Textile Designers Study Environmentally Friendly Printing

The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York promotes itself as “Where Creativity Gets Down to Business.” A college of the State University of New York, FIT has been providing career education in art, design, business, and technology for more than 70 years.

For the second consecutive year, Kornit Digital collaborated with FIT on a design challenge for fourth-year student in FIT’s Textile/Surface Design program. One goal was to give students insight into environmentally friendly textile production methods that don’t compromise on design concepts and use of color.

For the challenge, the students were asked to create original designs related to the concept of sustainable, local short-run textile production. Along with the sustainability-themed design, the students submitted an explanation of the concept and an image of how the design could be applied to a garment. For the judging process, Kornit used their Allegro production system to produce 10 yards of each design.

The three winners of this year’s FIT design challenge were Hyuna Kim, Konchok Bercholz and Elena Kanagy-Loux. In addition to receiving cash awards, the winners will have the textile designs printed on fabrics and replicated as fashion items.

The students’ work was judged on several factors including: the concept, the effectiveness and marketability of the design; and the conceptualized fashion application.

Judges included: Leslie Baker, associate designer for Bon-Ton Stores’ Relativity Brand; Vanessa DeSousa, development manager of Prints and Embellishments for Diane von Furstenberg; Tom Cody, principal of Tom Cody Designs; Melissa Niederman, art director of The Style Council; and Joe Castaldo, president of The Style Council.

Representatives of Kornit Digital included: Paul Borucki, managing director of Kornit Digital North America; Jim Manelski, North American wide format business development manager; and Erin Doty, who is the company’s North American Art Director and Project Manager.


Sustainability Design Competition and reception held on the campus of FIT on April 23, 2015.
Hyuna Kim won first place in the Sustainability Design Competition at Fashion Institute of Technology.

With the Kornit Allegro single-step industrial print system, designers can immediately materialize their designs on any fabric at with no minimum yardage requirements and at the highest industrial print quality and standards. Unlike other textile-printing processes, the Kornit Allegro industrial print solution doesn’t require pre-treatment or post-treatment processes. As a one-step printing process, the Allegro is ideal for the trending on demand, close to market, short run local production and sampling.


Sustainability Design Competition and reception held on the campus of FIT on April 23, 2015.
Representatives of Kornit Digital congratulate the three winners of the Sustainability Design Compeition: Konchock Bercholz, Hyuna Kim, and Elena Kanagy-Loux..

“Our collaboration with FIT demonstrates an important example of how Kornit Digital can nurture the growth and developing expertise of tomorrow’s designers with the help of state-of-the-art technologies that are changing the way creativity is brought to life across all fabric types. The Kornit Allegro is the perfect system for this scenario with its truly sustainable production methods enabling designers and manufacturers to generate their concepts from start to finish in the shortest cycle time,” explains Merav Zimmerman, Kornit’s product marketing manager for the Allegro. “We are proud to continue this collaboration with FIT and we certainly plan to continue with it in future years as greater awareness increases both the need for versatility in high quality digital print and greener working practices.”

“The liaison with the Fashion Institute of Technology demonstrates how our ground-breaking single-step digital printing system aligns with creative processes where sustainability plays an increasingly important role,” comments Paul Borucki. “We see a growing demand worldwide for greater education into the potential for using more eco-friendly printing methods and this collaboration endorses the importance of environmental awareness within fabric designs in the future.”

About the Kornit Allegro 

Kornit Digital develops, manufactures and markets industrial and commercial printing solutions for the garment, apparel and textile industries, including designers, manufacturers, apparel decorators, and fashion brands.

Using Kornit’s Neo-Pigment inks, the Allegro offers a single-step printing solution that works with multiple types of fabric and with no additional finishing process. Its integrated fixation process removes the need for pre-treatment, steaming or washing, making it a truly environmentally friendly solution that meets the most rigorous environmental regulations, including OekoTex 100 standard and GOTS approval. The process reduces energy and water consumption and the creation of waste.

Kornit Digital is a global company with offices in the US, Asia Pacific and Europe, Founded in 2003, Kornit Digital now serves customers in more than 100 countries.


Kornit Digital

Fashion Institute of Technology

Fashion Institute of Technology Summer Institute: Sustainability and Textiles

Designers Develop Photographic Print Process for Textiles

When two enterprising designers wanted to raise $50,000 to bring their new Lumi Printing system to market, they turned to Kickstarter. Their idea proved to be so popular, the campaign has attracted more than $268,000 from 3,525 backers.

The Lumi Process is a photographic print process that you can use to turn smartphone pictures into beautiful designs on textiles, wood, and other natural materials used in art, fashion, and furniture design. In addition to printing on 100% cotton T-shirts, the process works on delicate materials such as silk, suede and wool that can’t go through heat-setting stages.  You can also use the Lumi process to print images and design on rough materials such as burlap, jute and sewn garments.  Once fixed, the color becomes permanent and can go through repeated machine washes without fading.

The contact-negative print process uses Inkodye mixable, water-based dyes that develop their color in sunlight. There is no need for electricity, silkscreens, or high-end equipment. Inkodye is currently available in three colors: red, orange and blue.

To see how the process works, watch the fund-raising video Lumi produced for their Kickstarter campaign (below) or read the illustrated step-by-step guide: How to Print a Photo on Cotton with Inkodye.

Kickstarter backers of the Lumi Printing System will receive different configurations of Inkodye Starter Kit, depending on their level of contributions.  The basic Starter Kit includes 4-ounce bottles of each color, instructions, a vignette-shaped stencil, and a negative that you can cut out and start experimenting with.  The Full System Kit includes a textile detergent and 11 x 17-inch sheets of film that have been specially coated to make negatives on laser printers or copiers. The coating on the Lumi transparency film is designed to absorb more toner than typical transparency. Each Lumi transparency sheet is backed with a carrier sheet of paper so that it will feed through typical copiers more effectively.

Make Negatives on Your Smartphone

The easiest way to convert images from your smartphone into negatives is to use the Lumityper App that Lumi has developed for the iPhone.  (An Android version will be developed in the future.)  Lumi’s instruction guide describes other ways to create negatives, such as using web apps such as Pxlr.com or Photoshop on your computer.

After you’ve printed your image or design onto the negative, you apply the dye to the surface of the substrate, then position and secure the negative on top of the substrate. Next, expose the art to sunlight to develop the colors on the substrate. According to the guide for printing a photo on cotton, it takes about 10 to 12 minutes for the image to develop.  The process can work on overcast days, but it works best in direct sunlight.

To stop the developing process on textiles, you will need to wash off the unexposed dye in hot water with a strong detergent. Lumi offered its backers a 16 oz. bottle of a detergent specifically formulated to clear residual dye. Regular laundry detergent will work if the item is run through the washing machine twice.

The founders of Lumi, Jesse Genet and Stephan Angoulvant, met while studying product design at the Art Center College for Design in Pasadena, California.  On the Lumi website, they state, “We believe photographs shouldn’t be limited to a page or a frame. They’re meant to be lived with, cared for, and last forever. That’s why we create photography you can touch.”

On Kickstarter they stressed that, “We believe in sticking with great ideas through thick and thin and are passionate about developing new creative tools.”

To see the range of products that designers have created with the Lumi Process, visit the lumi.com website. To Lumi’s progress as they bring this new process to market, follow them on Twitter or Facebook.


Video: We Are Lumi

Website: Lumi

Facebook: Lumi

Twitter: Lumi

Guide: How to Print a Photo on Cotton with Inkodye

iPhone App: Lumityper

Lumi-Printed Images on Reupholstered Vintage Furniture