Custom prints for a professional look

We Caribbean people love bright colours and lavish patterns, especially when it comes to clothing and accessories. Nothing boosts our confidence more than stepping out in well made, well-designed clothing crafted out of the best fabric. It’s a special treat when you know that the pattern you’re sporting speaks to and about you; what a way to unleash your inner creator!

For those who go the extra step and have their own fabrics custom printed—whether for self, team, or corporate use—the difficulty lies in the printing method that brings their chosen pattern or design to life. Sometimes, custom prints derived from more traditional methods like screen printing tend to fade, crack, peel or bleed. Island Custom Fabrics, however, uses a dye sublimation printing process on polyester or other synthetic fabrics, a methodology that reduces or eliminates these issues. The images are initially printed on coated heat-resistant transfer paper as a reverse image of the final design, which is then transferred onto polyester fabric in a heat press. Under high temperatures and pressure, the dye turns into a gas, permeating the fabric before solidifying into its fibres.

The result of the sublimation process is a nearly permanent, high-resolution, full-colour print. The dyes are infused into the fabric at the molecular level, rather than on the surface (such as with screen printing and direct-to-garment printing), so the prints rarely deteriorate. Dye also does not build up on the fabric to make it stiff or scratchy. Colours can be quite brilliant due to the bonding of the dye to the transparent fibres. As a result, the fabric is permanently dyed, so it can be washed over and over without damaging the quality of the image. 

The company offers a wide variety of Caribbean patterns, which can be viewed at their website, But customers can bring their own design, a real treat for those who know exactly what they want and aren’t willing to settle for anything else. Customers are welcome to have a chat with their fabric experts, who are on-hand to consult with them to select their ideal pattern and fabric selection. Island Custom Fabrics can run prints for a variety of applications and the minimum order requirements vary by pattern. They’re equipped to print on fabric as large as 5’ x 300’.

When you hear “custom printing”, your mind may turn to fabrics for clothing, and naturally so, as printable fabrics are most often used for apparel and linings for clothing, bags and cases. Their apparel fabrics include those used for activewear and athleisure apparel, outerwear such as leggings, and much more. But their offerings also include fabrics for furniture, seat covers, cushions, pillows, duvets, wall art, drapery, backdrops for photography and videography; and displays and backgrounds for trade shows. They’re also capable of printing on stretch fabrics, which will not wrinkle or skew after installation. This makes it ideal for applications ranging from trade shows to architectural elements in which a fabric needs to be stretched over a rigid frame system.

It’s a wonderful example of how technology can be used to enhance our appreciation for and access to all that is beautiful and durable.

 Colin Mitchell, Managing Director

Island Custom Fabrics , W:

#13 Belle Smythe Street, Woodbrook, Trinidad

T: 868 622 1800, E:


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