Lumi - Sunlight-Printed Fabric Kit

Posted: August 20, 2013
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My brother used to screen print T-shirts. He made me one with a Charlie Brown-looking assembly of twigs and a lone ornament that said, Merry Christmas Plant a Tree. And another with Danielle Fishel's face that said, Topanga I Want Tobangya. Back then you had to have stuff like expensive equipment and talent to make nice-looking silkscreens. But thankfully times have changed, and now any turkey with ink and sunlight can do it with Lumi.

Lumi, a DIY alternative to screen printing, will transfer any image--photographed or hand-fashioned through Lumi's app--to cotton, linen, silk, rayon, or canvas via no more than a dousing of the company's Inkodye and a 10- to 20-minute session in the sun. It's like a tanning bed for T-shirts. (Or skirts, bags, pillows, upholstery....)

The Lumi app for iOS helps users create mockups of and place orders for the image they want to print. Within it, you can edit brightness and contrast, and preview your image in all 3 Inkodye colors (blue, orange, red). Once satisfied, shell out a fairly modest $10 for a custom-printed, reusable negative (12" x 12") for delivery.

To Lumi up a medium, apply the Inkodye in a dim environment, and then place the negative over it. Inkodye spreads on colorless, and the negative selectively blocks sunlight from activating it during image transfer. Place the item in direct sunlight, or under a UV light, and go watch a Big Bang Theory rerun. Once the credits roll, your birthday gift for Cornelius of a unicorn-narwhal horn-to-horn battle on a sleeveless Fruit of the Loom will be branded, ready to wash (removes unexposed dye), and then ready to wear.

Lumi Starter Kits include 1, 4-ounce bottle/color of Inkodye primed for stamping 4, 12 x 12 prints. In addition to the dye, kits include 4 ounces of Inkowash detergent, an Inkocap roller, a test negative and blank fabric swatches, and instructions for use.

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