The modern day fashion industry is highly dynamic and transformative. Every season, new outfit and designs are released into the market to satisfy the growing appetite for trendy clothes. Screen printing stands out as one of the most popular methods for decorating fabric. Under this method, the designs are usually separated by color, before they are printed using a systematic layering technique. High quality screen printing techniques can be used to place logos and custom designs on various materials.

Screen printing is also hugely popular for producing banners for conference and convention events. Apparel printing can also be done using embossing, custom embroidery, laser printer, dye sublimation, airbrush, appliqué and impressing techniques. Embroidery is applicable in all kinds of garments, including jackets, hats and t-shirts. Modern trends in fabric design is increasingly witnessing the use of multiple color combinations and trendy typefaces. Below is a list of four t-shirt design trends that will shape 2016.

1. Use of specialty ink

Specialty inks are very popular in the screen printing industry because they can be used to produce unique designs with effects that truly stand out. For example, bits of metallic ink or foil can be used on small pieces of fabric to produce designs with depth and dimension. Some of the most commonly used specialty inks categories include fashion soft inks, soft inks and heavy high-density inks.

2. Custom typefaces

Inspiration is critical when undertaking any artistic project, whether you are designing a custom fabric, creating a beautiful quilt or considering a perfect home decor. This is perhaps the reason why there is growing interest in the use of hand lettering as a form of expressive fabric decoration. One of the most popular custom typefaces in 2016 is calligraphy. This form of expression can be used to produce highly complex and simple decorations.

3. Experimenting with negative spaces

The use of negative spaces has become a key element in graphic and modern fabric design. What makes negative spaces, fascinating as artworks are its ability to take the look of another color when using mediums with many colors. Negative space can be incorporated in a fabric design through borders, sashing and background application.

4. Using halftones

Halftones can be used to create interesting gradients and fading effects on fabrics. Halftones can also be used creatively to create illusions of other colors by tricking the viewer into seeing different colors in the final design. One of the techniques of applying halftone patterns on a fabric is using a series of small dots of varying sizes and shape to create an optical illusion of varying gradients and tones. The tricky part about the dots is their appearance as blends in the human eye.

The other growing trends in fabric design include the use of Pantone colors and discharge fabric printing technique. The use of Pantone colors may incorporate the combination of two colors; for example, warm and cool colors to produce appealing designs and background effects. Discharge printing, on the other hand, is a popular technique of applying light and dark colored patterns on a dyed fabric using a color removing or bleaching agents such as hydrosulfite and chlorine.