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Lumi Inkodye

Fabric Printing Kits

Into the light

An avid photographer, Jesse Genet was just 16 years old when she stumbled across a unique dye formula from the 1950s that just eight years later she and industrial designer Stephen Ango would reformulate into Inkodye and launch what they call the Lumi process. It’s a unique new way to bring your digital photos to light and life by printing them onto fabric using the power of sunshine. No screens and no expensive equipment necessary.

The process works on cotton, linen, silk, rayon, canvas, and any other natural, absorbent fiber. You supply the fabric and 10 to 20 minutes of sunlight. The Inkodye kit provides everything else you need, including an iPhone app for transforming your images into negatives, special films that make it easy to print your negatives at any local print or copy shop, and three different colors of Inkodye. The kit even comes with textile detergents for rinsing your prints and getting them ready to wear.

Once finished, your print is permanent and can be machine-washed without fading. Inkodye is water-based and made of the safest photographic emulsion available in the Lumi studio, located in sunny Los Angeles, CA.

Finally, there’s an easy way to help your digital photos see the light of day by wearing them proudly on your clothes.
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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Jesse
    Jesse

    Hi guys! I am Jesse Genet, founder of Lumi, the makers of Inkodye, a light-sensitive dye for fabric. Using Inkodye, we are pioneering a new DIY process for printing clothing and textiles using the sunlight in your own backyard. I have been developing and using the Lumi printing process since I was 16 years old. I am excited to chat with you today and answer any questions!

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/19/2013 12:13 PM

    Hi guys, Excited to be launching on The Grommet! Let me know if you have any questions about Lumi or Inkodye :)

  • Joann
    Joann
    11/19/2013 12:26 PM

    @Jesse

    Hi, Like the concept. Any possibility that you will develop options to use it with Android phones and laser printers?

  • peggy
    peggy
    11/19/2013 12:31 PM

    @Jesse Interested in giving as gift -- what do I need to purchase for a complete gift set?

    Thanks, Peggy

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/19/2013 12:33 PM

    @peggy Hi Peggy, if you'd like your giftee to be able to print their own photos then you should grab a kit (in a color of your choice) + a package of Inkofilm :)

  • peggy
    peggy
    11/19/2013 12:34 PM

    @Jesse

  • peggy
    peggy
    11/19/2013 12:35 PM

    @peggy Thanks, and how many shirts, etc., per kit/Inkofilm?

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/19/2013 12:34 PM

    @Joann Hi Joann - we're working on a web version that will be accessible to everyone! It's slated for early 2014

  • Mary
    Mary
    11/19/2013 12:43 PM

    @Jesse

  • Trevor
    Trevor
    11/19/2013 1:33 PM

    @JOANN Almost any Android photo editing software (or even the camera app built into your specific device) may have the options you need to do this. You don't need an Android specific app from Inkodye.

    All you really need is something that has a "negative" filter to reverse the image. It would be handy to make it B&W first and if you have contrast and brightness editing, you can tweak your image a bit so you don't have unwanted details in the final output.

    Then it's just a matter of printing. Some devices have the ability to talk directly to printers via PictBridge or IR or over WIFI or Bluetooth. There's also various "cloud print" methods, including Google Cloud Print, that you should be able to use to print directly from your Android device to your printer.

    All the technology and software is there to do it on Android, just not in one tiny little app.

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/21/2013 5:47 PM

    @Trevor Thanks for chiming in Trevor!

  • Debbie
    Debbie
    11/19/2013 12:33 PM

    How many shirts can you design with one of your kits?

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/19/2013 12:35 PM

    @Debbie You can make about 4 shirts with the dye that comes in each kit. Then you can keep using your kit accessories and buy additional dye refill bottles to keep going!

  • Michelle
    Michelle
    11/19/2013 12:34 PM

    Hey Jesse...sounds pretty cool. How does it hold up in the wash?

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/19/2013 12:36 PM

    @Michelle It's super permanent in the wash! That's one of the reasons I fell in love with this process. If you give your prints the full development time in the sun then your results will be very permanent.

  • Cathy
    Cathy
    11/19/2013 12:36 PM

    What kinds of fabric are suited to this process? This would be an exciting product for use by my middle school students as part of their sewing projects! They make hoodies, sweats, pillows, bags and sew on!

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/19/2013 12:37 PM

    @Cathy Sounds so fun! Natural fabrics work best - think cotton, canvas, linen, silk, rayon

  • Mary
    Mary
    11/19/2013 12:43 PM

    So this only works for iPhones right now? This is just amazing, but without an iPhone it doesn't help me, LOL ~ thanks!

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/19/2013 12:52 PM

    @Mary Hi Mary- we have everything you need to make and print negatives from your very own home printer- no iPhone necessary. Also, we are working on a web version of the app that everyone can use :D

  • Julia
    Julia
    11/19/2013 12:46 PM

    Very cool! Can you layer the process and use different color dyes and different images on the same piece of fabric? Also, can you reuse the film?

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/19/2013 12:59 PM

    @Julia Hey Julia- You can definitely layer colors! It is a subtractive process so layering does yield some pretty great results. Also- Inkofilm is completely reusable. Just wipe clean in between prints with any glass cleaner and you're good to go!

  • Julia
    Julia
    11/19/2013 1:29 PM

    @Jesse Can you mix the ink colors to make other colors?

  • Stephan
    Stephan
    11/19/2013 5:55 PM

    @Julia You sure can! And it's super fun to experiment with!

  • A.
    A.
    11/19/2013 12:47 PM

    I'm an artist and after watching the video I sat there paralyzed with ideas.

    Just curious, have you tried printing one color over another? Can that be done?

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/19/2013 1:05 PM

    @A. It's a really fun process. You certainly can layer colors. It does require a wash after each exposure, but the results are pretty sweet.

  • Laura
    Laura
    11/19/2013 12:48 PM

    Does this work on denim? Also what color range of material would you say it works best for? Seems like maybe it would not work on dark blue or black fabrics. Are there any plans to make a white or bright yellow for printing on dark fabrics? Thanks!

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/19/2013 1:13 PM

    @Laura Hi Laura- Inkodye works great on denim! Our process is subtractive, so you get the best results when your material is a lighter shade than the print you are making.

  • Caren
    Caren
    11/19/2013 12:55 PM

    Hey Jesse-Love this! One question. I live in Washington state. Can this product work on not so sunny day's? Will it take longer to process? Can I use "daylight" lamp on the not so sunny/rainy/snowy day's?

  • Caren
    Caren
    11/19/2013 12:59 PM

    @Caren P.s. When is the android app coming 0ut. We all have androinds hopefully before Christmas?

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/19/2013 1:24 PM

    @Caren Hi Caren- Thanks for the kind words! It takes a little longer to fully develop, but printing does work on cloudy days because of the UV energy. If you are exposing indoors with a lamp, it should have a high output of UV energy. We sometimes use a 400 watt black light here in the studio. Works great!

    We are woking on a web version of the app that is slated for January 2014 that will be available to everyone :)

  • Adrian
    Adrian
    11/19/2013 1:02 PM

    Hi Jesse,

    Your product looks totally great and has really captured my imagination. When you say it requires 10 - 20 of sunlight. I live in Toronto - is outside ok when it's cold? Will the sun still be strong enough?

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/19/2013 1:26 PM

    @Adrian Hi Adrian, direct sunlight will work just fine regardless of temperature :)

  • Jerry
    Jerry
    11/19/2013 1:08 PM

    As a high school teacher, I think I've spotted one of the next big trends. Teens love to be expressive and this allows the to be individual and / or part of a team without the hassle of t-shirt companies. This is great! Thank you!!!

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/19/2013 1:32 PM

    @Jerry Thanks Jerry! We really appreciate you sayin so.

    A product that supports individuality as well as teamwork- what a great insight!

    Thank you

  • Tammy
    Tammy
    11/19/2013 1:17 PM

    Jesse this looks like an amazing product. I can't wait for your web version so I can get busy creating. I wish you much success! I am going to share this with everyone.

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/19/2013 1:42 PM

    @Tammy Thanks Tammy, very sweet of you. We are SO excited about the web version as well! Making this process available to more and more people has always been a major goal here at Lumi

  • Anita
    Anita
    11/19/2013 1:33 PM

    WOW! your group has done something AMAZING! I am ordering too! THANKS for your innovative minds! Look for the new rules in the raising of funds according to the SEC.

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/19/2013 1:47 PM

    @Anita ;) Very kind of you to say so, THANKS!

  • JoLene
    JoLene
    11/19/2013 1:42 PM

    what if you are Oregon and the sun seldom shines in the winter. Is there another light sorce you cna use

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/19/2013 1:51 PM

    @JoLene Hi Jolene, it is possible to expose prints on cloudy days- it just takes a little bit longer. So instead of 10-20 minutes, it's more like 25-30.

    High wattage UV lamps work just as well for indoor printing, too! We use a 400 watt UV black light.

  • Francisco
    Francisco
    11/19/2013 1:58 PM

    Hi Jesse!

    I am part of a collective of photographers in Santiago de Chile specialized in old processes such as cyanotype and others. We met your product via the web just the last week and we already ordered two large bottles (we are very excited to try it!).

    If all goes well we would love to try some kind of workshop or something like that in Santiago whit Lumi products, or maybe a partnership with Puma Lab Santiago (which is only a few meters from our studio).

    Hope to be in touch then.

    Greetings from Chile!

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/19/2013 2:15 PM

    @Francisco Great! Can't wait for you to try it out! Be sure to reach out to us once you do. Thanks!

  • Francisco
    Francisco
    11/19/2013 2:24 PM

    @Jesse Thank to you! : )

  • Conrado
    Conrado
    11/19/2013 2:24 PM

    This product is too cool! A fun and easy way to add style to a plain t-shirt...

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/19/2013 2:51 PM

    @Conrado Thanks Conrado! Have you ever tried it?

  • Beth
    Beth
    11/19/2013 2:32 PM

    I really love your product! I can't wait to get it and share it with my friends and students- hopefully we'll start a trend :) Thanks for re-discovering this amazing dye process!

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/19/2013 2:54 PM

    @Beth Thanks for the kind words- also really appreciate you sharing with friends and students :)

  • Dennis
    Dennis
    11/19/2013 2:33 PM

    Very impressed by this product. Read through the comments, and have a couple of suggestion to share.

    First off, even if you don't have an iPhone, you can still use this product. You just need to make an INVERSE, Black & White version of your photo. The Lumi app will do that for you, of course, but you can do it yourself using most photoediting software, like Picasa (free from Google). You can also do it in your browser in a variety of websites, like http://www.ribbet.com/. Just upload your photo, then click "B&W" and then click "Inverse". This creates a "photo negative" version of your shot, which will (natch) turn out as a one-color, "positive" version on your fabric.

    I just ordered a kit, and can't wait to try.

    Hope this helps,

    --Dennis

    I also have a Laser printer, not an inkjet. Instead of the Inkofilm transparency film, which only works with inkjets, you can just buy transparency film for laser printers instead.

  • Amy
    Amy – Grommet Team
    11/19/2013 2:55 PM

    Thanks, Dennis for all of this information. Our community is going to find it tremendously helpful. For those who don't have an inkjet printer, there are several alternatives. Simply doing a search for "laser printer transparency film" should do the trick.

  • Elizabeth
    Elizabeth
    11/19/2013 3:16 PM

    Hi, how do people come across in the print on fabric? I can see how objects work well but not sure about how people would translate.

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/19/2013 3:44 PM

    @Elizabeth Hi Elizabeth, one of the greatest things about Inkodye is its ability to print with continuous tone. Your prints will look just like they do in the photograph- people and objects alike :)

  • Jo Ellen
    Jo Ellen
    11/19/2013 3:57 PM

    Does the photo have to come from Iphone or can it be from any digital camera?

  • Stephan
    Stephan
    11/19/2013 4:11 PM

    @Jo Ellen Any image from any source can be turned into a negative for printing!

  • Susan
    Susan
    11/19/2013 5:04 PM

    Is the film strictly for Inkjet or can it be used in Laserjet printers too?

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/19/2013 5:16 PM

    @Susan Hi Susan. Currently, Inkofilm is specially made for inkjet printers and will not work in a laser printer. But if you are working with a laser printer you can still use Inkodye! A quick search for "laser printer transparency film" will bring up a lot of alternatives for you :)

  • Juliet
    Juliet
    11/19/2013 6:54 PM

    Jesse, You just launched today! and you are out of stock? I need this!! I love printing pics on shirts for events and birthdays and wanted to be able to do this myself. Need the inko film inject film right??!

    what do I do?

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/20/2013 1:23 PM

    @Juliet

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/20/2013 1:26 PM

    @Juliet Yes! We're so glad Inkodye is resonating with Grommet readers :D If you are trying to print photos on shirts, you should pick up a kit and a pack of Inkofilm. HAVE FUN!

  • Scott
    Scott
    11/19/2013 7:28 PM

    Hi, I know this say's the product works with the iPhone, but what about photos saved to an iPad from a windows phone? Thanks!

  • Scott
    Scott
    11/19/2013 7:33 PM

    @Scott to me from me lol, I see the answer need to read all the post! Looks awesome....

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/21/2013 5:45 PM

    @Scott Haha! Our iPhone app is fully functional on iPad ;)

  • Carolann
    Carolann
    11/19/2013 8:44 PM

    hi...what a great idea...can one mix dyes to make other colors?

  • Carolann
    Carolann
    11/19/2013 8:49 PM

    @Carolann never mind read rest of questions... thanks can't wait to try it

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/21/2013 5:42 PM

    @Carolann Hi there! Yes, all of our colors are mixable :)

  • Maricarmen
    Maricarmen
    11/19/2013 9:12 PM

    Hi! Great product. But I have questions:

    - Can I use the required paper in any printer? or what are the requirements for that?

    - What is the required standard quality of the photo?

    - Do you send the products to Peru?

    Thanks!

    M.

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/21/2013 5:42 PM

    @Maricarmen Great questions! You can use our Inkofilm in any inkjet printer. There is no required DPI for a photo for this process, just make sure it doesn't visibly look grainy when you blow it up to your intended size. A good thing to note is that your Inkodye prints will usually by on fabric, and fabric has a texture of its own. The fabrics texture will often hide small imperfections in your photos and sometimes make grainy images look great despite their size. About Peru... There are many options for getting Lumi products - like The Grommet! We also ship worldwide from our website lumi.co

  • Diane
    Diane
    11/20/2013 2:28 PM

    Jesse, my friend brought back a large scarf from Italy that I would think very marketable. It was an off white and its entire area was one very large old photograph from an Italian wedding. It was very stylish and a memory. Are you able to create such a piece on such are large surface?

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/21/2013 5:38 PM

    @Diane Hi Diane, in order to do a large format print you'll need to create a large format negative (or tile smaller negatives). Your local screen printer can usually print a large format film negative for you if you bring the negative file to them on a USB drive!

  • Erin
    Erin
    11/20/2013 4:29 PM

    I don't know if this has been asked but what other colors are you working on?

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/20/2013 7:37 PM

    @Erin Hi Erin, We'll be releasing Black, Sepia, Plum, Copper, Magenta, Navy Blue :)

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/20/2013 9:16 PM

    @Erin Hi! We're close to releasing Black, Sepia, Plum, Copper, Magenta and Navy Blue!

  • Dana
    Dana
    11/21/2013 2:28 PM

    Do the photos have to be made into a negative or can it be just the picture itself ?

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/21/2013 5:33 PM

    @Dana If you'd like to print a photo with Inkodye then yes, you'll need to turn your photo into a negative. Here's a guide to help you make your own negatives >> http://snapguide.com/guides/print-negatives-on-85-inkjet-printable-inkofilm/

  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    11/21/2013 2:49 PM

    @Jesse

    Do you have any other dye colors?

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Special Guest
    11/21/2013 5:25 PM

    @Jennifer Hi - we're releasing Black, Sepia, Plum, Copper, Magenta and Navy Blue in just over a week from now :)

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.

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