If you haven't heard of lumi photoreactive dye, check them out. http://lumi.co/ They fronted us a really cool kit, with red and orange dye, some washing solution, a roller for the dye and some of their very nice inkofilm.
The kit is ideal for setting up a small batch of shirts, or putting your personal touch on anything made of natural fiber.
Step 1: Try It Out
They included some sample cloth and a really cool negative to test print with. After fiddling with it a little, I found out that you need:
A flat place to do your print.
A way to hold the fabric flat.
Good contact between the inkofilm and the fabric.
Somewhere in the sun to leave your project where it won't be disturbed.
What doesn't work:
Wrinkles really mess up the print
Trying to overlay prints with another color comes out weird, unless it's lined up and dried.
A black light will not cure the ink or make it change color.
Printing on wood is possible, but tricky - especially cleaning the extra ink off later.
What works better than I ever expected:
It's so easy.
It cleans up really nice, both on the clothing and in your workarea. If you work inside and spill, it cleans up without dying or staining anything!
The print is really soft and comfortable. It's part of the fabric, lighter than a screen print or a home-done freezer paper stencil.
Step 2: How Do You Do It?
Pretty easy, you start out by printing a negative of what you want.
In this case I had a wood ring made to serve as a frame for the logo, and I taped the inkofilm to it.
I placed a board inside the shirt and centered up the logo.
Step 4: Mask Off!
Because I wanted a crisper looking print, I masked off the rest of the area with craft paper taped to the ring.
Step 5: Ink It Up
I shook the bottle realy well, attached the roller, and filled in the area I knew the logo would be. I put down a circle a little larger, because I didn't want a light spot. The dye is pretty thick and gel-like, which makes it easy to tell where you put it down.
Step 6: Place the Logo
Now, I placed the logo in it's masked off frame on the shirt, making sure that neither of them had any wrinkles. I considered using a clamp or two to hold it, but forgot to grab them before I had to go outside.
Step 7: Sit in the Sun
I was in luck! There was a spot in the parking lot that gave me pretty good sun, and it wasn't visible from the sidewalk, so it could sit for a while undisturbed.
It wasn't a super clear day, but there was some sun.
Step 8: Go Do Something Else.
I had a hard time leaving my original testers alone, so This time I worked on annother project to pass the time. After about 30 minutes I rotated the shirt so that there weren't any shadows from the thick frame I used.
Step 9: Big Reveal!
After leaving the shirt outside for about an hour total, I brought it back in to see how it did.
I really liked it, it has a more worn-in look than a screen printed shirt, and was a lot brighter than I thought it would be on a 50-50 cotton polyester shirt.
Step 10: Wash and Wear
I gave it a quick rinse in the sink with a little bit of the inkowash, and that was it.
Further washings haven't lightened the shirt any.
Using a pure cotton white shirt would have made it brighter, and more vivid, but this is exactly how I wanted it.
Also, any ADX members, the kit is in the bridge, ready to use on any projects you come up with!