Sublimation On Faux Leather: The Definitive Guide [2022]

sublimation on faux leather
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I agree that sublimation printing is one of the best printing methods on the planet. It can print on fabrics, metals, cups, and many other blanks.

But can sublimation print on faux leather? Well, the answer is YES, it can print on faux leather.

This raises another query. Can you sublimate on faux leather? Yes again. You can easily do sublimation on faux leather.

You can print super cool designs on leather, giving it a refreshing look. And the cool thing is that it would be durable and last a long time.

However, faux leather sublimation is a bit difficult to do. But don’t worry! This guide will take you through simple and easy steps to get the job done.

And I am pretty sure after reading the complete article. You will be sublimating on faux leather like a PRO in no time.

What Is “Sublimation Printing” And How It Functions

Before getting into our step-by-step guide to sublimate on faux leather.

It’s essential to know what “Sublimation Printing” is and how it works.

If you don’t want to read about sublimation printing, click here, and you’ll jump directly to the step-by-step guide.

Sublimation Printing

Sublimation Printing is a printing process that uses heat to put the print on various blanks like fabric, metals, tumblers, leathers, and many more.

It’s a most well-liked and widely used printing method.

Its bright and vibrant prints, cost-effectiveness, and durability make it popular and successful over other methods.

More importantly, it’s very easy to operate, even you can easily do it at your home.

How Sublimation Printing Works

The process of sublimation printing is very straightforward.

Firstly, the image or art is printed on sublimation paper with a sublimation printer.

Then it’s transferred on the blank through a Heat Press, Tumbler Press, Cricut Press, etc.

However, some steps of the process are different for different blanks.

Like sublimation on hoodies is a little bit different from sublimation on canvas.

Sublimation On Faux Leather: Step-by-Step Guide

Let’s get into our step-by-step guide to do sublimation on faux leather.

In the beginning, I am reminding you to carefully read and follow all the steps.

Faux leather is a bit expensive; if you incorrectly do the process, you might waste time and money.

The overall process is very easy and straightforward. You just have to pay little attention, and you’ll be done.

So let’s get started.

Things You Require

To sublimate on faux leather, you must have the following items in hand.

required things-printertip, vector
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#1 Sublimation Printer

Firstly, you must have a sublimation printer for printing on the sublimation paper.

Sublimation printers are printers filled with sublimation inks.

You can’t use regular inkjet printers for sublimation.

However, you can convert them to a sublimation printer. Check out how to convert a printer to a sublimation printer.

Or if you are looking for a new one. Have a look at these best printers for sublimation.

And for sublimation Inks, I recommend Hippo Inks or INKXPRO Inks.

sublimation printer
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#2 Sublimation Paper

Next, you’ll need a sublimation paper, on which the sublimation printer will print the image.

Don’t use regular plain papers for sublimation; you’ll get the lowest result. Always use the best paper for sublimation.

There are different types of sublimation papers available for sublimation on different blanks.

For this process, I recommend a 120g sublimation paper.

120g sublimation paper
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#3 Faux Leather

Thirdly you’ll need faux leather. There are many types of faux leather available on Amazon, Etsy, and other marketplaces.

They are of various colors, but I recommend choosing white faux leather because it produces the most bright and vibrant results.

faux leather
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#4 Vinyl

Next, you’ll need vinyl. You can’t directly sublimate on faux leather.

First, You have to apply a vinyl layer on faux leather. After that, you can sublimate it.

I am using HTVRONT Clear HTV Vinyl for Sublimation, and I recommend using it.

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#5 Heat Tapes

After that, you’ll need heat tapes. Heat tapes fix the image with the blank and prevent unnecessary movements.

Movements during sublimation basically create two copies and ruin the entire process.

In short, “movement is the enemy of sublimation”. So always use heat tapes to avoid them.

heat tapes
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#6 Cricut Press/Heat Press

Lastly, you’ll need a Cricut press/heat press to transfer the print on the blank.

Don’t forget the butcher papers. They are also part of the heat and Cricut press.

Cricut press
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Step #1 (Printing Process)

Let’s move on to our first step, i.e. The Printing Process. Follow the instructions outlined below.

#1 Turn on your pc or mac and open the image/pattern/art/design in the graphic software like CorelDraw, Illustrator, Canva, etc. I am using CorelDraw.

Transform the image size to the sublimation paper size, i.e. 8.5×11 Inch.

#2 Remember that your image must be of high resolution.

Low-resolution images result in blurry prints.

I recommend using vector graphics as they produce the best results.

#3 After that, turn on your sublimation printer and put the sublimation paper inside it.

Ensure that your printer has plenty of ink and is up for the task. I recommend running a printer head cleaning first.

Then printing a trial image on regular paper. In case you find any issues, fix them.

#4 After all, mirror the image, then print.

Remember to print in the highest quality and turn any fast printing mode off.

printed image, sublimation paper
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Step #2 (Vinyl Application)

Now it’s time to apply the vinyl to faux leather. Take the faux leather, vinyl, and scissors, then follow the steps written below.

#1 First, clean the leather and remove dust and dirty spots from it.

#2 Then take the vinyl and cut it to the leather size. (If it’s larger)

#3 After that, turn on your Cricut press/heat press and set its temperature to 380 to 385 degrees.

385 degrees temperature, Cricut press
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#4 Take the faux leather and vinyl to the Cricut press.

And in the Cricut Press, place the butcher paper first, then faux leather, then the vinyl (glossy side up).

And then fix the image and vinyl with heat tapes.

heat tapes, sublimation paper
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#5 After all, place another butcher paper over the vinyl and press it for 15 seconds using medium pressure.

Cricut press
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#6 After sublimation, allow the faux leather to cool, then remove the heat tapes.

And that’s all for this step.

heat tapes, sublimation paper
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Step #3 (Final Sublimation Process)

Let’s get into our final step, take the vinyl applied faux leather and image.

And once again, follow the instructions outlined below.

#1 Set the temperature of the Cricut press to 385 degrees.

385 degrees temperature, Cricut press
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#2 In the Cricut press, place the butcher paper, then vinyl applied faux leather, then the image face down to the faux leather. 

And then fix them with heat tapes.

sublimation paper, heat tapes
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#3 Place another butcher paper over the top and press for 50 seconds using the same pressure, i.e., medium.

cricut press
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#4 After sublimation, leave the faux leather to cool and then remove the image from it.

peeling image
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#5 After removing the image, you’ll have your product. Congratulations! You can see how the colors are banging.

sublimation result, printed faux leather
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Tips To Get Vibrant Results

Here are some tips to get the most bright results. These are the tips that I already discussed above.

But to make them more considerate, I rewrote them.

helpful tips-printertip, vector
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  • Always use high-resolution images.
  • Use good quality sublimation paper and sublimation inks.
  • Always choose perfect print properties while printing. Go and search on the web for the best setting for your printer.
  • Always use heat tapes, and make a habit of using heat tapes whenever doing sublimation.
  • Use optimal temperature, pressure, and time. Don’t go too high or too low.


Some Questions About The Process

  • Can you sublimate on faux leather without vinyl?

    No, you can’t sublimate on faux leather without vinyl. If you sublimate on it without applying vinyl, the leather will burn during the process. You can sublimate on leather sublimation blanks without applying vinyl, but for faux leathers, you must apply a vinyl layer before sublimation.

  • What are the ideal temperature and pressure to sublimate on faux leather?

    380 to 385 is the ideal temperature to sublimate on faux leathers. And medium pressure works best in the process. But you should use the blank manufacturer’s temperature and pressure.

  • Why should you choose white color faux leather for sublimation?

    You should choose a white color because white color can show all colors with excellent brightness and vibrancy. Unlike other colors like brown and black, which can show only light colors (mainly white).

Final Words

That’s it! You have learned simple and easy steps to do sublimation on faux leather.

Now you can go ahead and create amazing designs and patterns on faux leather.

I can assure you that you’ll be amazed by seeing how beautiful the result will come at the end.

Just correctly implement all the steps, and no one can tell that it’s made by a beginner.

And just like everything else in life PRACTICE makes perfect!

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments. I will answer them as soon as possible.

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About Shoaib Saqib

Hello there! It's Shoaib, the creator of PrinterTip. I am a printing expert and have worked in the printing business for more than five years. I have completed tens of thousands of printing tasks and have an extensive understanding of secrets. And I love writing about printing, mostly Sublimation Printing.

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