From clothing items such as jackets to accessories such as the wallet, leather is a material that adds a touch of finesse and class. But nothing adds an additional level of exclusivity to leather and hide items like inserting a laser-engraved image or phrase.
Can leather be engraved with leather with the laser?The answer is yes, it can. With the appropriate laser engraver, it is possible to engrave on almost all types of leather items. The engraving on the leather will increase the value of the product, making a brand visible or allowing you to make a customization requested by the customer.
Leather and leather are rather rigid materials and resistant to the action of traditional processing tools. The laser engraving of the leather, on the other hand, produces an embossed effect and a sharp contrast on the surface of the same.
The engravings on darker leather produce a greater contrast which is less in the case of light colored leathers. The results depend on the type of material you are working with and the laser you use, i.e. how the speed, power and frequency parameters are set. The operator will test the laser machine with different parameters until the desired result is obtained.With a laser machine it is possible to easily imprint images on the leather and then color them to achieve an elegant appearance. To facilitate the coloring of the laser-machined surface, a film that burns during the laser marking process can be glued.
Before the film is peeled off, the leather can be colored in the recesses without coloring the non-lasered areas. Even leather with hair and fur can be laser shaped. This technique is usually applied to cowhide leather, a leather that is obtained thanks to the vegetable tanning technique.
Leather products on which it is possible to engrave with the laserThe laser engraver can be used to create many types of designs on a wide variety of products. Some examples are: bracelets, straps and belts, shoes, handbags, wallets, briefcases, leather clothes, office products, handicrafts, accessories. Some types of leather that can be laser engraved are:
Synthetic leather. Laser engraving on natural leather, suede and rough leather works well. The technology works equally well for engraving and cutting leatherette, nubuck and suede or microfiber and alcantara materials. However, in some cases it may be necessary to contact the manufacturer since synthetic leather often contains PVC compounds and the processing of PVC with a laser engraver can lead to the emission of dangerous gases.
The laser engraver can be used to create many types of designs on a wide variety of products. Some examples are: bracelets, straps and belts, shoes, handbags, wallets, briefcases, leather clothes, office products, handicrafts, accessories. Some types of leather that can be laser engraved are:
- Synthetic leather. Laser engraving on natural leather, suede and rough leather works well. The technology works equally well for engraving and cutting leatherette, nubuck and suede or microfiber and alcantara materials. However, in some cases it may be necessary to contact the manufacturer since synthetic leather often contains PVC compounds and the processing of PVC with a laser engraver can lead to the emission of dangerous gases.
- Suede. Suede tends to stain, but this can be fixed by using a special spray to add an extra layer of stain resistance. Sometimes, this side effect can be turned in favor, for example by working the stains with the laser and incorporating them artistically as part of a specific design to obtain a rustic-looking garment.
- Real leather. Genuine leather is a natural material and depending on the type it responds differently to laser processing. Therefore, it is difficult to decide the general rules in this case, but a tip may be to reduce the laser power when working with this material, when twisted or deformed.
Advantages of laser engraving on leather and leatherUnlike many traditional marking techniques, lasers do not require inks or direct contact with the material to be engraved. This not only allows for a noticeably cleaner process, but also means limited wear of the product due to handling.
- Complexity of Drawings. Especially when managing projects such as bulk orders for wallets or bag brands, where the demand for smaller and finer details is quite high, laser engraving offers significant advantages over other methods. This is because the laser leather engraving process can deliver incredibly minute details with a high level of precision.
- Accuracy and Speed. When it comes to laser engraving on leather, maximum precision is important to avoid any errors, even considering the high cost that materials like these have on the market. Laser marking on leather and hide works using a computer controlled system with the desired designs that are pre-programmed, so maximum precision is always guaranteed even in the most complex projects.
- Tool wear. Leather and leather are quite resistant materials to work, and with traditional techniques the wear of mechanical tools is considerable and represents an additional expense. The laser completely eliminates this problem, generating economic savings.
- Consistency. The programming of laser engraving of the leather offers a considerable amount of advantages, including the fact of being able to repeat the process hundreds of times, always obtaining the same result, even when the same basic design is used on multiple materials. Whether it is car interiors or high fashion belts, the laser engraving of the leather guarantees quality and consistency on each piece, so you never have to worry about mismatched final products.
Aspects to rememberAlthough the leather incision process is relatively simple, there are a number of risks and problems for those who go through it without the right experience and equipment. Leather can warp or burn from a too powerful laser, and the cleaning process to ensure a flawless end product is more complex than many other laser-processed materials.
In the case of engravings, it should be kept in mind that natural leather does not generate great contrast, so you can employ the trick of gluing a film on the material before engraving it, or opt for a deep and thick leather to obtain a sharper contrast. or, more precisely, a deeper embossing sensation.
The leather also produces an unpleasant odor when it burns. This is because it typically comes from animal skins. Additionally, some synthetic leathers contain materials such as PVC which could produce toxic gases during the laser engraving process.
For further information on Laser Applications on other light materials:
- Marking, Engraving and Laser Cutting on Glass
- Laser engraving on stone, marble and granite
- Laser engraving and marking on plastic
- Marking and Laser Engraving on Steel
- Laser Engraving on Wood
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