to that market area. It is difficult to find that niche because the area of products range from the high end to the middle to the low end and you don’t know what the customers are going to use the product for”

“The industry has become aware that you cannot sell rubbish designs any more whether it be the high or low end. People want quality”

“The immediate benefit that CAD brought the company was that it gave a different looking product to the market”

Asked the question if you had not invested in CAD where would your business be today? He stated “ The company would not be as large as it is today and they would not be selling as much artwork today. I cant really answer that … we would probably be out of business”

“The thing to embrace was CAD but the costs are expensive. And it is more expensive to have a CAD designer than a painterly designer”

“The CAD designer has to be more efficient than a painterly designer due to the costs of training and machinery, whereas all the painterly designer has to contend with is a box of paints and paper and their artistic flair”

“The CAD designer is completely different to the painterly designer, they both have different skills they have both got to be creative in their own field and have an understanding of colour and design”

“The studio encourages the designers to interchange the skills allowing a flexible workforce. But the tendency is to stick with the designers specialising in their areas. This is due to the fact that productivity has to stay at a constant level and you have to get most out of the CAD for it to be able to run at budget and to the deadlines”

“Designing is about 90% information and 10% application, you have got to have a reason why I am doing this artwork. And the area of the market or customer it is aimed at the more likely it will sell.”



Ned Graphics











































Interview Date 29th 05th 1998

I conducted the interview on site at Ned Graphics synergy house Manchester University Business Park Manchester. The interview was between myself and the managing director Paul Bowman. The topic of conversation was the impact of CAD in the industry the following is the results from that interview.

I asked the question, what software packages are the most popular for design studios/and converters of printed fabrics?

“We sell a range of three basic systems, Delta studio targeted at design studios used for recolouring and producing accurate colourways. The next step up from that is a package called designer which is aimed at converters. This enables studios to work with larger designs,” 

“The top end of the market uses Delta Engraver..this does complete separation screen production.”

“The most popular package is Delta Studio because there are more design studios than engravers.”

I asked the question what workstations are the most popular for printed textiles in terms of hardware?

He stated “The P.Cs 9 out of 10 textile CAD systems will be on P.Cs and working in windows by the year 2000.”

I asked the question do you have any software packages that cater for the freelance designer?

“He stated yes there are two freelance designers that are investing in Delta Studio find it a heavy investment for them. But there is a package that we have launched this year called fashion flash which is aimed specifically at the apparel and fashion industry this costs £1000 for the software that will run on a bog standard P.C. This is aimed specifically for the Fashion designer.”

Could you produce a software package for the freelance designer?

“The problem for producing a Fashion Flash for printed textiles for the freelancer is the sophistication of the design. Normally for printed textiles and the home furnishing market the size of the design and the size of the repeat and the quality of the design is much higher so it needs more than the fashion Flash programming.”

“Delta Studio which we launched about a year ago which cost 10 times more than Fashion Flash is really targeted at the printed textiles area. We do have freelance designers investing in Delta and they can get a complete package for £15000 to £20000 which is the basic tool of their business which is a major plus to them for attracting clients.There are only a hand full of studios purchasing this.”

Do you work closely with the industry to gauge what is needed for textile and wallcoverings and if so who do you approach for that information?

“We have a customer base of over 150 people all of our developments are market driven and we respond to the market requirement. World-wide we have a network of over 700 customers 150 are in textile printing. A lot of the customers are proactive in terms of the way they see their business going and what they expect CAD to do for them. But there is a great danger CAD is very accepted to develop.” you cant do it as an ivory tower development. it is no good me sat here saying this is what we think the industry needs, what you have to do is respond to what the industry needs and make sure we meet that requirement.”

Who are your main competitors?

“It depends where we are in the world there are probably five or six world-wide suppliers of CAD in different market areas in the apparel industry we compete with companies like C.D.I in textiles Sophis and info design all of them have different skills in different areas. We tend to overlap slightly very rarely do we have a head to head with anybody in our design packages.” 

Who are your main customers?

“Household names companies like Sandersons Forbo of Lancaster wardle stories. Design studios like Tom Lewis Artwork Design Art Cottage George Ike our biggest customer in the world is Dirkin Printed Carpets. Ulster carpets Brintons. We have 60%-70% share of the carpet industry.”

What is the cost of your software and hardware? 

“The basic software can start from £1000 the end point depends upon the peripherals that you add to the package at the time like the type of printer and type of scanner and the number of workstations that you put on it could cost up to £150000 to £250000 and it can be anywhere in between. They supply complete systems including the iris printer. We interface with most of the major printers such as Stork Iris ENCAD this is because we work in a windows environment it is easy to be able to link into most systems.”

Will there be any scope into developing continual inkjet printing? 

“That development is already going on one is sampling the other is going into full digital production. The development is taking place now sampling continuos printing exists in a form not a wonderful form but it does exist in Japan they claim to be in full production but the quality is low. Further developments will be moving into this area” 

Is this the way forward now?

“It is the only way I can see realistically that the industry can respond to producing shorter runs for flexibility.” 

Do you believe that continual inkjet printing will go to mass production? 

“There must be a trade off between what meterage you can get out of it. The first is the traditional way and the relative cost. I can see where shorter run printing is going to win is 30 to a 150 metres of specific fabric or 300 metres then fine, but when you get into 20000 or 30000 metres of fabric and as it is really quick. I don’t see how you would want to do it, but it has a lot going for it. because it is continuous and not restricted in repeat it gives you much more flexibility in your design as well.”

Do you provide training to the industry?

“We supply training as a part of the installation of the equipment we do so it is built into the system additional training depends upon how much is taken but it generally costs £250-£400 a day.”

Do you provide tuition to individual designers interested in this industry and if so how can I gain this training? 

“The answer is no, we do not provide tuition to individual designers because we are not geared up to doing it all CAD industry the biggest chunk of its cost is its development because it is such a dynamic thing 40% of your overhead is there so you tend to be very lean in your time and resources that we have available to us tends to be based on supporting your own product we do offer additional training to our customer base but to people with no systems a it has limited value there are freelance trainers about who we use on occasions who would be pleased to do it but are not cheap.”

“We have laptop systems based on point of sales but the problem with them is the resolution and speed of performance. so at the moment they are good enough to match fabric on it and basic colourways on it but not more sophisticated than that , because of the processor is powerful enough for anything more and the screen size is the other major problem too. There are going to be further developments to the system.”

What is the likely lifespan of your products?

“We upgrade software packages on average three times a year for service customers and the product continues to evolve we couldn’t survive if we didn’t do this. In the same way our customers aspirations over the past five years have changed we have had to respond to that we take advantage to the new developments in hardware we do things quicker bigger more sophisticated.”

Do you provide laser engraving machines or the technology for them?

“We link to Stork Zed. Rarely do we supply the hardware ourselves what we do is a co-operative venture and the agent we use acts as a facilitator for the hardware and we then add our software to the package again the major advantage of windows is that it makes that process very easy.” 

Are you going to develop any continuos inkjet printing technology ?

“We send design information and colour information down the line and it is a continuation of that so we have to respond to developments in the printers sort of going to eight colour etc.”

Where do you feel the software packages will lead you in the future regards in printing?

“We are constantly evolving and once you produce something really good the expectation of the market expects that level of attainment.”


Fine Decor



This interview was conducted by myself and Claire Barridich (designer)

Fine art produces 18 collections a year a lot are for the American markets 

With the CAD they can produce about 12 colourways in half an hour and takes the printer about 12 minutes to print them out 

They have a proof press and six machines they select the colourways from the CAD and end up with four colourways time wise if they had to proof press 12 colourways then send to the customer it would be extremely expensive and time consuming on average the proof press takes about two colourways a day due to the time it takes to mix the coloured inks up to the correct shade etc.and then they have to amend them so the CAD has the best advantage for colourway production if any amendments are needed they are done on the CAD for speed and ease of use. 

If they employed a designer to reproduce a design in the portmerion range it would probably cost about £300 for a border and £650 for a full design. but with the Introduction of the CAD all we have to do now is scan the design into the system and create the border on that which would take about an hour whereas a designer would take about a week to produce the CAD would also be able to produce a border two side walls and a main design. If a designer was given that task of producing these designs it would take about a week to two and the costs would run into roughly a thousand pounds.

What you have to take into account is the running costs of the CAD you have to have a maintenance contract which keeps the running of the CAD efficient. but on the overall running costs compared to painterly designers reproducing this type of design saves a great deal of money and is about 50% more efficient in costs. And about 60% more time saving

The CAD system has a library of all your designs and a library with all your masks selections or separations.

It would normally cost £700 per cylinder but because we produce the separations it would now cost £400 per cylinder so straight away you have got a saving of £300 per cylinder due to the input of separations on the CAD station. 

Asked the question do you feel CAD will take over separation totally Claire Barridich replied , “well it is doing anyway we work with engravers very closely a lot of them still produce them by hand but they are getting more and more CAD systems now, but there are certain designs that you are going to get an effect better by hand than by CAD” this illustrates the same opinion of Mr D R Bradley of T.F.S who feels that the sketchmakers ability will always be needed in the industry.

Claire feels that the experienced separation artist who has been employed over many years will still be at this particular type of work because it is very skilled work 

The manipulation of the system is very easy to use once you know how to utilise its functions. The colouring of a design is by the flick of a mouse button it is virtually that simple to use which means it is really user friendly compared to the computer systems of yesteryear. This has enabled designers to begin to regard the computer as a tool within the studio environment and not a box of computer tricks to be feared as was the case when the design systems first came into being.

The printouts from the CAD are extremely good but you have to be aware of the calibration between the Scanner for the design onto CAD and the printer output. there is a function built into the system which you can see where the true colours lie within the printers capability and you can adjust this to meet the requirements of the printer to gain the correct look on paper to screen. This is important in gaining the correct colours for your proofs to show a customer. 

A design that was shown to a customer that had not gone to the engravers yet, the customer liked the piece of artwork but is not going to commit to it at the moment. so the company has to sell it to them and the way that they sell it to them is by separating it on the CAD and produce five colourways from it they then send that to the customer who holds onto it for a few days and if he decides not to go with it there is no real loss to us but if we were to produce this in the traditional way we would have to employ a painterly designer to produce the colourways and a engravers to reproduce the screens for engraving this employs a huge cost saving to the company so you are saving money because you are not getting it engraved and the customer has seen the artwork 

A five colour separation would take around half a day to get a rough idea of what you need 

The proof press normally produces four colourways for every design, which is pre, selected from the CAD and from the customer. The CAD is going to help enormously but people still like to see a role of wallpaper, so Claire believes you will not ever get rid of the proof press also it is better for the pre process to go through the proof press before mass production this is in contrast to Crown wallcoverings who are looking into abandoning there proof press machinery and going straight from the CAD into full production 

The CAD saves time for the colourway production on CAD

The company is concentrating on creating a smaller amount of collection but with the emphasis on better quality artwork this gives more opportunity to produce more artwork which then saves the company a lot of money because they will not buy more freelance designs but can produce more designs in house

If they produce a collection you can spend about £10000 on artwork if they do it on CAD it would cost about £2000 So for the freelance designers point of veiw it is a lot harder for them to sell their designs Claire Believes that for the freelance designer it will get increasingly more difficult to sell their designs because as a company with the input of CAD They produce more designs anyway reducing the need for buying in more designs or sending out commissions to designers 

The company produces around 15 collections each collection will have six borders in each two side walls and a centre in each and about ninety six showings in a book 

They then have specialist collections such as Kalon who have shops of there own 

There customers are DO IT ALL Fads B&Q etc Dixons, Devals

They installed the CAD four years ago and they are possibly going to install a third system to help meet demand on CAD 

The customer loves it when they can see so many colourways and a length of paper for the wall 

CAD has altered the way a designer operates 


TFS interview & report 1998

T.F.S INTERVIEW NOTES a commissioned engraver and converter to the textile and wallcovering industry.

T.F.S uses Ned Graphics software packages

“The sketchmakers will always be needed to reproduce the designs by the conventional way, and experience tells us it is not practical to rely solely on CAD because it only gives a representation of a design and the quality is poor”

If you had not invested in CAD where would your business be today?

“ I believe we would be struggling to keep a share of the market, because all the industry has CAD systems and there is that much information flying around on disk from company to company at the moment, if we were not able to accept that information then we would lose a lot of customers”

“The sketchmakers ability is an important aspect of the business, it is true to say that the sketchmakers ability will be replaced to some extent in the near future”

“With all this computer input we will always retain the artist they will not diminish unless we had a huge investment with say 10 CAD systems, and trained everybody on them leaving no manual artists at all.”

“One of our customers who we do seperations for we give them the disk and they put it to their CAD system who then colour them up and print out straight onto transfer paper which then can be heat transferred onto fabric, without having screens made, without mixing colours without putting onto a printing machine which is a cost effective way of producing fabric”

Figures for production in T.F.S. in 1995

28%  of total work done on the CAD 

30% of total work done in studio

42% of total work done in outwork

Figures for production in 1997

33% of total work on CAD 

47% of total work done in studio

20% of total work done in outwork.

CAD to laser without any film work is about 30%-40% cheaper than CAD to film



This company is a subsidiary company of CHA Textiles group, which is a multimillion-pound enterprise. The group incorporates various textile-manufacturing outlets around the globe. 

T.F.S. studio is part of Brunschweiller or more commonly known as A.B.C. Batik this company produces all the Batik material from the U.K. and is exported to places like Zaire in Africa. The textiles produced are of an expensive nature and are used by the African people mainly for ceremonial purposes and for best occasions.

T.F.S. is a commissioned engraver, which began as a engraving service for Tootal Textiles. The company has undergone changes and take over bids from the Coates Viyella group, currently now owned by CHA Textiles Group.

Mr. D.R.Bradley the managing director heads a 14 strong team of reproduction artists, these include three CAD operatives who contribute to the progress of the company.

T.F.S. has undergone changes in the way they reproduce designs. One major change is the introduction of CAD into the workplace. The conventional way of reproducing designs has still an important role to play within this company today for they still feel that the quality can only be maintained by the skills of the conventional sketchmakers. Although the CAD reproduces the intricate quality designs like liberty type prints, today for it maintains a better fit than film ever could.

T.F.S. receives a design from a customer such as Stead Mcalpine or Calprina the design is then broke down into the amount of colours needed to be reproduced this given number is confirmed with the customer for approval. The design is then put into production.

The engraving method is decided upon and end use of design, i.e. liberty designs use copper roller production while fashion designs are usually produced by strines as rotary screen prints and furnishings at Calprina as flat screen prints.

The reproduction artist faithfully reproduces the design correcting any blemishes in the design and ensuring the design is in exact repeat. This stage of production is extremely important and has to be 100% correct. If at this stage the design is reproduced incorrectly then the costs involved can run into thousands of pounds for production expenses.

T.F.S. as a commissioned engraver has established recognition within the textile industry for its quality interpretation and reproduction of designs and has built upon this aspect of the business. Under times of economic constraints T.F.S. has overcome obstacles and has held onto a strong customer base due to its recognition as a quality engraving company. The company’s strong sense of quality and attention to detail has enabled this company to progress in a declining market place.

T.F.S. has a policy of constant development, This is realized in the use of CAD and CAM packages installed on site and also linked to A.B.C. Batik headquarters based in Hyde.

The software packages that they use are especially designed for use in the textile market and are produced by NED Graphics. 

Mr. Bradley surveyed the market place and found that NED Graphics was by far the most widely used and more suitable to the companies needs.

The decisions for designs to be placed onto CAD are discussed in detail with both management and reproduction artist.

The decisions rely upon a number of aspects

By hand reproduction,--- By both CAD and artist,--- By CAD undertaking the whole process.

The size of design is also a factor for the CAD is limited to the size of image to be scanned sometimes it is easier to reproduce the design by hand if it is a large duvet size design.

The time scale is also a factor is it quicker to produce it by hand or by CAD. Sometimes it is quicker by hand whilst other times by the CAD it all really depends upon the type of design.

Usually if a design is tonal in nature and requires a quality reproduction then the sketchmaker will reproduce the tonal work by hand and by the traditional production process. Although sometimes the process will coincide with the CAD and the reproduced tonal sketches would be scanned into the CAD system. The CAD then produces the required screen meshes into the artwork, this method used to be photographed using film, Normally a costly expense in reproduction, but with the advent of CAD this has eliminated this stage of production. The CAD has its benefits here due to its flexibility in introducing any number of screen sizes and calibrating the mesh sizes to fit with any screens available. It is not restricted to a fixed piece of film but is produced as digital information that can be altered with ease on any system, reducing costly remaking of film work.

The production process of reproducing designs,

The sketchmaker receives a design with a breakdown of the number of colours to be reproduced. He then decides how the design is to be reproduced and examine further the design if he feels he can reduce the colours further or indeed the designs colours needs to be increased then he discusses and agrees on the outcome. The sketchmaker has to convert the design into the exact measurements required for the particular production method chosen by the client. Any discrepancies in the designs are altered at this stage taking out obvious blemishes etc. 

For tonal designs a pencil outline of all the tonal edges in the design must be accurately traced onto permatrace this tracing will have been scribed out at the exact measurements for the screens size. The design is drawn out with complete accuracy so when the repeated image is placed around the roller it fits exactly and does not crash over causing a problem.

The tonal work can now be reproduced accurately to the design, This is achieved by reproducing tones in shades of jet black to white. Skill is needed in interpretation of the tones from the design, This aspect of reproduction is a time consuming process. A furnishing design involving 24 colours of a size 640mm by 700mm would take anything up to 4 weeks to complete, but the results are that an extremely high quality product will be reproduced in accordance to standards fitting for textile production.

The quality of a reproduced design is only achieved by a sketchmakers artistic ability, which has been nurtured over many years. This highlights the importance of a fully trained sketchmaker. The hierarchy within any company begins with the most skilled or talented at the top and filters down to the lower echelons at the bottom this is true to say with sketchmakers ability. This is reflected in the designs given to an individual the more complicated and beautifully painted design requires the most talented artist etc This reflects in pay scales also.

The industry at present is lacking good quality sketchmakers with these traditional skills but the industry is not sympathetic to this dilemma, instead the emphasis is placed on how fast a design can be reproduced today. This is where CAD has an appealing edge, It is now leaping forward in technological advances in software technology. And will eventually overpower the traditional method of production. Although Mr Bradley states that the sketchmaker is an important aspect of the business, it is true to say that the sketchmakers ability will be replaced at sometime in the near future. 


Dorma interview /report 1998



I conducted this interview with both Mr Byrne (Designer) and Mr Nicholson (Seperation studio Manager) of Dorma Home Furnishings Ltd. On 21st 1st 1998.

How has the CAD system improved your business?

Mr Byrne stated “ It has improved business by about 60%, everything goes through CAD now. In the beginning the company was a bit nervous of CAD but it has developed now as the main tool for the process of Design.”

If your company had not invested in CAD where would your company be today?

“We would not be in the same position as they were in now, you cease to function if you cant progress then somebody else will take over”

“The company has lost a lot of business through India where they can produce their product for a fraction of the cost that it would be to produce over in the U.K. It is far cheaper for large companies like M&S or BHS to buy their products. This is why Dorma has invested heavily in the technology in order to compete within this industry”

“Designers are relying on the CAD by producing designs in various repeat formatts and generally being more creative”

Do you feel the quality of a design is reduced when scanned into the system?

“No the quality of a design is the most important thing, and it is imperative as a company to be able to keep that quality in the design. If a customer sees a croquis idea that they want to develop further it is important to keep that existing quality maintained throughout. This includes the generation of design to the final printed piece of cloth.”

How good is the manipulative abilities of CAD?

“The CAD system is extremely easy to manipulate for repeats and to generate textures and background effects. The company generally uses the CAD to scan a design idea into it and manipulate that. Rather than design with the CAD, it is far simpler to scan a design into the system and produce various colourways, generate room settings etc.”

Do you feel the area of design will be more CAD orientated in the future?

“Most of the American designers are now trained on CAD systems and there are very few designers working manually anymore, so computers are the way foreword. The software will eventually get better and there will be no need for painterly designers anymore. The designer will be computer literate, using a design package that he operates using computer drawing tools on a laptop computer that can be taken home. Dorma is at present looking into the possibility of acquiring a Silicon Graphics laptop for the designers to take home.”

“We have had to let a number of people go due to the investment of the CAD systems which was in the region of 1 million pounds. You cant expect to invest in equipment and have the same amount of personnel.”

“We have to constantly invest in CAD buying the latest packages to be more competitive, We bought a system five years ago that has now been replaced that system cost £25000 but is now valued at around £200 for its scrap value because it has now become obsolete”

Asked do you train people to use CAD?

“Dorma has a policy of training on CAD and we expect that to train a designer to operate the CAD efficiently takes roughly three months but the possibilities for learning are endless.”

This interview was conducted on site at Dorma with Mr Shaun Nicholson and myself.

Has the quality suffered with the use of CAD in terms of tonal reproduction and manipulation compared to the conventional way?

“I believe tonal manipulation is its strong point, If the system was not capable of producing tone work then it would be useless to us as a design company. This is stressed by the fact that 90% of the work that comes through this CAD is tonal and that it does produce a high standard of quality. We feel that the image is a more accurate reproduction than a artist could reproduce”

What is the quality like compared to the conventional method of producing tonal work?

“The artwork produced from the CAD is an accurate representation of the design when it is printed. Manually separated artwork has always got to detract from the original design, and a lot depends on what the colour separation artists interpretation of what that design should look like. So for me it has improved the quality because of its closer representation of the design”

Do you feel that film work will be phased out in favour for laser engraving and inkjet printers?

“The only reason we do use film work now is for the production of flat bed or large scale designs or single quilts. The reason for this is because the size of file required for the CAD would be around 300 mega bytes and the processing time for that image would take too long for it to be advantageous on CAD”

Do you feel filmwork will become a thing of the past?


Do you think an unskilled artist could operate the CAD?

“They could probably navigate around it but it takes a separation artists eye to effectively use the system.”

Do your customers still expect quality with impossible deadlines?

“They still want speed and quality at the same time but if they want speed they have to accept what they get, but luckily the CAD system does create good quality products in a short space of time now.”

Do you think you will rely on the separation artist for reproduction in this time of technological change?

“At the end of the day CAD is just a tool, there isn’t a system as yet that can create the seperations from the design. I feel their will always be a need for an artist to sit and manipulate the designs, or create original artwork from a brief.”


Vanguard textiles interview/ report 1998


At Vanguard the system was installed in 1997 and the system is by Ned Graphics they used to have a desitex system just to do the colour work on but they have upgraded to delta with just the basic package on a colouring package that is all the company is involved with at the moment 

The immediate benefits that the CAD brought to Vanguard were that you could manipulate colourways with ease and speed before the introduction of Cad we had to manually re colour each design by hand mixing. They work with Designatex in Radcliffe it meant travelling to them doing all the colouring work but now it is on sight designatex does a lot of CAD work 

You have always got a record of your work and you can refer back to it even work done three or four years ago that is the beauty of the system whereas before we had to store screens which took space and storage facilities this is now eliminated and is more economical 

Asked if the CAD has altered the way a designer works Sarah Sparrow replied “not at all you cannot allow colour to dictate design”

Asked if the role of the designer has changed CAD she replied no not really although everyone is trained on CAD now 

Asked is the quality reduced when scanned into the CAD she replied “everything is printed in Pakistan and imported back into this country you cannot get half tones that is the disadvantage to us.

The system we have got is just to give an idea of what it is like.

Asked will you be investing in the future they stated yes. But we are not looking at actually designing on the CAD system it will be more manipulating on the system.

All the colourwork is passed through the CAD today and so all our designs pass through the CAD system now. 

We produce about eight colourways and then choose two from them to go into production.

They have the epson printer which is ideal to there needs and gives a good likeness of the screen image when printed onto paper but they can go a little grey you have to make sure your printer is calibrated to the screens image to get the correct dye concentration when printing. The other draw back is that it prints really bright colours on paper but in production this cannot be really achieved effectively because of the absorbency of the fabric.especially on cheaper cloths.

Vanguard most productive designs are contemporary florals 

It usually takes about a week to train on this system it is designed for designers in mind and there is no technical information to confuse you and very easy to use 

Mail order companies are Vanguard customers and it is for the low end of the market so quality is not the main interest it is colour and design to catch the eye of the customer in the catalogue. Freeman’s littlewoods Harvey’s and all the retail stores 

Bedding companies are the main competitors 

They produce concept boards for the customers they work closely with to give them an idea they will say what they like and what they do not like and designs are produced from the initial ideas 

All there designs are sold because it is a small company they do not have the scope to develop designs so the concept boards are crucial to the business to get the right designs and they have quite strict rules of what they can go with and what they cannot. The printing limits what they can do they print a maximum of eight colours very crude simple designs usually with a texture not really any fine work due to the nature of the business easy to read on the mail order catalogue page.

May and September is the times for the launch of there designs. 

They have preview weeks at Vanguard before the show at intohome and the bulk of the design ranges are sold then.

They would not contemplate on moving into engraving separation and very technical.


Crown Wallcoverings report/interview


4TH MARCH 1998


This report is based on a visit that took place at Crown Wallcoverings The information included below states the business aspect of the company regarding design and production.

Gillian Harding the design director gave a short introduction on design and its implications on the business also demonstrating various design ranges in production at that time.

The design department incorporates a 30 strong team, these include a CAD team who work on the AVA Graphics systems installed on site. They also have an administrative team who works closely with 3 stylists. Each team has a representative who deals with the American markets and other reps who deal with Eastern Europe. 

The customers that deal with crown are varied but include customers such as Homebase, Homestyle, B&Q etc. 

The company is at present in the middle of a take over bid from an American company Imperial wallcoverings Ltd. 

The company produces wallpapers for customers such as Vinelia and stories.

Crown allocates a design budget, which allows a certain amount of designs to be purchased from outside sources. The cost for a design varies between £500 per design once Crown buys the design the designer has to sign a copyright form this gives Crown the right to utilise the design in any way they think fitting for a collection they want to produce.

The company displays at Heimtex in Frankfurt, This is their main exhibition stand. They also exhibit at Intohome but it is mainly to say that the company is here not really for a sales drive pitch but it does give the potential customers the chance to communicate with the sales team.

Gillian Harding highlighted the importance of colour in design it is important to judge the season’s trends to be able to produce the correct looking designs for the season ahead. This is where market research is the important aspect of design.

Bright colours are in this season but more muted colours are predicted for the next season say in lilacs paler colours etc.

The design is firstly conceived by the designer and once approved for production the design is manipulated into various ways for either wallcoverings, furnishings or bedwear.

The use of CAD plays a major part in manipulation of the design and also the reproduction onto optical disks for production.

The CAD systems that Crown uses are AVA Graphics systems with specially designed software packages for the manipulation and separation of designs. A design can be scanned into the CAD then manipulated and plotted out at various lengths and sizes for the approval of the design manager.

The design can be altered with ease and speed it can also be recoloured in seconds a task that the designer would normally have taken a laborious time over to reproduce this highlight the use of CAD further.

The colours that are held on the CAD databank are each coded and corresponds to the colour recipes in the mixing department. This has also cut down on mistakes and time consuming elements in the dye-mixing department. This in turn cuts down on mistakes at printing stage. The colours mixed are in batches and the paper is coded with batch numbers to ensure the customer buys no paper that is the wrong shade.

The system also allows the user to produce room sets with the design placed onto bedding wallcoverings and furnishings. This is produced withought the need to go into production and the customer can decide if he likes what he sees before he purchases that collection or ask to change any aspect of the design before production ever starts. This would have been extremely costly to do withought CAD. The cost to create a true room set would take time and would normally have cost between £2000-£3000 the cost for CAD is Minimal.

The CAD can reproduce most designs with ease and would take about 2 days to produce a design with 8-10 colours depending upon the quality. If this was produced by the conventional route it would take anything up to 4 weeks to produce highlighting the cost and time saving all round.

The production process,

Once the design is produced and has been passed onto the CAD team to be manipulated the designs are approved for both design layout and colour scheme. The design is then reproduced splitting it into its elements for engraving. This is achieved by separation on either the in house CAD system or is sent to a recognised separation studio and is sent back on film or optical disk.

The information is given to the pre production-sampling department where they start the first samples.

This area creates mini samples of wallpaper, which are produced by engraved rollers. This department grades and tests the quality of dyestuffs and print procedures before committing to the full production process which could lead to costly mistakes.

The operators mix the colours to the desired shades required from the design team who has specified the colour range. This is a meticulous stage where the quality is required to give the desired look of a design. Once a proof has been achieved the sample is checked by the designer and is either approved or goes back for re-sampling until it is correctly achieved.

If any colours are mixed in the department and are not held on the CAD databank the colour is scanned into the system and colour coded. The coloration department then produces the recipe. Any unused colourant is never thrown away but is recycled and kept in drums until required.

The engraved rollers can create a number of shades of tone and can be altered by changing the engraving depth of a roller. The amount of dyestuff used when printing can be calculated by weighing the amount of engraved shavings left by the engraved roller and by calculating the volume of dyestuff that fills that volume. The dyestuff can be effectively accounted for and calculated as to the cost of dyestuff used per length of wallcovering. 

Wallpaper production process

The start of the production process begins with rolls of paper bought in from sustainable sources. Crown purchases paper from Canada and also buy recycled paper.

Crown encourages the regeneration of forests and puts money back into the environment creating new forests.

The amount of wallpaper that Crown produces can wrap around the world five times on 1996 figures. This highlights the huge amount of wallcoverings it produces. The environment is a large topic that Crown takes seriously.

There are various grades of wallpaper with varying qualities that Crown uses and produces, all of which are used with different designs. 

There are various papers made at Crown these are;

Blown Vinyl’s, Duplex papers, Normal graded papers, Vinyl paper, all of these go through a series of production methods to end up as a finished paper product.

Crown produces vinyl wallpapers, the process requires the paper to be fed into a rotary machine which applies a liquid vinyl to the surface of the paper, this gives the surface a washable finish. 

Blown Vinyls

Blown Vinyl’s are papers made by rotary screens in which a liquid solution is injected into the hollow centre of the screen, This solution when applied to the surface of the paper and is allowed to dry and then heated at about 60oc, it will rise to form the textured look we are all familiar with. To adjust the heights required for the blown vinyl’s to give a different effect depend upon a number of aspects.

The liquid solution at 100% produces the highest textured surface, but when the percentage is reduced the height will change. Also when adding dyestuff to the solution the heights will also be affected. A skilled technician will be able to adjust these solutions to gain a desired effect. When designing for this type of wallpaper the designer must utilise this effect to the best of his ability.

Duplex papers,

These papers are produced in a slightly different way and are made by adhesing two papers to each other. The first paper is a paper of a lower quality and grade this is fed into the machine as the base paper. A second layer of printed paper of a finer quality is then pasted onto the base paper, this is then fed through an embossed roller to produce a textured surface. The resulting effect gives the paper more quality and when the paper has dried the paste in-between the layers gives added strength to the product. This allows the embossed image to stay in shape when applying to the surface as well.


These papers are produced by feeding a base paper of a chosen grade into the rotary machine. This machine holds a reservoir of liquid vinyl in its raw state of a colour white. The paper then picks up the wet solution on the face surface and is dried in the machine.

The vinyl’s are then fed into rotary gravure printing machines where the engraved parts of the design are aligned in unison along the length of the machine. Each engraved roller picks up a certain colour from the bath it is emmersed in the vinyl paper is passed along through the engraved roller at speed. To ensure the paper is correctly aligned a camera takes photos every few seconds and if the design becomes unaligned the operator adjusts the fit. Quality of the product is inspected continuously throughout the process. 

Once the paper is quality inspected it is sent to the heat embossing machine. The paper is then heated up to a certain temperature to allow the embossed roller to press the vinyl paper into its desired shape this gives the paper a richer quality.


These papers are 100% paper printed by engraved rollers these are then fed into a cold embossing machine where the textured roller crushes the paper into its desired effect.

Ready pasted papers have a paste applied to the back of the paper to give a quicker mode of application to a surface of a wall.

Crown was the first company to produce the first rotary printed wallpapers, in 1839 the first machine was installed. The technical problems those early machines encountered where that the alignment of rollers was imperfect. They would often misalign themselves, to correct the problem the machines would have to be forced and physically manipulated back into place continuously which slowed down production immensely.

Today CAD/CAM has eliminated this by the introduction of electronic alignment features built into the rotary machinery via the CAM systems. The speed of flow through the machinery has increased its efficiency since the early days of printing. 

Crown realises the need for future development in printing technologies and with the introduction of CAD/CAM in particular continuos inkjet printing into the print industry this is becoming an increasing possibility

After speaking with an employee from the CAD dept of Crown, in an off the cuff remark he highlighted the changing face of Crown. He stated “ The CAD system has been the mainstay of the design process here for some years and I can see that continual inkjet printing will play a future roll in design production.

Paul Fleck the health and safety representative at Crown who has worked at Crown for seventeen years and who has also worked on every aspect of production excluding design remarked on my question to him about the pre-process production side of Crown. I asked him according to the CAD department this section will be closed down due to the CAD/CAM. He replied yes it will eventually be phased out due to the improvements in technology. But do not shout it out or I will get lynched!!! This highlights the increasing dominance of CAD today and how at the stroke of a technological change the work force is reduced in favour for a cost effectiveness and speed of production.

The pre-process production department will be phased out and replaced with new technology that will speed production up saving on time and pay costs. Each roller that is produced costs £500 to make just for samples.

So for wallcovering samples it will roughly be 6-8 screens costing up to £4000

The screens can produce an enormous amount of colour depth and tonal variety from one screen if the same quality is to be produced on cloth then a greater number of screens is required up to a maximum of 24.


Questionnaire 1998




1 Which of the following best describes your job function? (please indicate with a tick)

a) Designer

b)  Studio Manager,

c)  Production Manager,

d)  Design Director,

e)  Other please state,……………………………………

2 Do you use a CAD system?:…………………………

3 What system do you use?…………………………….

4 Where do you use the systems?

a) In the studio.

b) We use a bureau facility.

c) At the factory for production purposes.

d) At the factory for design alterations

5 How long have you had a CAD system?…………….

6  Have you recently purchased a CAD system if so state why


7  Who uses your CAD systems within your company?

a) Designer,

b) Colourist,

c) Technician,

d) Computer operator,

e) Other (please specify)………………………………

8  Do you feel that the software is of a sufficient standard to enable good design 


9  Do you feel CAD is of a good standard for colour manipulation if not state why ?



10  Do you use the CAD for design creation with no input from design sources ?

11  Do you create CAD designs with input from outside sources?

12  Do you feel any limitations when using the system if so please specify below.


13  Do you feel CAD has a future in further developments?

a) Yes

b) Yes – but it will not be applicable to our type of work

c) No – it is not applicable to our type of work

d) No – it is already working to its full potential.

e) I don’t know.

f) Other ………………………………………………………………………

14 If you use CAD was the initial training given on the system:

a) Excellent

b) Good

c) Satisfactory

d) Poor

e) No training given

f) Other (please specify)………………………………………………………..

15  How would you rate the following design functions on your system

( poor, average, good, very good, excellent) please indicate.

a) freehand drawing…………………………………………….

b) scale changes…………………………………………………

c) colour accuracy……………………………………………….

d) colourways………………………………………………….

e) design creation ……………………………………………..

f) design input………………………………………………….

g) colour separation …………………………………………….

h) user friendliness ………………………

i) overall cost to effectiveness of system…….…………………

j) suitability of your design…………………..…………………

k) texture mapping………………………………………………

16  After purchasing the system have you found that the system incorporates your 


a) Completely

b) Small developments needed

c) A lot of work needed to meet requirements

17 Do you feel if you had not invested in CAD your company would be 

a) non existent

b) struggling to gain a share in the market

c) No change in the business

d) Perfectly OK withought the need for CAD

18  Do you feel there are any important aspects on CAD that is omitted from this 

Questionnaire that may be relevant to your company if so please state them below.


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Name :

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Thankyou for taking the time to complete this questionnaire

Please return in the envelope provided

Andrew A Matthews, project research, 5 Pentlands Avenue, Higher Broughton, Salford 7 M7 2YG Tel 0161 792 2524.