Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Make your own fabric prints using the sun

Make your own fabric prints using the sun | How About Orange:

Blog post from 'How About Orange?' on LUMI dye.

How About Orange


The folks who make Inkodye sent over a sample the other day.
Inkodye is light-sensitive dye for textiles or any natural fibers, including wood and raw leather. It acts like the Sunprint paper you might have used as a kid, only you can brush this dye on anything you want and it comes in lots of colors. Like orange, of course.

For my first test of this magical stuff, I planned to make a safety pin print on fabric. Something quick and easy in case it was a flop.


I wrapped cardboard with a piece of old plastic tablecloth to make a waterproof surface. I laid white cotton fabric on top and taped down the edges to make brushing easier.


Then I poured a little Inkodye onto a paper plate, and with a foam brush, I painted it onto the fabric. It has a little color in its unexposed state, so it was easy to see where I'd already applied it.

As soon as I was done brushing on the dye, I scrambled to arrange some safety pins on top of the fabric. I was a little paranoid that the dye would start to develop before I brought it out into the sun, so in my haste I forgot to take a photo. (Turns out it's not quite that tricky, so I didn't need to hyperventilate as much.)

Outside the back door, I placed the board in direct sunlight. Immediately the orange color started to deepen. After 5 or 6 minutes it was super orange so I brought it back inside, removed the pins, and took the fabric off the board.


To keep the dye under the pins from developing, I immediately rinsed the fabric under the faucet and then washed it out with laundry detergent. (You can use a washing machine and dryer for this step if you like.)


Here's what the fabric looks like when it's dry. The color is really vibrant, and I was quite pleased. I sewed it into a zipper pouch.

I gave the Inkodye a test drive on a couple other projects, too, so I'll post those in the next few days. It's fun to play with!
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"Lumi is a design team pioneering the Lumityping process, a revolutionary photographic print process for textiles and natural materials. We're taking photography out of the darkroom by using sunlight to make durable prints on sustainable materials.
Our workshop in Los Angeles is where we developed Inkodye and use it to create fashion and furniture designs. See our work with our furniture partner, Cisco Home.
We're now selling Inkodye so you can try your hand at Lumitypes. Find it at our online shop!"
» Meet the LUMI Team


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