If you've been around the blog awhile, you've probably noticed some recurring themes in my DIYs. Namely, fabric paint, stencils, and dyes. Paint is my favorite medium with dye coming in a close second. This project uses a sun-activated ink, called Inkodye (check it out here), and a stencil. Shoutout to a Mr. Zachary Mink for supplying the dye! This was my first time using Inkodye and I did not have enough ink to do a practice run. I am pleased to report that the ink is easy to use. Even for newbies.
My best friend from high school has a birthday coming up and she is obsessed with Pocahontas so I decided to make a Pocahontas silhouette stencil. I found a picture I liked online, traced it onto a white piece of computer paper, cut it out, traced it onto a black piece of construction paper using a white crayon, and then cut it out again. Inkodye activates in sunlight, so I wanted to block out all of the ink from the sun except for the Pocahontas silhouette. I figured black paper would do the trick. I still had a few light leaks, but it worked pretty well.
The Inkodye comes in these little packets that you just bend in half to break open. I know the red dye is pictured, but I used blue for this project. I placed a piece of cardboard between the layers of my shirt to prevent the ink from bleeding through. After watching a video of the process on Lumi's website, I decided to squeeze the ink out of the packet into a disposable container and use a foam brush to apply the ink to my shirt. I felt like I had more control over the ink application this way. I was sure to apply the ink to my shirt in a dim corner in my room. Then I smoothed my stencil down over the inked area, making sure that the details of the silhouette would lie flat and stay in place.
Now it's time for the sun to get to work! I brought my shirt outside and
let it sit in direct sunlight for about 10 minutes. It's so cool to
watch the ink activate! It works quickly and the longer it sits the
darker it gets. Because of how quickly the ink activates, it's important
to have the stencil in place before you bring it outside. I didn't
fully cover the area that I inked so I have some random blue blobs, but I
actually like how they look so I got lucky.
After I brought the shirt inside, I brought it down to the basement before removing the stencil to prevent further activation. Lumi recommends washing the shirt with their Inkowash, but I used a bit of regular laundry detergent, washed the shirt on cold, and dried it normally and it seems to have worked just fine. Washing and drying the shirt makes the ink permanent and safe to wash with other garments.
I love how this turned out! I like that I have more control over what areas get dyed with Inkodye vs. using a traditional dye. It allows for greater project possibilities! I would love to try using a photo negative for my next dying experience. What design would you dye?