Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 30, 2012.

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Analog meets digital with this textile printing process. Our new kits make it easy to do it yourself.

The adventure continues on our site, where you can find our products and information about the process: www.lumi.co

We have big plans for how to take the technology even further thanks to your amazing support and enthusiasm. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages as the campaign unfolds! You can also sign up for our email newsletter

Take a peek at what you can design with the Lumi Process:

What is the Lumi Process?

The Lumi Process is a revolutionary photographic print process for textiles and natural materials. The process is based on Inkodye, mixable, dilutable, water-based dyes, which develop their color in sunlight. Currently available in three colors: red, orange and blue.

Inkodye can bind to any vegetal or animal fiber, such as cotton, linen, wool, silk, suede and wood. Once fixed, the color becomes permanent and can go through repeated machine washes without fading.

Inkodye's light-sensitive properties open new possibilities for artistic and commercial uses:

  • True photographic prints that show a range of tonality rather than half-tone patterns. Turn your smartphone pictures into beautiful designs.
  • Permanent. Your prints will be soft and machine-washable. The dye actually becomes part of the fiber.
  • Works on any natural fiber. Great on 100% cotton tees and delicate materials like silk, suede and wool which are not capable of going through pH or heat-setting stages. 
  • Prints over rough materials such as burlap, jute and sewn garments, into recesses that typical screen-printing could not reach. 
  • Uses the sun! No need for electricity, silkscreens or high-end equipment.

  

The System

Starter Kit

The starter kit includes 4 ounces of each color (118ml), instructions, a vignette-shaped stencil and a negative that you can cut out and start experimenting with. 

This kit will allow you to print between 12 sq ft. and 48 sq ft. (1.1 m2 to 4.4 m2) depending on how absorbent your material is, and whether or not you dilute the dye. 

  

Transparent Film

The film provided in our Full System Kit is 11x17" (equivalent to A3 paper) specially coated for laser printing. It absorbs more toner than typical transparencies allowing you to print dense negatives. This will ensure that the whites in your image stay white. Each transparency is connected to a carrier sheet of paper which makes it run through typical copiers more effectively.

If you prefer to use your own transparency, there are a few ways to get dark negatives. The easiest we've found is to print two negatives on your home inkjet printer and double them up.

  

Textile Detergent

To make sure your prints don't continue developing, you'll have to wash out the unexposed dye in hot water with a strong textile detergent. The one we provide is specifically made to clear residual dye. However, it is possible to use regular laundry detergent, but you may need to run your print through the washing machine twice.

  

How can I use the Lumi Process?

Design photographically-printed garments.
Design photographically-printed garments.
Create colorful artwork on natural materials.
Create colorful artwork on natural materials.
Give the objects around you a new life.
Give the objects around you a new life.
Start a business printing with light.
Start a business printing with light.
Make shadow prints, like this design by Jessica Jones from "How About Orange".
Make shadow prints, like this design by Jessica Jones from "How About Orange".

    

What's the app for?

Lumityper is a simple utility that helps you create negatives from your smartphone pictures. It also gives you mobile access to printing instructions and troubleshooting guides.

Once you've turned your image into a negative, you can save it or email it to yourself. The file can then be printed directly on a copier such as the ones found at Kinkos/FedEx.

The app was designed for iPhone, and will be available soon after the campaign ends. Thanks to your support we will be working towards an Android version too! If you're an Android user please fill out this form which will help us decide which devices to develop for.

Negatives can also be made on your computer, using Photoshop, or even web apps such as Pixlr.com. We have a guide that helps you through the process

The app will be free to download for all backers.  

Why are you using Kickstarter?

We've been selling Inkodye for the past 6 months and it has already been shipped to customers in over 60 countries! Some of them have already created amazing things. Along the way we realized that additional tools, like clear films, textile detergent and apps could help make printing with Inkodye even easier . We're using Kickstarter because it's the fastest way to bring the Lumi Printing System directly to the people who want to use it. 

Over 2 years ago we ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund research on this project. Thanks to all of you, we made our printing process a reality. Now it's time to share that technology with the community that made it possible!

In order to provide this system of tools at an affordable price, we need to buy supplies in large volumes, which is why we are raising $50,000. Any funds that exceed that amount will be dedicated to improving the process, like developing new colors, and bringing the Lumityper app to Android and desktop computers.

  

Take it further...

We've created several great options if you want to take your Lumi printing projects further. These rewards offer savings up to 20% off retail price.

Share with a friend! Includes the $70 full system, plus an extra kit.
Share with a friend! Includes the $70 full system, plus an extra kit.
Print it all. Get an additional 48 ounces of Lumi printing power. Enough to print over 40 t-shirts!
Print it all. Get an additional 48 ounces of Lumi printing power. Enough to print over 40 t-shirts!
Host workshops. Includes 30 extra bottles of Inkodye to help you teach photography, chemistry, textile arts, and more.
Host workshops. Includes 30 extra bottles of Inkodye to help you teach photography, chemistry, textile arts, and more.
Start a printing business. With this set you'll be ready to start producing a whole collection! It's over 250 ounces of Inkodye.
Start a printing business. With this set you'll be ready to start producing a whole collection! It's over 250 ounces of Inkodye.

  

The FAQ below answers questions you may have about the process. For more detailed information see http://help.lumi.co

FAQ

  • 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.

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  • 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

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  • Absolutely! Inkodye colors can be mixed to create a wide variety of hues. Mixing Inkodye works off the same principles as paint mixing (i.e. red + orange = red-orange, red + blue = violet) Inkodye can also be http://snapguide.com/guides/dilute-inkodye-with-water/

    Because Inkodyes don't exhibit their full colors until they are exposed you will need to do test strips on the material you intend to use before starting a project or mixing a large batch.

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  • On absorbent materials like cotton, 1 oz covers 1 sq ft. On less absorbent materials like wood 1 oz covers 4 sq ft. of wood.

    In metric, 30ml covers approximately 0.09m2 of cotton, or 0.36m2 of wood. The 4oz bottle is equal to 118ml of dye and the 16 oz bottle is 473ml of dye.

    You can also dilute Inkodye with water up to 1:1 ratio and still get full saturation.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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 http://www.cpsc.gov/businfo/fhsatext.html#sec23 (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 http://help.lumi.co

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  • 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.

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  • Inkodye works best when used within 2 years. Make sure to store it in a cool, dark place. Shake well before use!

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  • Yes! Thanks to your overwhelming support, Lumityper is going to be adapted to Android! The funds exceeding our goal will help us roll out the app as soon as possible.

    The iPhone version will come out first but we've started planning for Android and need your help deciding which devices to develop for. Please fill out the form linked below, and we'll keep in touch with you when we have news about the Android version.

    http://lumi.co/lumityper-android

    Remember you can still use Photoshop, http://Pixlr.com and other image editing software to create negatives.

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    STARTER KIT - You'll receive one Inkodye starter kit, which includes (3) 4oz dyes, instruction booklet, stencil and tester negative. The basics for Lumi printing. SHIPS FREE IN USA / Add $15 for international shipping

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    EARLY BIRD - LUMI PRINTING SYSTEM - Help us kickoff this campaign! Print your own images with the Lumi Process. Includes (1) Inkodye Starter Kit, (20) 11x17 copier films, and (1) 16oz bottle of textile detergent. SHIPS FREE IN USA / Add $20 for international shipping

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    LUMI PRINTING SYSTEM - Print your own images with the Lumi Process. Includes (1) Inkodye Starter Kit, (20) 11x17 copier films, and (1) 16oz bottle of textile detergent. SHIPS FREE IN USA / Add $20 for international shipping

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    SHARE WITH A FRIEND - Friends don't let friends print alone! Includes (2) Inkodye Starter Kits, (20) 11x17 copier films, and (1) 16oz bottle of textile detergent. SHIPS FREE IN USA / Add $25 for international shipping

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    TAKE TWO - Two full system kits! Includes (2) Inkodye Starter Kits, (40) 11x17 copier films, and (2) 16oz bottle of textile detergent. SHIPS FREE IN USA / Add $30 for international shipping

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    PRINT IT ALL - Get serious about your design concepts. Includes (1) Inkodye Starter Kit, (1) 16oz bottle of Inkodye Red, (1) 16oz Inkodye Blue & (1) 16oz Inkodye Orange, (60) 11x17 copier films, and (2) 16oz bottle of textile detergent. SHIPS FREE IN USA / Add $50 for international shipping

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    HOST WORKSHOPS - Enough supplies to teach classes or host a Lumi printing extravaganza! Includes (1) Inkodye Starter Kit, (10) 4oz bottles of Inkodye Red, (10) 4oz bottles of Inkodye Blue, (10) 4oz bottles of Inkodye Orange, (80) 11x17 copier films, and (2) 16oz bottle of textile detergent. SHIPS FREE IN USA / Add $75 for international shipping

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    START A BUSINESS - Whether you're already a printer or you're keen to start your own design business, this option is for you. Imagine all of the products you could create! Includes (1) Inkodye Starter Kit, (5) 16oz bottles of Inkodye Red, (5) 16oz bottles of Inkodye Blue, (5) 16oz bottles of Inkodye Orange, (100) 11x17 copier films, and (3) 16oz bottle of textile detergent. SHIPS FREE IN USA / Add $100 for international shipping

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