Leather Engraving

Can you engrave leather?

In a couple of words, absolutely YES!  In fact, here at Waterloo Engraving working with leather is one of our favourite things to do!  We’ve done all sorts of different leather products – guitar straps, knife holders, wallets, key chains, journals, baseball gloves, baseballs, footballs, purses, watches, attaché cases, and leather belts, just to name a few.

Can you bring your own leather for engraving, or do you have to buy from us?

We’re happy to work with you on your special project, either way.  If you’d like to bring in something of yours we’ll happily take a look to see how easy or challenging it could be, but if you’ve got an idea and would like us to source it for you, we’ve got lots of suppliers and can source something for you.

Be sure to see the “Leather Engraving 101” below for more details.

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Leather Engraving 101

How does laser engraving on leather work?

If you think of an onion, what we’re basically doing is peeling away layers of existing material.  We’re not adding to the leather at all (like the way a laser inkjet printer adds ink to paper), what we’re doing is lasering out leather particles through a burning process with the laser.  It’s physically removing the leather itself, so what we engrave will NEVER come out, it’s permanently there.

Do different colours of leather affect the engraving?

Yes actually, it plays an important role in the finished product, also, if your products as multiple layers of leather with different colouring, that can also affect the final outcome.  Generally speaking, lighter coloured leather works best because the engraving comes out darker usually, kinda like a milk chocolate colour result on light beige leather.  If you have dark coloured leather, the finished product is usually more of a tone-on-tone result, so it winds up being black on black, or dark brown on dark brown.

Is there a size limit to what leather can be engraved?

Yes, there’s actually two limits, the first being a size limit, the second being a weight limit.  We can’t put anything on the laser that weights more than 50 pounds, so if you’ve got a leather wrapped car seat you would like engraved, I’m afraid it’s not likely we can do that.  From there, our laser bed size is 32″ x 20″ but we do have a pass through that can be utilized.  So, suppose you have a leather handle on a broadsword you would like done (which we have done), so long as it’s not any wider than 32″, we should be able to do it.  Please contact us if you have an oversize piece of leather.

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