Last year, we were inspired to locate a cotton substrate for digital printing when approached by the production and design team for Little Big Town, who asked us to create a digitally printed and UV painted backdrop for the band’s tour. As cotton is preferred over polyester when adding UV paint, we knew we wanted to offer a cotton option. After some quick research, we discovered Cotton Canvas, and immediately brought in test rolls for expedited testing and prototyping. Our printer operator fell in love with the way the fabric ran through our Vutek UV Grand Format printer with ease, and our sales reps loved the way how it accepted inks, with deep blacks and vibrant colors. We also liked that the fabric was slightly heavier than our other fabric substrates, creating a crisp clean appearance. We were so pleased with the results of the testing and prototyping that we not only selected it for the Little Big Town backdrop project, but we added it to our inventory of digital substrates.
The Little Big Town backdrop turned out beautifully, so much so that a photo of the backdrop was featured in an article on our company in Entrepreneur magazine. Since then, Cotton Canvas has become one of our most popular digital substrates. One thing that surprised us was how well-received Cotton Canvas has been by set designers for traditional theatrical productions. As Cotton Canvas is reminiscent of cotton muslin (traditionally used for hand-painted scenic backdrops), its appearance once printed straddles the line, combining the speed and ease of digitally printing with an end result that appears reminiscent of hand-painting. The heavier weight of Cotton Canvas also adds to the durability of the backdrop, an important consideration for music tours and theatrical productions. Since introducing Cotton Canvas to our inventory, we have been pleased to find that our client base for digitally printed backdrops has expanded to include new digital printing clients from traditional theatres, museums, and high school and college theatre departments.
Of course, Cotton Canvas isn’t the right choice for all digital printing needs – for example, a lighter-weight, more translucent substrate is preferred for a backdrop that will be backlit, and a mesh or vinyl may be a better option for a print that would be used outdoors – but overall, we (and our clients) are thrilled with Cotton Canvas.