The History of Textile Printing

all information comes from: #digitalprintfashion / @phxart



Traceable to 400 BC in India and China, block printing was adopted in Europe around 1300 AD and was commonly used until the early nineteenth century.


The design is carved into a large wooden block. The raised surface are coated with ink, like a stamp, and pressed to the fabric. Each color in a muti-color design requires a separate block carved to print only that color element.


Block printing allowed the creation of decorative fabrics that were more affordable and lighter weight than traditional decorative fabrics like velvet and embroidered textiles.


Block prints are labor-intensive and time – consuming to produce.




Introduced in 1752 near Dublin, Ireland, copper plates printing was most popular in London from 1760-1790, and was used until the 1850’s


Copper plate printing utilized an intaglio (engraving) method. Ink is trapped in recessed lines and released to the fabrics under the weight of an iron pressure roller. Multiple colors are difficult to produce; this method produces only monochrome designs.


Copper plates allowed the printing of a large design at one time.


It was impossible to exactly align the image produced by the plate for consecutive printing. As a result, only disconnected, or “island” patterns were produced.




The first successful roller printer is credited to Thomas Bell in 1783 This method was used until the mid-twentieth century.


An engraved metal cylinder prints a continuous pattern through a mechanical process.


Thousands of yards can be printed quickly and economically.


Machines require many skilled workers to operate and maintain. Cylinders take weeks or months to engrave.




Patented in 1907, silk screen printing was the primary technique of twentieth-century textile printing. It is still used to print the majority of textiles today, though in a mechanized form like roller printing that utilizes a cylindrical screen allowing high volume.


A screen of fine fabric is treated to allow ink to penetrate only through the area of the pattern, like a stencil.


Screens are simple and inexpensive to create, making it economical to produce small yardage of one design. A designer can create exclusive textiles for garments.


Printing may require a large workspace or mechanized operation.




First used by carpet manufacturers in the 1970’s, initial experimentation with digital printing in fashion began in the 1990’s. Improvements in technology made the method more accessible and the quality more desirable for high fashion in the mid-2000s.


Ink is delivered through a nozzle and deposited to create an image. Multiple colors are produced using a standard CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) color palette.


Digital printing is cost effective for very small yardage. There is unlimited design potential for detail in pattern. Print on demand.


Digital printing is emerging technology whose potential is not fully realized…


This is were we come in:

11th Loop is on the cutting edge in the digital printing technology. This is the newest look in fashion and home decor. The colors are bold and unique, and the patterns are one of a kind. Are design process starts with a digital collage and ends with a custom digital print. “The technology will soon provide the majority of the World’s printed textiles.”says the Phoenix Art Museum. There is a wide range of available colors and the speed at which you can multiply and manipulate images far succeeds then the common screen printing process.

Making Smart Art @ 11th Loop

Blue Stone 01 Blue Lupine Mini Skirt by : 11th Loop – The Sonoran Desert Collection









In the fall of 2002 four young enthusiastic artists surround a large table under the canopy outside Mrs. Ray’s first period art class. They found one another, forming a connection with their artwork to grow. For one 55-minute period a day they were in a world of their own. Little did they know the atmosphere they created, nurtured by Robin Ray, would allow them to evolve into inspiring artists within their communities. I was fortunate to be one of these artists. It is not the art we create, but the art of the life we live, that keeps us connected.

After designing and creating the Cactus Shadows Photography Club, which is still in place today, I graduated from Cactus Shadows High School in 2003. I attended Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona and completed an Associates of Arts with a minor in Photography. During that time The Prescott Daily Courier hired me to join their news team as a photojournalist. I produced award-winning imagery with them and the Associated Press for three and a half years.

I migrated north and settled just outside of Portland, Oregon. For the duration of my time there I produced marketing and advertising imagery for the City of Vancouver, Washington, and focused on the development of imagery manipulation. I have been shaping and molding these techniques since my senior year at Cactus Shadows.

I returned to Arizona to attended Northern Arizona University and earn a Bachelors of Science in Education. During my time back I have been photographing weddings, special events, portraits, families, sports, product, pets, and more. I’m proud to say I have been photographing professionally for 7 years. Check it out at www.KASTELICLASSICS.com. My high school experience with Robin Ray and the Cactus Shadows Art Department inspired me to do what I love.       ­

In the past year I have continued my work with textile printing. My brother, Benjamin, and I have been developing 11TH Loop – Graphic Textile Design. At www.11THLOOP.com we are creating custom designs digitally printed on eco-friendly textiles. Our graphic textile designs are developed to visually enhance functional materials and promote sustainable textiles. We started with photography and now, after years of development, arrived in the textile World to create sustainable textiles. It is not the art we create, but the art of the life we live, that keeps us connected.


Artist Statement:

An old soul stole my heart.

Creating a starting point where we had left off in the past.

A reality built to last a lifetime,

because our eternity is already chosen.

A spiritual connection ties us together.

Nether can justify the happening,

But are agreeing that words cannot reveal this phenomena.

We generate theories as interpretations and explanations

on how to process this series of perfect events.

Our theories attempt to answer the questions, how and why?

Our theories attempt to explain reality and the practice,

but the answer is unveiled in a progression of the pattern and patience.


“In every walk with Nature one receive far more than he seeks.”

-John Muir




May 2012 

Writings by Nick DeMarino

Photos by Nathaniel Kastelic

“It started in high school with this one,” says Nathaniel Kastelic, pausing with Rosebud fatalism. “‘Rotation Transformation.'”

Nathaniel snapped the black-and-whites that form the composite image a decade ago on and of Black Mountain for an annual photography contest in Cave Creek.

His winning submission was pivot of four photos. Three share a mountainous silhouette, cloud wisps and a monkey-armed tree.

“See how the cactus grows diagonally there?” asks Benjamin Kastelic, Nathaniel’s older brother, motioning to the fourth 4-by-6 – a mountainside saguaro brokers the curious ouroboros.

The 27-year-old and 30-year-old Kastelic siblings, both teachers at Acorn Montessori School, sit across the table from each other in their angular cabin west of Prescott, near Iron Springs.

“They were supposed to put the winners on postcards,” Ben says.

“But how would you do that with this?” Nathaniel finishes, further describing how a trigger-happy photo session lead to the piece.

“I put all of them out, was picking which ones I wanted, and saw it as I turned them on the coffee table,” he says. “It was boom: That’s it. That is it.”

Nathaniel continued experimenting with the imaging technique, and more punctuated equilibrium followed.

Boom: There’re his symmetrically inflected nature photos.

Boom: There’re his time-lapse videos of photo montages assembled in nature.

Boom: There’re the silk dress and skirt prototypes for 11th Loop, a new line of clothes developed by the brothers Kastelic.

“It’s more than just something you mat, frame and hang on your wall,” Nathaniel said. “It’s functional art, something to wear, cherish and show off.”

Common threads

Plenty of people come to Codi Bounds with clothing ideas.

“I’ve done a lot of wedding dresses, bridesmaid, prom and formal dresses, many of them from pictures and patterns,” says Bounds, of Prescott, who has sewn projects for about 15 years.

Nathaniel and Ben’s idea to launch a clothing line featuring repeating nature patterns, though, is novel.

“I think it’s cool. They have a different perspective on women’s clothing than I do, and their excitement is, well, yeah, really exciting,” Bounds says.

A sundress, a miniskirt, a full dress, a skirt and a blouse – these silken prototypes, each with its own pattern, synthesize designs nursed by botanical evolution, artwork and abstraction.

The first one came together in March. The rest should be done by June.

At first glance, the patterns are vibrant bursts of psychedelia. The double take: they’re mesmerizing fractals that spiral in on themselves. The third time, they’re kaleidoscopes of symmetry. Fourth, and furthermore, they’re all three. It’s a shock to hear there’s little photo manipulation at play.

“At first, we were only concerned about showcasing the pictures,” Nathaniel says, likening fabric to canvas. “But as we talked to Codi and got deeper into it, we realized there was a lot more going on.”

Nathaniel and Ben point out swaths of solid pink in a dress design they’d originally dismissed as well as the slanted pattern on a skirt they’d never anticipated.

“Even though they had very specific patterns in mind, we’d try different things,” Bounds says. “Understanding garments, I pushed for designs that would work across multiple sizes, something universal.”

Pattern recognition

If all goes well, 11th Loop clothing could be on sale in Prescott boutiques or online at http://www.11thloop.com next year.

The Kastelic brothers founded the label in November, specifically 11/11/11, and they’re excited to move forward, although the new media and medium have raised fundamental questions.

“At one point we had to ask ourselves, ‘Are we fashion designers? Is that what we’re trying to do?'” says Ben, who’s in charge of the 11th Loop’s Internet presence.

“That’s what I’m saying. We’re not trying to be fashion designers, necessarily, but here we are.” Nathaniel says.

As the April sun sets over the Prescott National Forest casting long shadows through the family cabin’s picture windows the brothers wax esoteric.

One wall is decorated with cutouts from Vogue magazines and Nathaniel’s designs. The opposite wall is dominated by a whiteboard webbed with ideas.

A list, “Fashion words: glamorous, classy, elegant, amped up, punchy, flawless, riveting, unique, now/current/trend, sophisticated, polished, sleek, bold aesthetic.” It’s topped by a cartoon word bubble, “Things just a got a little more interesting.”

As Nathaniel and Ben discuss their love of nature, outdoor sports, the fine arts, and their newfound interest in fashion, the subject of sibling rivalry simmers.

It turns out this is the first time they’ve worked together on an artistic project for which Nathaniel has taken the lead.

“I’ve always thought of myself supporting him, as blazing the trail,” says Ben, who often finishes his brother’s sentences.

He tells a story about a drawing contest they had as children. They drew airplanes and pushed their dad to pick a favorite. (“No, they’re not both outstanding; one of them is the best; you have to pick one.”) It was Nathaniel’s because he put a pilot in the cockpit.

“I don’t remember this that clearly,” Nathaniel says. “But yeah, as a younger brother I was always trying to be better than my older brother at everything.”

Competition, it seems, sparks the fire of creativity, but it takes cooperation to foster a creative pyre.

“I got into the drawing and writing, and he got into photography, so we each had separate areas to flourish,” Ben says. “Now, with help of so many people, it’s all coming together.”