A simple DIY alternative to screen printing powered by sunlight.
Inkodye® develops its color in sunlight. It works on cotton, linen, silk, rayon, canvas, and any other natural & absorbent material.
Once finished, your print is soft, permanent and can be machine washed without fading.
1. Apply InkodyeCoat your shirt or fabric with sunlight-activated Inkodye in a dim environment.
2. Block lightNegatives or objects can be used to selectively block light from activating Inkodye. Make your own custom negatives through our app (not required).
3. ExposeInkodye develops its color in sunlight or bright UV, about 10 to 20 minutes on a bright day.
4. PeelRemove the negative in a dim environment to reveal your print. Almost done!
5. WashUsing Inkowash, remove the unexposed dye to prevent it from further developing.
6. WearYou're done! The print is now permanent and can be washed without special care.
Watch the video
- What materials does Inkodye work on?
Inkodye binds to any absorbent natural fiber such as cotton, linen, raw silk, jute, hemp, burlap, wool and even raw leather, suede, untreated wood and unglazed ceramics.
For photographic applications we recommend materials that can be rinsed and washed in hot water and textile detergent. This allows the light areas of the print to remain undeveloped.
Inkodye can also be used on cellulosic semi-synthetics such as modal, viscose or rayon. We do not recommend Inkodye for use on synthetic fibers such as polyester or nylon, however blends (e.g. 95% cotton and 5% polyester) may yield good results.
Inkodye will not work on materials that aren't natural and also materials that can't absorb the dye; ie. glass, metal, plexiglass, acrylic
- How much area does an Inkodye bottle cover?
Each ounce of dye prints approximately one 12x12 inch square (30x30 cm), that means one 4 oz. bottle makes about 4 prints. The dyes can also be diluted with water to make them go further.
- Does Inkodye work on dark materials?
Inkodye works best over light to medium values. Because it is a dye, it does not coat the fabrics like a paint would. It actually become part of the fiber, and therefore will not add color to a black or dark-colored material.
- Can negatives be used more than once?
Yes! If you take care not wrinkle them, they can be wiped down with a bit of water and window cleaning solution. We've used some of our negatives 10-20 times without any issues.
- Is the process safe?
Our products are intended for adult use, they do not feature child safe packaging. The dyes are water-based and are the safest photographic emulsion available. Once washed, printed garments are safe to wear. The chemistry of our process is based on the same family of dyes used to color blue jeans and service uniforms. That said, the safety precautions below must be followed when using Inkodye.
Our dyes have been certified as having no chronic toxicity by a certified toxicologist. Our products conform to the Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act (Conforms to ASTM D-4236). We are committed to the health and safety of everyone who enjoys Inkodye, which is why we recommend using normal precaution to prevent unnecessary spilling, skin contact and ingestion. Children love to watch the magical color development, but should not use Inkodye unsupervised. Our dyes are water-based and only require household soap and water cleanup - we recommend that you wash your hands thoroughly after use and / or use gloves to prevent prolonged skin contact and staining! We recommend using the sun to develop your prints, but if you choose to iron wet Inkodye articles indoors please work in an environment with adequate ventilation!
Based on a board certified toxicological review completed in 2011, the precautions on the bottle are as follows:
Caution: Avoid ingestion and eye contact. In case of eye contact rinse with water. Use only outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. When using do not eat, drink or smoke. Keep out of reach of children.
MSDS information and more detail is available at help.lumi.co
- Where is Inkodye made?
Inkodye is made in the USA - at our workshop in sunny Los Angeles, California. We strive to support our local economy and source the best ingredients we can find.
- What is the shelf life of Inkodye?
Inkodye works best when used within 2 years. Make sure to store it in a cool, dark place. Shake well before use!
- Are Lumi prints machine-washable?
Yes! The chemistry of our process is based on the most permanent family of dyes, known as vat dyes. These are the same group of dyes used to color service/military uniforms, and can even be bleach-washed. Inkodye allows you to create permanent prints on garments that you wear every day.
- Does the process work in cloudy weather? How about UV?
The Lumi Process works in overcast weather but it takes about twice as long (20-40mn). For best results we recommend direct sunlight.
Some of our users have had success working with UV exposure units designed for alternative photo processes or screen printing. You'll need to use strong UV or actinic light bulbs to develop the dye. We're still researching this technique ourselves, and will keep you updated when we find the right solution.
Visit help.lumi.co for more answers.