Lighting up a Room with Inkjet Printed Fabric Window Shades

Making window shades out of inkjet printable fabricTired of the scenery outside your window? Just print a different scene. At least that’s what Tim Dussault, owner of The Color I in Anacortes, Wash., has been doing for almost ten years now. Dussault’s custom window shades have made appearances in residential and commercial windows over the years, giving customers rooms with a view.

Dussault started experimenting with the concept after printing wall hangings for a customer on LexJet Water-Resistant Satin Cloth. If inkjet-printable fabric can be used for tapestries, wall hangings and banners, why not window shades?

Dussault started experimenting and came up with his own window shade rollers, called Art Roller Shades. “My hobby has always been goofing around with products and changing them into something else; making them more than the sum of their parts,” he says.

Printing fabric window shades with an inkjet printerTypically, Dussault’s Art Roller Shades are one-off custom products, but his most recent project covered almost 40 rooms at a Palm Springs hospice center. The problem the hospice faced was, once again, the scenery. The rooms face air conditioning units and other uninteresting sights.

“I got an email from hospice organization in Palm Springs, I sent samples to them and they loved the shades. It was a nice job and it makes a dramatic impact on the room because you’re not used to seeing that much color coming through the window. It gets your attention and draws you in,” says Dussault.

Most of the windows in the hospice are 83 inches wide, so Dussault set these up with dual shades. There are other shorter, more vertical windows in the hospice that required only one shade.

Window coverings made with printed fabricDussault began printing the project on his Roland printer with 3P Universal Heavy FR fabric from LexJet, but ran out of material during the project.

“I talked to my customer specialist at LexJet, Justin Craft, and told him my dilemma. He had an alternative idea for me, and sent some information and samples of LexJet Poly Select Light. I’m very happy with the results. It cuts clean and handles well. I see a lot of opportunity for other design-oriented products based on that material in the Medium and Heavy versions as well,” says Dussault.

Dussault adds that the he used the Poly Select Light fabric for the last floor of the project; the windows on the other floors were decorated with 3P Universal Heavy fabric.

Regan has been involved in the sign and wide format digital printing industries for the past two decades as an editor, writer and pundit. With a degree in journalism from the University of Houston, Regan has reported on the full evolution of the inkjet printing industry since the first digital printers began appearing on the scene.

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