Gifts: Photo-print T-shirts

First and foremost we’d like to thank Vanessa Smith and Tony Shaff for contributing to our INDIEGOGO campaign!

While we don’t believe this short film will break blockbuster records, we do believe there are people who will connect with our story and continue to share it.

By supporting this film, you are adding another voice to the on going conversation about diversity, tolerance, and acceptance amongst our peers in our ever shrinking global community. We are not changing the world but are whole heartedly trying to tell stories people feel are not being told.

ありがとうございました, Vanessa & Tony!

Your gift deserves one in return.

Because we know money gets tight and inflation is always on the rise, we want to make sure you know how much we value your support!

Along with the tax write-offs for your donation, you’ll get a gift from us as a token of our appreciation and as a momento for helping us make this film.

Check out this video update to see how we’re personally hand making one of your potential gifts!

The actual photo ink we’ll use is made by a company named Lumi Co.

Our Prototype from the video!
Our Prototype from the video!

From Jamie:

Step 1
Step 1

“I came across Lumi Co by accident while perusing the internet. I found them through a Mend’s website. They’re based in Africa and they were using Lumi’s Inkodye to put images on their handmade canvas tote bags. As resources in Africa can be difficult to find, the Inkodye made it possible for them to add these images with little impact on the environment.

What I like about inkodye is the process. It’s light sensitive ink that soaks into natural textile fibers. It doesn’t sit on top of fabric as does screen-printing. Therefore the image is preserved for as long as the textile is in tact. The image, once set into the fabric, won’t even fade or crack over time as screen-printing does. The inkodye also has low toxicity and environmental impact. In fact, the only chemical you have to be concerned about is ammonia, and that’s in most household cleaners. As long as it’s being applied in a well-ventilated area, and you’re wearing gloves as a precaution, it’s super safe.

Step 2
Step 2

Here’s how our campaign shirts are made. We create a negative image of the logo on a 11×17 transparency film. We take our desired fabric, in this case a t-shirt and put either foam core or a wooden board between the front and back. We then apply the Inkodye to the fabric (which must have mostly if not 100% natural fibers) in a room; which is well-ventilated, but has little to no sunlight. The transparency is placed over the treated fabric and pinned or taped to the board that’s under the image. Once that’s done, it’s time to be placed in the sun for 8- 15 minutes depending on the sunlight. If it’s cloudy, the exposure time will be longer. Direct sunlight is best and fastest.

After the shirt has been exposed, it is brought back indoors in no sunlight for the negative to be removed. The shirt is the thoroughly washed so any and all unexposed dye is washed out. Then the shirt is dried, packed and put in the mail for you! The whole process takes about 20 minutes per shirt.

Step 3
Step 3

Fun facts about Inkodye uses:

It can be used

  • With a negative transparency of a photo image
  • Shadow art (by placing objects on Inkodye treated fabric and exposing it to sunlight)
  • As a tie dye. Bind your fabric up, add inkodye and put it in the sun!

We chose to use Inkodye because it allows us to apply the images ourselves. Each image will have it’s unique properties. Therefore, it has that handmade quality that can’t be found from mass produced screen-printing. It gives our shirts a personal touch.”


For more information or questions, email us at:

Or visit our social media links:

Author: hikikomori78

American Hikikomori is an upcoming short film that explores the emotional struggles of a Japanese teenager named Isamu Fujihara, when he moves to America.

2 thoughts on “Gifts: Photo-print T-shirts”

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