Watch Out: Lumi Co. Printing Technology Will Change the Fashion Industry
I wrote about Kickstarter this past August. It’s a crowdfunding vehicle that matches creative projects/dreams with the individuals – people like you and me – who are willing to fund them. You can find all sorts of fascinating projects on Kickstarter; lots of film makers, musicians, writers and artists of all kinds have projects listed. I’m backing four of them at this moment and wanted to give a shout out to this particular one: Lumi Co.. because I’m quite certain that they will be revolutionizing the textile industry.
Indeed, take a look at Lumi Co. This brand new start up company is up to BIG (huge) things. It is headed by the very young (22 year olds) but incredibly brilliant and determined product design students, the team of Jesse and Stéphan.
What’s Lumi? It’s a totally unique, groundbreaking printing technology. Why is it so special? Lumi’s process isn’t derived from any other existing printing technology. It enables printing with photo-realistic qualities, on any NATURAL material (even over texture). This has been previously impossible. Sure, there are ways to print on textiles, but the only known process are screen printing for natural textiles (which limits the quality & authenticity of the printed image) or sublimation which can only be done on synthetic materials, with a whole lot of harmful chemicals. Natural materials cannot be printed using the sublimation technique because it would burn and destroy them.
In contrast, Lumi can print the exact, unaltered image in an eco-friendly way on ANY natural material. This is truly ground-breaking. The image is permanent, wash-fast and eco-safe.
How do 22 year olds come up with something like this? Well, you need one very passionate young lady who doesn’t understand nor accept the meaning of “No, this can’t be done.” This was the standard response that Jesse got for a numbers of years as she was asking herself why, oh why, were there no methods of reproducing, i.e. printing, full-color/full-tonal gradation images on natural fabrics, cotton, linen, leather, etc… She took a year off of school to explore this very question. Her investigation took her to talk to print experts all over the world, who all told her the same thing: it can’t be done.
From her Kickstarter interview, Jesse says: “I conceived of the idea back in high school when I was operating a fashion company and began to question why my creativity had to be limited by the materials and technologies that I could find in the yellow pages. Choosing textile imaging as a focus, I began an in-depth quest to learn every way that people in every culture have applied imagery to fabrics through the ages. What resulted was a deep knowledge of why we’ve come to use the technologies that are currently available, but also exactly where their limitations lie. Still unsatisfied and looking for solutions I began to study types of printing that weren’t textile related, that is when I uncovered the building blocks to the Lumi Process.”
That’s when the detail-oriented, problem-solving partner, Stéphan, came in to assist Jesse on developing the mechanics of the new technology. The funding that they are looking to receive through Kickstarter will finance the last of the R & D stage and enable them to start collaborating with photographers and fashion brands to test the creative capabilities of their product.
Just so you know, Kickstarter projects only get financed once they have reached 100% of their goal, within the assigned timeline. Otherwise, they get… nothing. Ouch. Which is why I want to encourage you to become a Kickstarter backer for Lumi. There are 20 days left for them to achieve their goal and they are still – at the time of this writing – at 48% of their $12,000 goal. You can become a backer with as little as $5 all the way to… well, however much you’d like. BTW, you get a gift with your pledge over $15 and the gifts become better and better with each pledge amount.
You WANT to be a part of this. The textile, fashion and home décor industries have NO idea what’s about to hit them. Yeah, you want to say “I was there”. Go to Lumi’s Kickstarter page and pledge here.
UPDATE: Lumi Co. was successfully funded on February 22 and the project is moving ahead, full steam. I can’t wait to see how it develops. I am so incredibly impressed with these two amazing young minds. Bravo!