Print Fabric with Light

Posted by Brian 03/10/2015 1 Comment(s) Reviews,

It's a beautiful Saturday morning. The Sun is up and I am very excited to try out my Lumi Inkodye products. Ever since I watched Jesse introduce the Lumi product via YouTube and Ted Talks, I have been drawn to its simplicity. Not since the launching of the first digital camera did I get so excited about a product. Just imagine, anyone can print their own graphic Tees with light! After visiting their website, I said to myself that I have got to have it. Finally, I will be printing my first Tee-shirt with Lumi! 
I have documented below the steps I took in preparing the materials needed to make my first print.



Step1: Typically, one would start with a simple line design but I chose to go with photo because I was so eager to see how a photo would look printed with Lumi. I love my Fuji X100s so I decided to use that as my subject matter. I prepared the image and sent it to my bureau for high resolution film output (I have this luxury because I belong to the print industry). Anyone who has a laser printer can probably do the same with a few tweaks on resolution and density. This process took me about 15 minutes tops.

Preparing the Shirt


Step 2: This step, although simple as it seems, is important. I need to get the shirt clipped and wrinkle-free. This way it would be easy to apply my ink evenly. Some, instead of clipping, would use pins. This is also permissible. I was careful not to stretch my shirt otherwise my print will be distorted. Just enough of tugs - "micro tugs" on the sides to make sure that the shirt is as flat and crease-free as possible. 

Applying the Ink


Step 3: I used an InkoCap Roller, a device that you screw onto Inkodye bottles, to easily spread out the clear and tacky liquid onto the area I want my print to come out. The Inkodye Navy blue was clear in its unexposed state, so I just simply applied it liberally - making sure the fabric gets enough of it. In other words, wet. As per Lumi website's instruction, you don't want it too wet or else the print may come out blotchy. Hence, a few dabs here and there with a Kleenex did the trick. This process took about a minute.

Placing the Negative


Step 4: This was the easy part. Took no more than a minute. I placed the negative film over the wet area. Again, I used bulldog clips to hold it in place. I also made sure that there are no distance or gap between the film and the shirt. Next time, putting a glass over the film and shirt would be the best idea. Now, off to the fun part!

Printing with Light


Step 5: I brought the whole project outside where the Sun was almost directly over me. Set an 'el cheapo egg timer at 15 minutes. Took a final glance at the whole thing and left to do my regular routine. When the time is up, I came back and make sure that the blue ink is nicely saturated. I brought the whole project back indoors and remove the film.

Washing is important


Step 6: This was the part I wish I had exerted more time and effort into. This was important so that all unexposed inks are removed. Anyway, after I took the printed shirt off the project board, I hot wash it in a sink that has InkoWash solution (about 2 full caps). A few minutes of handwashing and cold rinsing then the shirt is done. Off to the clothesline for air drying.


Printing with Lumi brought so much joy and excitement. The dye do fuse with the fabric making the design fully integrated with my shirt. My thin cotton shirt, as I like it to be, is still as soft and breathable as before. Nothing has changed except I now have a nice customized print on it. According to Lumi, the print will last for the entire lifetime of the shirt. Wonderful! With this out in the market, I am sure Uniqlo plain cotton shirts will sell more than ever.


As I write this, I have so much ideas and projects in mind. This is truly a revolutionary way of printing. Imagine, this whole process took me just 1 hour (accumulated) to complete! Kids can even do this. As a photographer, I now have a wearable canvass. As an entrepreneur, I have tons of ideas I can do with this technology. 


If you want to give this revolutionary product a try, get yours at They are the authorized distributor for Lumi here in the Philippines.

1 Comment(s)

Dexter San Jose:
26/10/2015, 12:51:20 AM

Wow! The product is wonderful. Thanks for sharing the tips and steps! I have got several images lined up already. You'll be hearing from me soon.

Join the Conversation: