View Full Version : Laser engraving blue jean jacket - anyone had any success?

Mayo Pardo
10-20-2015, 4:42 PM
I've been practicing on some old blue jean material (pants) and not having much success.
What happens is, when the image shows up with enough contrast and detail, I have essentially turned the fibers into dust.

I know this means I've either used too much power or my speed was too slow but I've tried numerous combinations without success. Maybe the material I'm testing on is not ideal, since it's blue jeans that are several years old and had who knows how many washing/drying cycles.

My objective is to get a nicely contrasted almost photographic, but could settle for posterized image on the back of a blue jean jacket. This is going to be donated to a MS fundraiser if I can come up with something that looks good and doesn't fall apart at the first handling or washing.

I may try some practice runs on new blue jean (iron on) patches and see how that goes.
The material won't be exactly the same as the jacket but may give a better idea of what will work.

Any opinions on if my 30W machine should be capable of doing this without turning the fabric to mummy wrappings?

Scott Shepherd
10-20-2015, 4:52 PM
I haven't done it Mayo, but if I were trying it, I'd try to take the lens out of focus a fair amount to make the power density less.

vic casware
10-20-2015, 4:59 PM
Hi Mayo
I tried some denim when i first got my laser too and had the same result
the fibers pulled apart. here are epilogs settings, We used a 45-watt Helix with the following settings: 70% speed, 20% power, 300 dpi.

Gary Hair
10-20-2015, 5:20 PM
Mayo - go to my website and click on the "Laser Engraving" page, there is picture of a piece of denim that I lasered with my 30 watt machine. On the 2nd page is a piece of leather with the same image. They were about 9 years ago so I don't remember the settings, but if you start with 100% speed and 10% power and gradually increase the power until you get a mark, you should be able to find the right setting. Don't bother with anything higher than 300 dpi, it won't make a difference due to the texture of the material. www dot nwlaserimage dot com

Bill George
10-20-2015, 5:41 PM
I experimented enough to know it was to risky to try on a paying customers item. I found I could cut it pretty well but marking.... I will leave that for someone else.

Matt McCoy
10-20-2015, 5:56 PM
Sort of. I used natural duck cloth canvas and a 40 W laser.

Mike Chance in Iowa
10-20-2015, 6:00 PM
I haven't engraved denim in 5+ years, but when I did, I had very good results with certain types of indigo blue denim and poor results with cheaper denim that is rougher and less flexible. Cheap red denim produced a rather dirty result and cheap black denim looked very dingy and drab.

I found I had better results at around 200 dpi and for some photos I even dropped it down to 150 dpi. Speed and power varied dependent on the type of denim. Most of them were at low power, fast speed.

Mike Null
10-20-2015, 7:35 PM
You're not going to get great results on faded denim without using too much power. Indigo will give you great results without seriously damaging the material.

Joe Hillmann
10-20-2015, 8:23 PM
I've gotten good looking results on new rustler jeans but the area that is engraved eventually gets a hole worn in it while the rest of the jeans are in good condition yet.

Chris DeGerolamo
10-21-2015, 1:10 PM
Tried this on pants once...ended up with jorts.


Matt McCoy
10-21-2015, 2:20 PM
Tried this on pants once...ended up with jorts.


Oh no.


Mayo Pardo
10-26-2015, 1:59 PM
After several tests on blue jean iron on patch material, I ran the jacket and it turned out very well.
I think the material is thick enough that it won't fall apart when I wash it before giving it to the fund raising auction!

Power was 50, velocity 100, res. 333, 500 ppi. Pics won't upload from Windows Nokia phone, will transfer to computer
and upload later.

Mayo Pardo
10-29-2015, 12:25 AM
Here's a photo of the jacket just after engraving.
I then put it in the washer with almost no soap, gentle cycle.
Air dried with no heat.
Because of the washing, the white/tan parts became slightly more blue but still very visible. I hope it raises a lot of money for the MS benefit when it gets auctioned!

Mike Chance in Iowa
10-29-2015, 7:01 PM
Great job on lining up the graphics!

Bill Cunningham
11-28-2015, 9:40 PM
325986Did this one about 10 years ago. It's still surviving