Information About Digital Fabric Printing


Just like all other quilters, what I thought I knew about digitally printed fabric is that it would be more expensive.  But you need to hear "the rest of the story."

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Information About Digital Fabric Printing

In 2018, QT Fabrics went all digital under the leadership of Ken Gamache**. This occurred because high speed printers became industrialized for fabric.

Digital printing has benefits that Ken is quick to point out.

Information About Digital Fabric Printing


  • It allows designers to create more elaborate and detailed fabrics.
  • There is no limit to the colors or creations as compared to flatbed printing.
  • The repeat length, instead of 36", is unlimited.
  • Runs can be quite small (300 yards) as compared to flatbed printing (3,000 yards), so quilt shops can have a unique and custom limited run all to themselves.
  • Reprints would be more easily available if needed for popular fabrics.


In the case of digital printing, it is important to understand the environmental impact as well. More than a few quilters would be willing to pay a little more for digitally printed fabric if we understood this impact.


Digital printing offers a 75% reduction in the use of water. We all need to realize that this type of savings will have a long term impact on the fabric industry. Did you know that Wall Street started trading water futures as a commodity in Dec. 2020? Some people believe that this is a better way of managing scarce resources.


The fate of unused fabric is also an issue. Here are some landfill statistics easily found on the Internet:

  • It takes 2,700 liters of water to make one cotton shirt.
  • The average American throws away about 81 pounds of textiles each year.
  • It takes cotton about 5 months to decompose.
  • 84% of clothing ends up in landfills.
  • In 2017, EPA estimated that only 15.2% of textiles are recycled.


Digital printing might be a new wave for Quilt Shops and Quilt Guilds. Custom printing means that you can order special designs for special occasions. I can't wait to see what my Guild can order for our Ruby Anniversary Quilt Show!


*Image on cover photo is QT Fabrics Digital Mika Tossed Floral Turquoise

**To watch his video google "Digital Fabric Printing with Ken Gamache."


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Debi Warner
Author and humorist, Debi Warner, retired after many years as a clinical librarian and information specialist. She has her Master’s in Library and Information Science and achieved a Distinguished level in the Medical Library Association’s Association of Health Information Professionals. She has worked on teaching physicians to use computers and electronic resources. She also worked on several grants teaching the public how to use the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus public database and is co-author of several articles on health literacy. She took up quilting after retirement in 2012 and chaired the Rio Grande Valley Quilt Show in 2019. She currently teaches several quilting classes over Zoom and writes for QuiltingHub.
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