Printing on leather

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Printing patterns, symbols and ornaments onto materials is a form of embellishment that is more common in the textile industry than the leather sector. Where leather is printed, it is usually for handbags or labels.

Printing can be carried out by screen printing or by inkjet printing (analogous to the inkjet process in commercially available PC printers). Special ink developed for leather has made it possible to apply high-quality, multi-coloured motifs. A prerequisite is that a pigmented smooth leather is used, since a transparent top coat is applied to prevent paint abrasion, sealing the ink layer. The leather must not have any release agents on the surface because they will reduce the ink adhesion.

The basic tone of the leather to be printed should be white, or at least very bright, so as not to falsify the colour character of the motif. The colours are mixed from the basic shades magenta, cyan and yellow, as well as a black component (subtracting colour mixture). White printing is technically not possible, so that dark leather surfaces are not suitable for printing.

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Original photo -> print on a light natural leather.


Printing at 20x magnification.




Printed key bag and leather handbags from Argentina




Printed women's leather shoe from Spain and printed leather jacket.


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Printed leather with beautiful motifs.


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Printed furniture, car and aircraft leather (printed by





Even Cow hides can be printed (from


Video about motifs on leather


A video about painting on leather, perforating leather, carving leather, embossing leather and several other methods to create motifs on leather.


Other possibilities how to provide leather with designs