First Nations Fashion Designers see their creations become reality with Epson digital printing solutions

Since Epson signed their landmark technology and sustainability agreement to support First Nations Fashion + Design (FNFD), each of the designers who participated in the inaugural FNFD x THE ICONIC Incubator training program have now completed the unique course. Throughout and now at the end of the Incubator program, the designers had their unique designs digitised and printed by Epson via Epson digital printing solutions.

Epson’s applications and training specialist Derek Mobbs working with The Incubator program participants to help digitise and print their designs

 FNFD founder and chairperson, Grace Lillian Lee, explained, “We were so lucky to have Epson’s Derek Mobbs come out and scan the artists’ paintings and digitise the files. This was done on the Epson Expression 11000XL A3 scanner, a high-resolution A3 scanner designed to meet the most demanding graphic arts applications, that Derek bought to our hub at the Powerhouse Museum. Derek then spent time knitting the images together to make a repeat print that could be printed at length on the amazing Epson ML-8000 textile printer. There was a lot of care taken by the team at Epson to respectfully adjust the prints in order for them to become textile designs, with Derek consulting with each designer to make sure that he wasn't changing the story of their artworks. First Nations artists and designers use their works as a form of storytelling and the integrity of these stories were very important to Derek and his process.”

The Epson Monna Lisa ML-8000 direct-to-fabric printer

Epson Australia MD, Craig Heckenberg said, “It is very exciting to see the work and dreams of these amazing First Nations designers become reality. We at Epson are delighted to be able to help tell their unique stories by using Epson digital printing technologies.”

FNFD x THE ICONIC Incubator Program participants watching the Epson ML-8000 print out their designs at the Epson Experience Centre in Yennora 

Clearly the team at FNFD are very grateful for all the support and time provided by Epson to the winning designers who took part in The Incubator program.

FNFD’s founder and chairperson, Grace Lillian Lee and Epson Australia MD, Craig Heckenberg

Lee added, “There has been so much respect and care taken by the Epson team to make sure that the fabric is the correct format, sizing and configuration. The gifted fabric allowed the designers to play with scale and placement of their prints without price being a barrier. It also enabled them access to a large quantity of great quality fabrics for the sampling of their ranges so that they could meet quicker than usual deadlines for production and photoshoots.”


With Epson’s help the designers were able to skip the toile stage of their sampling - usually done on a plain calico to save money - to doing it immediately, in the moment and with the fabric they eventually intended to use in final production. 


Grace Lee concluded, “Epson’s help, support and printing expertise has been truly invaluable. The designers were so happy with their fabrics that they ordered bigger quantities for their manufacturing component of the program. Selected pieces and designs will be stocked on THE ICONIC website from 31 January and will be showcased at the upcoming FNFD X THE ICONIC event at the China Heights Gallery in Surry Hills on the same date.”


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