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Photo Transfer To Leather

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#1 sgspanky


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Posted 27 April 2011 - 11:20 PM

I recently saw a leather pillow with a photo transfer to it. wasn't heat transfer...no film visible, wasn't silk screened. it was faded and the skin of the leather was apparent. I was thinking dye sublimation...anyone have any idea how it could've been done? Thanks

#2 CitizenKate


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Posted 28 April 2011 - 08:27 AM

There is a video tutorial of a method to do this that was developed by Billy 2-Shews. The video is available for download from this site. See more information about it here:


This will also take you to some links to more examples of work done with this method, so you can determine if it's what you are looking for.


#3 leatheroo



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Posted 28 April 2011 - 04:32 PM

Print photo on a laserjet printer (not inkjet) place facedown on the leather. Soak back of picture in acetone and then burnish the picture..( i use the back of a spoon). Do it in small sections as the acetone evaporates quickly. Carefully peel off the leather. You will get varied results on different types of leather.

#4 niftycurly



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Posted 25 June 2011 - 12:42 AM

It is almost certainly not dye sublimation as that process requires the substrate to be polyester (I used to work in the large scale sign industry until recently)
There are however several industrial inkjet.solvent printers that can print directly on leather and other flat materials. Some are small, sized for tshirts, others can handle material up to 12' wide and 2" thick (i.e. print directly on a door or piece of carpet). If you can find a local tshirt printer that advertises the ability to do one off, multicolor digitally printed tshirts they are usually happy to experiment for you if you want to bring them a piece of leather. (In Los Angeles a single such tshirt runs around $15 including the shirt)

I've seen some interestingly printed leather pieces in the last few years and upon inquiry the makers always tell me that they are using this kind of direct printing. If you want to do whole hides or larger production runs find a large format printing operation (or construction house) that specializes in work for tradeshows and high end signage. They will often have the larger direct print machines.

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