New era design: AVA CAD/CAM

11 August 2016 by Editor

The design process is being transformed through the innovative use of new-generation software. Texprint designers checked out the potential of AVA CAD/CAM on a training course this August.

Six Texprint designers were given the chance to explore the possibilities of design software on a one-week course in Macclesfield, Cheshire, this summer with AVA CAD/CAM, a new sponsor of Texprint.

Duncan Ross, Commercial Director at AVA, said: “We are thrilled to become official Texprint sponsors this year.  Supporting education and students, and helping to create links with industry, fits our profile. The variety and quality of graduates seeking realistic employment opportunities is quite astonishing.  Once the six prize winners have adopted the new AVA software skills, I’m confident they’ll be even more creative and highly employable.”

Designers from left: Isla Middleton, Amy Smith, Lydia Knight, Crimson Rose O'Shea, Emma Kendall, Megan Clarke

If that sounds worthy but a little dull, designers listen up! New-generation software used with confidence and experience can transform the process of designing. Texprint designer Emma Kendall was enthused. “I genuinely feel like I’m part of a revolution in digital design development,” she said. “I can’t imagine how I coped before.”

AVA CAD/CAM has been providing specialist design and colour software – together with support, training and technical consultancy services – to the textile and decorative printing industries around the world for more than 25 years. Areas of particular focus include printed textiles for home furnishing, fashion and apparel, wall coverings and floor coverings.

AVA’s suite of integrated specialist software modules caters for the entire workflow from initial design and repeating, through colour separation and re-colouring to digital printing and conventionally printed production. AVA makes the tough aspects of textile design, such as repeats and colourways, easy.


Many companies have integrated AVA into their design process. Julie Hall, head of design at Bedeck (and a Texprint judge in 2015), says: “We use AVA for most aspects of our design development – from piecing scanned imagery, separating artwork through to design layout and colouration. The design development process is completed so effectively and efficiently.”

Progress in understanding AVA was rapid for all six designers participating in the one-week course. By the first afternoon, they were working with their own imagery to explore the software, focusing on creating repeats and understanding the different tools available. On the second day, they worked on simple non-tonal colour separations, and looked at vectors and geometric tools. Over the rest of the week, they explored advanced colour separations, learned layouts and how to present colourways, and looked in-depth at an aspect of the software package that enables designers to map designs onto visualisations for interiors and fashion.

Designer Isla Middleton was impressed by how the software allows pattern and colour to be explored in a controlled and efficient way. The key to making the most of AVA is good training. That’s why the Texprint group was supported every step of the way by expert trainer Kerry Walsh – two thirds of the company’s staff make up an experienced multilingual team providing technical support to customers worldwide.

Megan Lily Clarke appreciated the support: "Learning new things is always hard, but when the penny dropped with AVA, everything was made a whole lot more simple for creating repeat patterned and colour separating.”


Emma Kendall said: “All the staff are working hard to promote a product they absolutely believe in, and you can see from the off their passion and commitment and urgency to communicate how great this software.”

She added: “The office is a fantastic hybrid of modern and traditional in a converted yarn mill. Our trainer Kerry was really enthusiastic and bubbly, with the patience of a saint, running a great show while answering an endless torrent of questions from six learning designers.  We have learned the basics of AVA in motif cleaning, repeats and colour separation – all features that Photoshop doesn't specifically specialise in. Already I have elaborated on at least 20 designs in three days.”

Also upbeat about the experience was Lydia Knight, who said: “It is a wonderful tool. I wish I had had the opportunity to have used it before. Everyone needs to know about AVA software – it's so clever."

AVA believes there are further spin-off benefits from its sponsorship, including helping Texprint designers with industry contacts by matching up customers with them.

Designers with Debbie Jane Buchan (top right)

Debbie Jane Buchan, Customer Service Director, said: “We were thrilled to see such talented and enthusiastic designers making use of our facilities, producing fabulous designs, all of which were in repeat and colour separated – and in such a short time frame. Just seeing how the designers took to the software and then produced fabulous pieces within five days was reward enough for us.”

She added: “We are passionate about helping the graduates into industry and will do all that we can to help them succeed. We are particularly looking forward to Premiere Vision Designs to see what new work the designers will have created using our software package.”


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