View Full Version : Tips on engraving Leather

Ian Spence
01-07-2005, 5:17 PM
Hi All
We have been requested to submit a sample of a companies logo in leather. If they are happy with it, it could turn into 100pcs per month. We have very little experience in leather, would anyone have any tips for us?

Thanks in advance,

Kevin Huffman
01-07-2005, 5:27 PM
Only engrave it once.
Even if it looks like it didn't get deep enough. I have ruined about 4 different fossil bilfolds by thinking "Ohhh it can go a little bit deeper." But it doesn't, it tears all the way through it, destroying it completely.

Ian Spence
01-07-2005, 6:26 PM
Thanks for the tip.These are actually bag pipe bags we are putting the logo onto, so they have to stay air tight.
What is a fossil bifold?

Mike Mackenzie
01-07-2005, 8:50 PM
Be prepared for some smell if it is light colored leather it will laser just fine however if it is colored you won't get much contrast. A word of caution do not wipe off the residue use an air hose and blow it off. if you wipe them it will smear and get the un engraved parts dirty.

Keith Outten
01-07-2005, 10:25 PM
After engraving do you cover the surface with mink oil or some type of surface protectant to keep the engraved areas from smearing?

Rodne Gold
01-07-2005, 10:47 PM
Engrave it with paper based vinly application tape (or plain wide masking tape) over the area you gonna engrave. Stops all sorts of problems like dirt etc getting on the surface of the unengraved portion.
Light leathers engrave dark , dark leathers engrave with almost no contrast , just a subtle marking. You can use a wax based gold/silver/coloured fill to fill the engraving on dark leather to emulate foiling. We use Gilders paste , but stuff like Rub 'n Buff will work. Only take off the tape thats protecting it after. If you use rub n buff or the like , brush it in with s oft toothbrush and wait a few hours before removing the paper masks , as the wax needs time to dry and harden. If you remove too soon you run the risk of smearing the wax onto the unengraved surface.
You dont need violent settings to do this , we use settings similar to wood , but you got to experiment. One of the nice things about the paper tapes is that you can use low powers and high speeds to do test runs without marking the actual object and its pretty easy to see when it does start burning right thru and adjust power/speed accordingly. It also has low tack , so you not going to damage the leather surface.
Another option is to get your own suede or soft thin light leather and engrave and laser cut it , it can then be applied as a label afterwards.

Ian Spence
01-08-2005, 9:59 AM
Thanks guys, we made a couple samples on light leather and they turned out quite well. Our customer is going to send us samples of his leather to work with next week. I'll let you know how we make out.

David Takes
01-28-2005, 11:25 PM
While we are on the subject of engraving leather, does anyone know a good source for lighter colored leather such as that which is used on the laser engraved pillows similar to the one displayed on the www.engravalaz.com (http://www.engravalaz.com/) website?

I have a mother-in-law who manages a national franchise fabric store that could hook me up with a sizeable market for this service. I just need to find a dependable source.

I assume it is a softer calfskin leather.

Will Pote
02-08-2005, 5:31 PM
We use English Kip Leather (2-3 oz.) which we buy from Siegle of California (www.sigelofca.com[). We laser engrave photographs on this leather and the results are very dramatic.

Mike Mackenzie
02-08-2005, 7:06 PM
Hey Will,

How is everything nice to see someone we know on board. Hope all is well and let me know if you need anything.

David Takes
02-08-2005, 9:10 PM

Thank you so much for the information. Could you double-check the link, as it appears that it is "dead".

Linda Forte
02-10-2005, 11:15 PM
I think it's http://www.siegelofca.com.