Kent-based textile print-on-demand service Prinfab has launched a free-to-use online AI-based pattern generation tool that can produce seamlessly repeating designs from textual descriptions, which the company can then print in the required lengths on a variety of fabrics on its Epson Monna Lisa printers.

Company co-founder Oliver Mustoe-Playfair explained, ‘As the world embraces AI, we’re keen to explore the creative opportunities with our customers. Prinfab has provided free and open access to a powerful AI image generation platform. Within seconds, anyone can create a perfect repeating pattern.’

Since launching, the service has generated more than 5000 images but according to Mr Mustoe-Playfair, has received a mixed response from customers on social media, with some applauding the move and others critical of it. He told Digital Textile Printer, ‘The response has been mixed but usage of our AI tool would suggest the majority of our customers are curious, and open to exploring the potential of AI.

‘At the very least, it has encouraged an open discussion with our stakeholders about how AI could impact the creative sector. As a technology-driven textile print-on-demand company, we aim to be at the forefront of that discussion.’

Prinfab’s AI tool uses an open source diffusion text-to-image model. This works by a process of guided noise removal, starting from a pure noise image, and transitioning step by step towards a final image. The seamless repeat works by having the generator see the opposite side of the image while generating – the right-hand side sees the left-hand side, and vice versa, and the same for top and bottom. This inherently creates a perfect seamless repeat.

‘Perhaps the most challenging part of developing Prinfab AI has been to keep pace AI is evolving,’ noted Mr Mustoe-Playfair.

The AI tool is available for use free of charge via Prinfab’s website.