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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Transferring pen and ink designs to leather

    I have some reasonably simple black ink on white paper designs that I would like to transfer on to leather (probably as a sew on patch for a bag or maybe a possibles lid somewhere in the future.) My question is how?

    Can I trace the design and transfer the pencil marks to the leather?

    Can I get a tool something like a stitch groover to cut channels into the leather where I want the lines?

    Or should I use some sort of tool to depress the surface of the leather instead?

    Thanks in advance once again.


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Great Ayton
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    Re: Transferring pen and ink designs to leather

    Are your designs on the computer or hard copies? If they are on the computer, I find it easier to print them on to tracing paper, it helps me to keep everything lined up.
    To transfer the design you need to 'case' your leather by wiping the surface with a damp sponge. I then tape the design sheet in place.
    It helps if you leave the leather larger than needed and tape on the 'scrap' part of the leather as sometimes the tape can mark the surface when it is pulled off.
    For transfering a design I use a stylus which is really a posh name for a used biro
    The tracing paper also shows which lines you have gone over as it is easy to miss some.
    The design should then be cut in with a swivel knife.
    Tandy Leather do some very good videos, have a look here

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  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2004
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    Re: Transferring pen and ink designs to leather

    Depending on the ink, there's a solvent you can spray on the back of the paper and transfer the design over to the leather. It's the stuff they use down in Leicester Square when doing those henna tattoos. If it transfers to skin, it should transfer to leather.
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  4. #4
    VIP Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Newcastle, UK
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    Re: Transferring pen and ink designs to leather

    Someone did a how too on making a belt, in it they used a thin clear plastic they used to trace a design from a book, this plastic was thin enough that you could place on the leather and using a stylus you could press through to put the design onto the leather. I think they got everything from , will see I can find a link for ya.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Re: Transferring pen and ink designs to leather

    Yes, you could photocopy the image, put the sheet face down on the leather and spray the back with acetone. The carbon will deposit. The image will reverse though.



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