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Topic: Silkscreening on leather?  (Read 1845 times)
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Moek
« on: September 10, 2006 10:04:11 AM »

Hello fellow silkscreeners. I'm hoping one of you guys can tell me if you can silkscreen on leather and if you can how permanent is it? what kind of paint do i use? and does it work well? (btw the plan is to silkscreen on a leather jacket)
Thanks!  Cheesy
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aliengrace
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2006 06:58:28 AM »

um not much help but you CAN silkscreen leather definitely. i know it's a bit different from silkscreening fabric.  i found a tute on the web a while ago but can't for the life of me remember where.  there was a workshop on screenprinting leather at the leather festival in melbourne last week (too expensive for me).

well... while i've been typing here's a bit of a technical link that talks about paint required: http://boards.screenprinters.net/viewthread/12/227097

...oh right, *reading* sounds like you need special solvent-based inks designed for leather.  that means good ventilation for the screenprinting area, and i think extra cleaning up.  sorry can't be of more help but i'm interested in leather printing too, for fetish wear so hopefully someone else knows more.
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Moek
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2006 01:39:08 AM »

oo, thanks for the link and info! sounds like it requires a lot of special equipment/stuff... i think i'm not going to risk it, but thanks again! Cheesy
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DoItForJohnny
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2006 12:34:38 PM »

The link was really helpful. I also am really interested in silkscreening on leather. I think I'm gonna try it!
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HeathenPeddler
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2006 08:00:50 AM »

You know, it's funny that they say you need solvent-based inks. The ones Tandy Leather stock for use on leather are basically standard water-based acrylics. I've used them loasd of times on leather, they just need to be sealed with something like Tandys SuperShene



That is in acrylics on veg-tan leather, sealed with supershene, so I don't really see what the problem would be with silkscreening on leather. Just be sure to seal it.
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HP

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aliengrace
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2006 08:08:43 AM »

my local screenprinting ink suppliers said it really depends on the leather what you use and often the only way you can tell is by testing first.
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entriq
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2006 08:52:59 AM »

my local screenprinting ink suppliers said it really depends on the leather what you use and often the only way you can tell is by testing first.
This is by far the best advice for printing on any material you have no experience with.  Leather has a number of variables that need to be considered - has it been tanned?  Does it already have a finish on it? Has it been waxes or polished? What kind is it? and so on. 

One thing that is always a factor with screen printing is that the ink you use must have certain properties to allow it to pass through the screen properly only when the squeegee is applied.  Using inks and paints that are not formulated for screenprinting usually means you have to doctor it to make it work as a screen printing ink - and this can't always be done.  At the same time, there are other properties the ink must have: It can't dry too fast while in the screen, since it will start blocking.  It can't gum up, it can't spread once applied, and so on.  The point is, using paint or ink that works nicely when brush applied or sprayed, or rolled, or splattered or whatever won't necessarily work without problems as a screen ink.

Okay - another thing to consider is how the ink affects the substrate - in this case the substrate is leather.  The ink needs to bond to the leather with as little affect on the properties of the leather itself.  Bonding means that it stays stuck to the leather, and doesn't flake off, peels off, scrap off, or transfer itself to some other material like your car seat when you put the printed piece on the seat in a hot car all day.  I could go on and on, this is meant to show you one thing:  You have to experiment.   My rule: Never print on something expensive and non-replaceable unless you really know what you are doing.  It isn't worth the tears. 
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entriq
Moek
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2006 01:15:52 PM »

Thanks for the advice. It's actually for a friend and i'm thinking i'm too scared and don't trust myself enough to silkscreen on his leather jacket. But thanks so much!
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HeathenPeddler
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2006 01:23:48 PM »

One thing I did forget to mention - if you are going to put paint on any finished leather like a jacket, you have to use something to remove the original finishing, otherwise the paint will just sit on the surface. You can get specialist products to do this at places like Tandys.
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Wassail!
HP

Heathen Tees from The Heathen Peddler

FEW FIND FORTUNE, BUT WORK IS HARD TO AVOID.
aliengrace
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2006 03:38:44 AM »

what sort of things do tandys sell?  to help us non-americans so we can find equivalent places.  ta!
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