Is That a Picture You’re Wearing?

Posted by Richard Lippert on

Technavio analysts forecast the global photo merchandising market to grow at a compound annual growth rate of almost 10% during the forecast period, according to their latest report issued in October 2016.

They cited four factors that are contributing to the growth of the global photo merchandising market. These include;

  • Rising number of suppliers
  • Increasing sales of smartphones and tablets
  • Growing retail distribution channels
  • High-profit margins

Digitize It & Wear It - A Growing Trend

Check out the threads!One of the most rapidly changing trends in the photo merchandising market is in the arena of wearable photos. Certainly, the idea isn’t new. Silk screen shop operators have been transferring photos onto tees, sweatshirts, and headwear for quite some time with the ability to purchase in limited quantities. However, as technology improves the concept of being able to wear just about any photo you can digitize the number of options available is also taking quantum leaps. 

Just about every office supply store offers new and enhanced iron-on fabric transfer paper that allows anyone with an inkjet printer to create a quality image on fabrics. These typically are available up to 8-1/2" x 11” in size and can be used to personalize T-shirts, hats, aprons and even bags using easy to use with free templates and software provided by the paper’s manufacturers.

Another product that now appears in the major craft and hobby locations around the U.S. is Picture This, by Plaid.  This water-based opaque formula is specially designed to easily transfer black and white or color copies of favorite photos or prints onto fabric and other surfaces. Just paint this stuff over top of the picture and place it on the fabric. Twenty-four hours later you wipe away the paper backing, and your photo is now embedded into the fabric.

Develop Your Photo Right Onto The Fabric

Not enough options for those looking to get that favorite pic onto the threads of your liking? Then how about developing the photo right onto the fabric!

Inkodye showed up in the photo merchandising market a couple of years ago. This ingenious system offers a step-by-step process to printing a photographic Inkodye print onto t-shirts, pillow cases, upholstery fabric and even unprimed art canvas.

The process starts by choosing a photo from your digital collection, or one that was originally printed onto photographic paper and transformed into a digital image. The next step is to convert your digital photo into a negative by inverting it using the app available from the manufacturer or an application like Photoshop. Then print your negative on an inkjet printer using the Inkofilm transparency sheets included in the system.

You are now ready to apply the Inkodye onto the fabric and pin your negative film onto the top of the dye and cart the whole thing out into the sun for 12-20 minutes. The ultraviolet light rays from the sun develop the image right into the fabric. Remove the negative, wash the fabric and start showing off that picture!

Unlock the Power of Photos

Does someone you love have boxes of old photos just sitting around in boxes collecting dust? It’s time to digitize them with a high-quality, high-speed photo scanner and turn them into real fashion statements.

Check with E-Z Photo Scan’s team of scanning professionals to find out how you can get ahold of a world-class Kodak Picture Saver Scanner to rent or buy so you can get those favorite photos on a tee, pillow case, or other item made of fabric of your choice.

Photo courtesy; Aldnorman. N.d. Inkodye Collection of Ideas. Inkodye Ideas. Web. 27 Feb. 2017 <>.


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