Tips for better Lumi inkodye prints

Lumi_inkodye_experiments_pixelsandsunshineI picked up some Lumi inkodye inkjet film, dye and detergent at my local art supply store this weekend and thought I would share my experiments. This is a very new product so I was super excited to use it and see what it could do. I got the vibe from viewing  a couple of tutorials and youtube vids that the products can take a bit of getting use to and I can totally understand that after working with the dyes today.

I think if you approach this product knowing that on your first try you may not get 100% what you want but you will sure learn a lot then you are in the right frame of mind to Lumi. I remember my first time in the photo darkroom and it was an ugly-muddy-grey-blurry-printed mess that took a lot of practice to fix so I wasn’t expecting a masterpiece today.  However it may happen that you nail it on your first try and in that case a sincere YAY for you give yourself a pat on the back. I’m impressed!

I got some pretty cool results but they are very much in the experimental stage and I can’t wait to get some more ink, perfect my technique and print, print, print.

Learning from my mistakes

I’m an over inker

I over inked all my prints to the point that my negatives got condensation underneath and my prints are blotchy and missing patches. It certainly looks cool and distressed vintage-ish  but it’s a far cry from the nice crisp prints you see on the lumi website. My bad. Using scrap fabric to blot up the excess ink is a must.

Material Girl

Old T-shirts love it. T-shirts were by far the easiest and most responsive material I printed on. Thin cotton not so much. I tried coloured fabrics as well. I tried to much and need to get my technique under control first. I will be sticking with white old t-shirts for a while.

Two Negatives Make a Positive

Or are positives negative ? If you aren’t used to thinking in inverted images I would recommend using the Lumi website or app to make your negatives. With the app you can adjust the brightness and contrast and see what it may possibly look like on different coloured fabrics. You can also buy pre-made negatives from the Lumi store if you are in US. As far as I can see this is the only country that negs are being shipped to at the moment.

If you are like me and not located in the US here is a tip: Double negative from an ink jet printer.  Saaaay Whatttt ? Print two inkjet negatives and stick them together. To make one dense negative. You can see from my negatives the black in is not solid and you are going to need this to be as solid as possible  to prevent the light getting through. Sooo in this instance two negatives make a positive (sorry couldn’t resist).

Limit Grey Areas

Looking at all the example negatives on Lumi they have very little to no grey areas at all. The examples shown are high contrast black and white images. This seems to be the way to go to get the best results.

Neg1Love is all you need artwork








Download and practice with my “love is all you need” negative click here for the full size image.


XOXELISEThen it started raining as soon as I put my prints out in the sun…



One thought on “Tips for better Lumi inkodye prints

  1. Thanks for sharing! Good info. I’m thinking of trying this out. I’m already loving cyanotypes- just curious about other colors that you can’t get with tinting. Can one have too many art supplies? No.

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