I wanted to try out this real cool technology as part of a larger wearables project.
- White cotton Tshirt - I bought a locally produced one.
- Inkodye by Lumi
- Inkowash - if you don't buy a kit you need to purchase this as well
- Graphics that I got from an amazing calligrapher, Benoît Furet. I strongly suggest you check out his site.
- Frame, masking tape, blocking material, large paper clips or clothes pins
Step 1: Process
The process is really quite simple. It works by exposing dyed textile to the sun.
- Choose the graphic you want to print on the shirt. You want a graphic that has clear details and shapes.
- Create a black and white inverse version of it. You can do this in Photoshop or Photoshop-like software or in the printer options you can probably select grayscale printing. Remember that was is clear will be revealed and what is dark will be blocked.
- Print it out on transparent film. I used a regular home printer.
- Find a way to spread the shirt out on a frame. The shirt should be stretched out loosely, meaning you don't have to pull it too much but too loose will also distort the image. The frame should be easy to disassemble as you need to quickly machine wash the shirt at the end of the process.
- Put some kind of blocking material between the front and back part of the shirt so that the dye doesn't go to the back. I used thick laminated cardboard.
- Mask the parts you don't want to dye with masking tape. Keep in mind that even the areas covered by the black parts of the transparent paper film will get some sun exposure. I found some tutorials that recommended double negatives but I thought that would be hard to keep perfectly aligned.
- Spread out the dye on the shirt indoors in a room with absolutely no sun. You can keep the lights on.
- Attach the transparent film to the shirt. I used large paper clips. Try to make it as close as possible for a clear print.
- Go outside and put the shirt and negative in the direct sun. The exact time depends of what you want to achieve. I waited 10 mins.
- Go back in to your 'dark room' and immediately take apart the frame and transparent print and machine wash twice with the Inkowash detergent.
That's it. Be creative.