Preparing to Decorate Leather with a UV Printer

Don Copeland is a pioneer in the decorated apparel industry and is currently the Product Manager for the Compress brand product line for ColDesi Inc. He brings 27 years’ worth of digital printing experience to the DTG and Compress brands. Don has been instrumental in the development of direct-to-garment machines to the industry back in 2004 as well as many other accomplishments.

Leather is one material that has a lot of applications that demand inks that can give when flexed. Journals, binder covers, seat covers, wall art, even apparel and appliqués can all be printed with small to mid-format UV-LED printers using flexible or hybrid inks. 

When dealing with real leather, it is essential that adhesion testing be done as some leathers have oils on them that can cause adhesion challenges. The fix may be as simple as cleaning the area to be printed with an alcohol wipe down, or as extreme as moving on to a different type of leather. 

—Don Copeland, ColDesi

Learn more about UV printing in the August ’19 issue of A&E