Last year, when Michele and I headed to Maker Faire, we had the pleasure of meeting entrepreneur/maker extraordinaire Jesse Genet. She was excited to show us an easy process that she found for printing on fabric at home. Judging from my lack of screen printing skills, I was anxious to try it myself. The ideas is this: All you need to create your own custom t-shirt graphics are Lumi Inkodye® and the sun.
*While the cost of the classic kit is $29.95, its worth noting that it can be used four t-shirt prints.
- Time: 1 hour
- Cost: $25-40
Print your negative at home or use the Lumi app to send your image to the Lumi team. They’ll print the negative for you and send it in a few days for $10. An extra cool thing is that all the negatives are reusable for at least a few prints, just wipe them off when you’re done.
Start with a clean t-shirt and pull it taut over a piece of cardboard. A trick I found was to gather the t-shirt and use a hair band to keep it in place. Then, flip it over and pin down the surface you want to print on.
Apply Inkodye to the area. The negative will block the light from the appropriate parts to create the picture, but any dye not covered around the edges will also change colors. Use a paper towel to wipe up any extra dye.
Pin the negative into place.
Expose the shirt to the sun 10-20 minutes.
You’ll slowly see the dye begin to develop to whatever color you chose.
When your image has developed to the extent that you want, take the t-shirt off of the cardboard, and immediately get it out of the sun.
To stop the development of the Inkodye, you’ll need to run your t-shirt through the washer. Lumi makes a special wash that works great (it’s included in the kit), but your regular detergent should work as well.