Print your own fabric with Inkodye | How About Orange

June 21, 2012

Print your own fabric with Inkodye


I played with Inkodye again—a photo-sensitive dye that uses the sun to develop prints on natural materials like wood and fabric. One nice thing about using this dye instead of fabric paint is that fabric stays soft and flexible, instead of stiffening like it does with paint. Plus watching prints develop is always fun!


I made a simple cloud design this time, since I knew that achieving perfectly crisp edges is tricky due to shadows that might occur. And clouds can have soft edges, so if that's what happened, all the better.


To make your own cloud print, you'll need Inkodye, fabric, a foam brush, a large piece of cardboard wrapped in plastic for your work surface, masking tape, cardboard for cutting out shapes, a pencil and scissors.


Sketch clouds onto cardboard. You could use a cereal box or other recycled cardboard for this; avoid regular paper since it might let light through and it will curl more easily if it gets damp.


Cut out the clouds.


Tape the edges of the fabric to your work surface to keep it in place while you brush on dye. (My "work surface" was a piece of corrugated cardboard wrapped in a garbage bag, which worked great.)


Mix up your Inkodye solution. It's fine to use it straight from the bottle, but it's very concentrated so you can mix it with water to stretch it. Use a 1:1 ratio of dye to water, and colors will still be vibrant. I used about 1/4 cup of each for this project.

In a dim room away from direct sunlight, quickly brush the dye evenly over the surface of the fabric.


Then blot up any excess dye until the surface feels barely damp. Less moisture will keep the cardboard shapes from curling up.

Arrange the cloud cut-outs over the fabric. Then carry the board into a sunny area, set it down, and don't move it while the dye develops. (About 8 minutes on a sunny day, 15 on a partly cloudy day.) For best results, expose prints around noon when the sun is directly overhead; it will help reduce cast shadows.


It's helpful to weigh down your shapes to prevent curling; I used some stacks of coins. Place them quickly to prevent the cardboard from shifting. Once exposed to sunlight, the dye will begin turning color within seconds. When your print has been exposed long enough, bring it back inside before removing your shapes. Remember, the unexposed areas will immediately begin to turn color if you remove the cutouts outside, so resist the urge to peek immediately.


Quickly begin washing out the excess dye in hot, soapy water, scrubbing thoroughly. Rinse, and you're done! The resulting print will be permanent and machine washable.


If you'd like to give it a whirl, Inkodye is available here.

45 comments:

Grandma G said...

Lovely! When you sit on that chair, do you feel like you're on Cloud 9?

Mum

Jessica Jones said...

Nope. Cloud 8. That's how many there are. :)

Grandma G said...

Well, I guess if you've sat on 8, you've sat on 'em all.

Mum

CarolynK said...

Have you tried using other materials besides cardboard? I'd like to use pieces of lace and doilies, but worry that they might be ruined in the process. Any ideas?

Jessica Jones said...

I have tried both lace and doilies. You're right---they get dyed in the process. Here's my paper doily project.

Patti Shanks said...

Such a fun project! Do you know if you can save any unused dye if it has been diluted with water?

Jessica Jones said...

I would guess yes, in a sealed container that no light can get into. But haven't tried it!

tiffanyharvey said...

I would try laying a piece of glass over the top of the cut outs to weigh them down & keep them from curling. That's what you do when you expose the emulsion for screen printing screens.

Jessica Jones said...

I've found that in the hot sun, condensation forms on any glass or plastic that is placed on top of the design. Then the wet spots dilute the dye, and the print ends up blotchy. If possible, it's better to expose the fabric to air, I've found.

Rachel said...

Love all your inkodye projects! I found the product through your blog and used it with a bunch of kids at my daughter's school art fair. They loved the results, and the process.

Helena said...

Interesting, I'll make sure to buy this paint soon :D

http://thespaceofagerman.wordpress.com/

LimeRiot said...

I've been wanting to try Inkodye for ages!! Your project is inspiring me to buy some this weekend. Such a simple but effective design. So very very happy!

tinajo said...

I really love the result of this!

Emily Friedenberg said...

You should have used cotton balls :D

gartcott said...

Oh to have sun to play with fabric dye! Scotland is NOT the place for projects like this...

Stacey said...

Oh, my gosh! I love it. This is fabulous stuff. Oh the possibilities. I can't wait to get my hands on some. Sadly, I'll have to wait VERY patiently for an actual sunny day.

Sweetheart Diary said...

I love this project but I am not confident that it will be successful if I try doing this. I am really scared to try new things and specially if I am not perfect in them.

Emma T said...

Looking forward to trying something like this with my son when he's a bit older. So much fun and so simple.

Janee Lookerse said...

OMG! This turned out so cute! It's perfect for a kid's room :)

xoxo
Janee
www.yellowbirdyellowbeard.blogspot.com

studio13 said...

Waau this looks amazeing. I saw your previous diy with Ikodye and love it too. I´am so going to order that colors, thanks for interducing their site. There I saw some great prints on leder too. Can´t wait to truy :).

Shalini said...

What fun! I love how it turned out.

Poppyprint said...

Too much fun!!!! Your Mum is very funny.

Agus :) said...

omg this kind of magical!! never heard of this....

Agus :) said...

can you mix them? for example the blue and red to make violet... it is possible?

Jessica Jones said...

Yep!

Funky Homo sapiens™ said...

Oh wow, I never knew such thing existed, how exciting:) Thank you for sharing!

clipping path zone said...

I like the idea of this tutorial, it’s very creative and the result looks great

Sweeter Hours said...

How lovely! Thanks for sharing.

Jessica said...

This came out really well! I'm impressed with your crisp edges.

Trude said...

I think I could actually handle this kind of project with it's easy edges. :) Thanks for sharing all the steps!

Carolyn said...

Nice tutorial, thanks! I wonder if you could cut shapes from freezer paper and iron them onto the fabric before applying the dye. I've had good luck with freezer paper in other types of stenciling. Do you think it could work here?

Jessica Jones said...

I do! It's at the top of my list to try next!

Dorothy said...

I think I will try using an opaque contact paper to cut the shapes. I expect I could get more detailed shapes than with cardboard, is unlikely to absorb any dye, and it should peel away with little, if any, residual adhesive residue.

weiya @ enjoyer of grace said...

Hi Jessica! I'm Weiya, blogger over at Enjoyer of Grace :) I've been following your blog for a while now and can't tell you how much I love all your projects! I shared a lot of them on my Friday Treats post today. Hope you can come check it out sometime! Have a great weekend!

http://enjoyerofgrace.blogspot.com/2012/06/friday-treats_29.html

OneWord said...

So awesome! Thanks for sharing!!

Colleen said...

After seeing this post, I ordered Inkodye for my mom for her birthday! She's going to have so much fun with this product this summer, and probably find a great project to do with her Kindergarten students too!

Tyler Waters said...

I'm curious to know how this holds up to washing. I was thinking this might be a great way to personalize baby shower gifts like bibs or onesies. Thoughts?

Nancy said...

The clouds turned out perfectly! I have a lot of experience with fabric paint and, you are right, the fabric gets stiff and "strange". This looks like a fantastic alternative and it wouldn't take much longer than fabric paint.

Jessica Jones said...

Tyler, I've machine-washed a dyed fabric before and it faded a tiny bit, but not bad.

nevertheless said...

the clouds are so cute, I'm really interested in trying these dyes. I read on the site that you can possibly use them on unglazed ceramics ...wooo, I'll have to try!

Mostafizur Rahman said...

Intersting.Thanks....

Mostafizur said...

Fantastic.Thanks for sharing.

Mostafizur said...

Awesome.Thanks for sharing.

Habib Zaman said...

Such a funny project. I like it and lovely work. Thanks for share

Habib Zaman said...

stunning stuff!!

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