July 31, 2009

Baylor gains $50,000 fabric printer

College students in Waco, Texas, are experimenting with a $50,000 printer designed to handle 5-foot-wide bolts of cloth, Baylor University officials said.

The unusual printer is one of two owned by U.S. universities, the other located at North Carolina State University, Judith Lusk, coordinator of Baylor's fashion program said in a release Friday.

The digital printer is designed solely for use on fabric and reveals how patterns will appear on dresses, pants and jackets, Lusk said.

Digital fabric printers were developed in the mid-1990s but saw little commercial use because they were so slow. Advanced technology now allows them to print faster and in larger quantities, she said.

This fall, Baylor is to add a $19,000 Rotowash industrial washing machine that replicates the effects of 25 cycles of a typical washing machine in one 30-minute cycle in the Rotowash, Lusk said.