I couldn’t be more excited about this. I have always wanted to, and tried to, silk screen my own tees with little to no success and pretty much no interest in really investing in some of the expensive equipment needed to do it right.
I was always fine with one or two color prints, using a screen, ink and light in my closet, but as I started to travel around more, this became unrealistic and messy to even consider.
Then I heard about Lumi, and although I don’t own a kit of my own yet, I know I have found my ultimate solution.
Lumi Printing System is a company and a process, to make your own printed tees using the power of the sun. Their process is one that photographers have known about for over a century, photo sensitive chemicals placed on a surface then an object or transparency with black ink is used to “block out” the sun, leaving the rest of the photo sensitive paper exposed and giving you a crisp outline of your object. However, although this process is not actually new, no one has really perfected a way to do it on fabric or other objects without the need for a dark room or really sensitive process. Lumi has taken the pain out of both sun photos AND screen printing.
Currently you can only preorder their kits by contributing to their kickstarter campaign, which by the way is doing phonemically. They have more than tripled their goal with still 12 days to go!
If you want a piece of this action, preorder a kit now while you still can: Lumi Printing System Kits.
I suspect that as soon as the kickstarter campaign is over, they will be backed up for a while fulfilling just the orders from that before they will have stock on their website (maybe?).
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.