Last Updated on February 1, 2023 by Fredrick Miller
The clothes and other leather accessories always demand high care as they are usually of high quality and expensive.
Sublimation printing on leather is the best and most effective way of decorating your leather products without any damage.
However, have you ever thought of sublimation on leather?
It’s possible to sublimate on leather, though it’s not that common. The result can be great-looking earrings, key chains, luggage tags, wallets, patches, pillows, and more.
Some of us need a lot of assurance before we come out of our comfort zone and take a chance on something completely new and out of comfort zone.
This can be something that we have never done before.
Is sublimation on leather possible? In the case of sublimation on leather, it may be worth researching the possibility.
Sublimation on Leather
Have you ever thought of doing sublimation on leather? Have you ever asked yourself that can you do sublimation on leather?
The answer is simple; Yes, you can get excellent results with leather sublimation.
Genuine leather is perfect for making souvenirs like patches, keychains, luggage tags, wallets, earrings, and journals if you’re doing a ground work to start a work in this area.
Sublimation is one of the more time-tested methods for printing on leather. It looks great, it’s durable, and besides that, it’s easy to use. Are you wondering how to get started?
Ink is the best thing you have to keep in mind and that’s why we share best sublimation inks with you.
Here are a few tips to remember when doing leather sublimation.
Genuine leather is readily available in a variety of shades.
If you aren’t looking for vibrant colors, opt for the lighter shades of leather, for example, brown, and use standard black ink.
Also, remember that since you will be printing on brown leather and not on white carton stock paper.
Some of your ink may appear darker or more saturated than what you originally designed it to look like. So remember to consider this before submitting your final design files.
It’s a good idea to use simple but bold designs when creating simple pieces of art on leather.
Always remember to print in a mirror image from the printer itself, and be sure you use sublimation markers or acrylic paint for this.
Leather Surface Finish
When choosing a substrate for sublimation, look for leather with a smooth, not pebbled surface.
The reason is that if the texture is pebbled, your design probably won’t penetrate down into it.
If you don’t like how well your design adheres to the substrate, you can always use some sublimation spray to make sure everything sticks just right.
Cutting the Leather Shape
Much of the leather cutting is ready if you’re using pre-cut blanks.
But if you’re cutting on your own, like for a homemade project, it’s best practice to cut the leather slightly larger than what you need, so it has room for movement as time passes.
You can cut your leather with a rotary cutter, straight edge ruler, or an empty paper shredder card to make clean cuts.
The Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore are ideal for pre-cut template openings or even custom-sized items that might require cutting precision.
Always ensure the blade depth is appropriate; otherwise, you may have a different result than you wanted.
Temperature and Time for Sublimation on Leather
The leather sublimation temperature will vary case-to-case basis and will require some testing.
However, a good temperature for starting is 350°F (180°C) and 60 seconds. You will need to use the medium to heavy pressure.
How To Do Sublimation on Leather?
Hope you learn before that how to do sublimation as a beginner and after that here are a few steps you need to follow to sublimate to leather.
Visit a local craft store and purchase an inexpensive bag of leather scraps. Craft stores also tend to carry faux leather as an alternative material that would work as well.
Make sure it’s light-colored because there is no ink available in white.
If you find dark-colored leather, save it for your other projects; for leather sublimation, you will need light-colored leather such as brown.
Cut some tiny leather scraps while experimenting, and try sublimation. Press the substrate at 340 degrees Fahrenheit which is recommended temperature.
Also, put a piece of parchment paper alongside the substrate and press lightly. Make sure not to pile heavy materials on anything else.
Try a test cut on Silhouette. You may take some time cutting the perfect piece, but it needs patience as you have to work at the lowest speed with the highest pressure.
The cutting could be complicated at the start, and you may need to try again and again.
But the solution is t outline each piece for the item you want to sublimate, for instance, earrings.
After cutting several shapes that you want to use for your earrings, take a leather punch and punch the holes for the wires to go through.
It is important to remember that you don’t need to create holes too deep or won’t be able to make our earring base with each pair of posts and threading earring wire into place.
Now that you have all of your leather earrings cut out, you’ll need to choose the designs. You can select the designs according to the festivals and events as well.
Patriotic designs also look great on the leather. Print those designs through a sublimation printer slightly larger than the cut-out earrings.
Next step is to punch holes. Punch on the perfect temperature and pressure because If they are too hard, you risk getting a deformed earring. If they’re too soft, then they’ll fall apart altogether.
Start with hot conditions at 340 degrees Fahrenheit and apply light pressure for 12 seconds before removing the piece of leather from the tool.
Then let them cool down by sitting at room temperature before trying to assemble them with your favorite attachments.
Can You Sublimate on leather Shoes?
Yes, you can sublimate on leather shoes. The process is similar to sublimating on other materials, but there are a few things to keep in mind when working with leather.
First, it’s important to clean the shoes thoroughly before beginning the process.
Any dirt or debris on the surface of the leather can prevent the sublimation ink from adhering properly.
Once the shoes are clean, you’ll need to apply a heat-resistant adhesive to the surface. This will help the sublimation ink to adhere to the leather more easily.
Finally, you’ll need to use a lower temperature when sublimating onto leather, as the material can be sensitive to heat.
With these tips in mind, you should be able to successfully sublimate onto leather shoes.
Can You Sublimate on Leather Wallet?
Yes, you can sublimate on a leather wallet. You will want to use a transfer sheet when doing so. This will help to ensure that your design is transferred correctly onto the leather.
If you do not have a transfer sheet, you can use parchment paper or even wax paper in a pinch. Just be sure to use something that will not stick to the leather and ruin your design.
Can You Sublimate on Faux Leather?
Yes, you can but It depends on the type of faux leather and the sublimation process.
It is always best to test on a scrap piece of faux leather before trying to sublimate an entire project.
Generally it’s not recommended to sublimate on faux leather since the results can be unpredictable.
If you do choose to try sublimating on faux leather, it is important to use a lower temperature and shorter time than you would when sublimating on other materials.
Moreover, it is often necessary to use a transfer paper to get the best results.
Also Read: 12 Best Sublimation Printers for T-shirts
Can You Sublimate on Pu Leather?
Yes, you can sublimate on pu leather. This is a great way to add your personal touch to any project.
You can find pu leather in a variety of colors and textures, so you can create a truly unique piece. Sublimating on pu leather is easy and only requires a few supplies.
You will need:
- A cutting machine (optional)
- Pu leather
- Sublimation paper
- A heat press
- Sublimation ink
- Teflon sheet (optional)
First: To start, you will need to cut your pu leather into the desired shape. If you are using a cutting machine, you will need to use a cutting mat.
Place your pu leather on the cutting mat and use the machine to cut out your design. If you are not using a cutting machine, you can simply cut the pu leather by hand.
Second: Next you will need to print your design onto sublimation paper.
Make sure that you mirror your image before printing. Once your design is printed, you will need to cut it out.
Third: Now you are ready to sublimate! Preheat your heat press to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your pu leather on the press and then place your design on top.
Cover the design with a Teflon sheet. This will help to prevent the design from sticking to the press.
Fourth: here, you will need to press the pu leather for 60 seconds. After the time is up, carefully remove the Teflon sheet and pu leather from the press.
Allow the design to cool before handling. That’s it! You’ve successfully sublimated on pu leather.
Can You Sublimate on Leather Patches?
Yes, it is possible to sublimate on leather patches as long as the leather is polyurethane (PU) leather, which is a synthetic leather that is receptive to sublimation ink.
The process is similar to sublimating on other materials, but it’s important to use a lower temperature and longer pressing time to avoid any damage to the leather.
Also, it’s best to use a heat press instead of an iron, as it will provide more consistent and even heat.
How to Sublimate on Faux Leather Earrings?
There are a few things you need to know to sublimate on faux leather earrings successfully.
First, you need to use a transfer paper that is made specifically for use on synthetic materials. Otherwise, the inks from your design won’t adhere properly to the earrings.
You’ll also need to use a strong heat source, like an iron set to the highest setting, to apply even pressure and heat to the design.
Be sure to use a pressing cloth or piece of parchment paper between the iron and the earrings to protect them.
Make sure the earrings are completely cooled before peeling off the transfer paper. If they’re still warm, the design may not have adhered properly and could come off with the paper.
With these tips in mind, you will be able to sublimate beautiful designs onto your faux leather earrings with no problems!
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What material can you sublimate on?
The best material for sublimation is 100% polyester, other blended materials may also work, but they also should have at least 50% polyester. Besides polyester, other options could be nylon, lycra, and spandex.
Can you sublimate on leather?
The answer is yes. You absolutely can, but results may vary, so be prepared for that.
Does sublimation work with all materials?
No, sublimation printing doesn’t work with all materials. In fact, with some materials, it doesn’t work at all. Finding materials that can go well with sublimation printing is key to success in sublimation.
What materials can you not sublimate on?
Materials that do not have a polyester coating, such as 100% cotton, cannot be sublimated on.
How do you print on leather?
Printing on leather can be done using various techniques such as screen printing, heat transfer, or sublimation. Each method requires specific equipment and materials. It is important to test and experiment with different techniques before committing to a final product.
Will sublimation work on faux leather?
It is possible to sublimate on faux leather, but the results may vary depending on the quality and type of faux leather. It is best to test a small area first before attempting a larger project.
We know that sublimation is impossible on all products but can you sublimate on leather?
The short answer is yes; you can sublimate on leather but remember to choose light-colored leather to get the most satisfactory results.
We hope you have liked the process we have explained above and will try to have your own beautiful customized products at home.
Fredrik Miller is the Founder of PrinterLake.com, a platform dedicated to providing information on sublimation printing. With a Master’s degree in Information Technology from 2012, Fredrik brings a wealth of technical knowledge and expertise to the site.
He leads a team of writers who are experts in the field and strive to deliver the best and most comprehensive information on sublimation printers, inks, and paper.