How to Print Fabric with Inkodye

Time: 1.5 hours
Materials: natural fabric (cotton, silk, linen, etc), Inkodye, Inkowash, photo negative

Learn how to print your own fabric with sunlight + inkodye!I’ve always wanted to learn how to print my own fabric, but never had the time or space to invest in it (aside from using rubber and potato stamps that is). Thankfully though, Lumi Inkodye exist! With a few steps and even fewer materials, I was able to transform one of my photographs into custom wall art.

Learn how to print your own fabric with sunlight + inkodye!Start by working indoors in a shady space so that the ink doesn’t develop before you have a chance to lay your negative over it.

Learn how to print your own fabric with sunlight + inkodye!Shake your inkodye packet then snap open to spread on your fabric. Each packet should cover a 12×12″ area, so use more than one if you want the surrounding area to be dyed too (I used two for this project).

Once you’re done applying the dye, position your photo negative and pin in place. If you don’t know where to get an enlarged copy of a photo negative, you can order one through the Lumi App! I used one of the photos I took for my Instagram Sunday Flower Series (see the original photograph here).

Take your fabric outside and lay in the sun for about 15-20 minutes. The dye will darken significantly from the initial application. When done developing, take inside, remove negative and toss in the wash. You’ll want to use Inkowash and run through a hot/cold cycle twice in order to remove any unexposed Inkodye molecules from your fabric. Once done and dried, your design will be permanent!

Learn how to print your own fabric with sunlight + inkodye!To display, I decided to turn mine into a banner! Here’s how:

Cut fabric into desired shape, leaving extra room at the top. Fold fabric over dowel rod and seal in place with  fusible bonding web. It’s easiest to fold the fabric over the rod (position it in the way it would hang) then remove the rod to iron. Knot a strip of twine or leather cord on either side of your print, then hang on a nail.

Learn how to print your own fabric with sunlight + inkodye!

Learn how to print your own fabric with sunlight + inkodye!

  • Firstly–this is gorgeous! Love the color and print you used. Secondly…I can have NEGATIVES made from Instagram photos? Crazy! I’ve made digital negatives from film negatives in college before, but I imagine the technology has improved since then. Photography is amazing. :)

    • Thanks Marlene! And right?! They sell them as 12×12″ so it’s perfect for your square photos. I took the photo I used with my phone, so the quality is pretty great too (and they’re reusable!). Kinda can’t wait to see what you come up with :)

  • P.S. Just saw your gemstone frame project on Poppytalk. Amazing.

  • HelloLidy

    Oh my word – beautiful! I’m going to have to try this, the possibilities are endless :)


    • Thanks Lidy! And they really are! I wish I was better at sewing because I would make a dress or something like that. Maybe one day :)

  • Inkodye

    Very cool! Thanks for posting ;)

  • I had zero idea anything like this could ever be done. I’m floored. Gorgeous everything- I’m in love!!!

    • Thanks Amy! Isn’t it amazing?! It’s so easy to do, I can’t believe I put off trying it for so long. I’d love to so something like this on a much larger scale too. Hope you give it a try!

  • Laurel (A Bubbly Life)

    This is gorgeous! I have to try this one day. It kind of has a pop art vibe, so many ideas are possible… Thank you for sharing, I love it!

    • Absolutely, it’s so fun! I can’t wait to see what you come up with Laurel :)

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  • Lisa

    Could I just print the negative on paper myself or does it have to be a real film negative? Did you hem your fabric on the side? I love these and want to try myself, I did use the Lumi app as you suggested and will order but if I can print myself, would do. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Hey Lisa, I’m so glad you like the project!

      I’m not 100% if a paper negative would work or not. Basically anything that you lay on the fabric (or dark of the negative) won’t develop in the sun, thus leaving you with a print. If the paper is a solid and you just print on it (and you don’t cut out the white spaces) then you will only print a rectangle. Your local print shop might be able to print a negative for you too!

      I didn’t hem the fabric on the side, but depending on what type of fabric you use, you might want to!

      Would love to know how this turns out for you :)

      • Lisa

        Thanks so much Rachel, I will order the negative. I’m anxious to try it, I have to order the inkodye anyway so I’ll have to be patient!

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  • Laura Annette

    This is so cute! I love the shape of the banner, and the color you chose :) One more project I am adding to my (at this point still imaginary) gallery wall ;)

    • Aww thank you so much Laura! Thanks to Pinterest, we all have imaginary gallery walls, right? Would love to know if you ever go for it :) !

  • Francesca Miele

    very interesting product!!! i would love to try this, but if i’d like to do it on a t-shirt how can i do with the paint left around the picture? there’s a way to remove it???

  • John

    You can print on clear transparency sheets like the ones used for overhead projectors and make your own negatives. Lots of ideas on

  • Bastelschaf

    Hi Rachel,
    I’d like to recommend your marvelous blogpost on my blog and use some of your photos for that. Is that ok with you?
    If not, just send me an email to

    Thanx for the great idea!
    Best wishes

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