Ratti (Como, Italy; www.ratti.it), a producer of high-quality silk and other natural fibers for the fashion and home-furnishing industry, creates 5000 hand-designed prints every year and has more than 170,000 archived textile designs. Recording and archiving the designs has always been essential, but conventional desktop scanners are too small to scan the large drawings and fabrics that contain creases or folds. Ratti approached VLV Tecnologie e Communicazioni (Cormano, Italy; www.vlv.it) to upgrade the system that VLV had originally installed 12 years ago.
VLV used a 1024 × 768-pixel, 30-frames/s progressive-scan camera from WolfVision (Götzis, Austria; www.wolfvision.com) to capture designs in better detail. The maneuverable camera was installed on a ceiling rail, which allows high-angle shots of each design. With a wide-angle lens capable of 12X optical or 2X digital zoom, the IR-controlled camera focuses on a custom-designed table on which the fabrics and drawings can be spread out. With holes in the table and a fan system installed below, all drawings and fabrics are sucked to the table top to keep them in place, eliminating the problem of folds and creases. Details of the images can be searched live on a monitor and the images saved to Ratti's image database. Potentially this system could be used to record high-quality images from color charts, art books, fashion magazines, or catalogs.