THE FIVE SCOOP: Using Sunlight to Print Photographs, Lumi is “Photography You Can Touch.”

Lumi can reproduce photography and art in an authentic and durable way. Lumi uses sunlight to apply photographic images to textiles and natural materials. The revolutionary Lumityping process takes photography out of the darkroom and into the light, making durable prints on sustainable materials like cotton, silk, or even wood. With Lumi, you can print on materials and garments in ways that were previously impossible, opening the door to create truly innovative products and looks.

They call this process, “photography you can touch.”

Originally conceived in 2005 as a new way to print t-shirts for Lumi founder Jesse Genet’s fashion company, the Lumi process has undergone years of research and development.

“I started experimenting with textile printing when I was 15 and trying to print t-shirts in my parents basement in the suburbs of Detroit, says Jesse, “I started selling my screen printed t-shirts as a small fashion line and very quickly found myself wishing I had more ways to make my fashion pieces different from everyone else's without spending a fortune. I started experimenting with dyeing and other fabric treatments until I realized that what I really wanted to do was print incredible photographs onto cotton. After choosing this as a goal I was propelled on an adventure that ultimately led to creating the Lumi process.”

Lumi is a design team pioneering the Lumityping process at their workshop in Los Angeles where they developed Inkodye, a proprietary water-based dye to create fashion and furniture designs. No damaging chemicals are used in the process. The Lumi process has no effect on the feel and the smell of the original material. Inkodye is a light-sensitive vat dye for natural fibers. Vat dyes are the most permanent type of dyes for natural fibers, and can withstand harsh washes in soap, boiling water and bleach.

“I used to do Lumi printing in a bathing suit because our old studio was so small. We used a large light to expose our prints and it would get so hot after hours of printing that I would just put on a bathing suit!” quips Jesse.

Here’s how it works (with or without a bathing suit):

The Lumi Printing System is a $70 package that has all the necessary equipment to get started with textile and natural material printing (a starter kit, laser film and textile detergent). The process allows users to take their digital photos and turn them into a black and white negative using the Lumityper app. Then users take the negative and print it on transparent film and apply Inkodye to the final fabric surface. Then, just pin the film on top of the fabric, take it outside, and let it sit in the sunlight for about 10 minutes—resulting in the (hopefully) desired result.

“I'm focused and determined,” says Jesse. “I've worked for over 8 years to bring the Lumi process to market and now I have a great team around me to help see this vision become a reality.”

Lumi is currently targeting people who really enjoy the entire creative process of creating products using photography and light. “We want people to be able to get everything they need from us, which means we have a lot more products to develop and or partner with other companies to offer. There is a lot of growth to do in order to really satisfy our customer’s desires.”

So go out into the light, and create using the Lumi process.

The Lumi team

blog comments powered by Disqus

The Featured Five