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How to Engrave Leather with a CO2 Laser Engraver

Timeless techniques of experienced artisans and new technologies of industrial innovators have helped small businesses grow and flourish, changing the face of commerce as we know it.

“These small businesses are continually making their marks, especially in the fashion industry, where laser engraving has made production more effective and efficient.” 

Many leather product manufacturers have taken advantage of laser engraving technology to run their operations more efficiently. Knowledge of how to engrave leather was once hard to find and has since proven to be of great importance in many fields.

Yet, it stands out in the fashion industry as it creates very aesthetically appealing patterns on leather products of any kind. Aesthetic engraving adds a touch of luxury and class to any leather product. Today, you will learn the characteristics and advantages of using CO2 laser engravers in your leatherworking projects and the basics of how to engrave leather.

What Machine to Use

Traditionally, engraving can be done using hand tools such as C-clamps. Still, the process would not suffice for mass production because hand tools require a lot of perseverance and expertise, and worse, it is a prolonged process. The invention of the CO2 laser engraver has dramatically improved the process of leather engraving.

The process starts by placing the leather in the laser machine. Evaporation of the material occurs as a laser beam burns into the leather. As the laser burns into the surface, it accurately imprints the desired design on the leather surface, which comes out in black color. This is why it is strongly advised to use light or medium brown leather as it will be almost impossible to see a black color design on black leather.

What Type of Leather Works Best

Nearly any leather type can be engraved — either human-made or synthetic pieces of leather, including suede and nubuck. Suede leather is elegant, soft, lightweight, and breathable, while nubuck leather is long-lasting and better than most synthetic leather. But it is strongly advised to engrave light or medium brown leather so that the designs or images engraved are clearly seen. Using dark leather, especially black leather, is not recommended.

Advantages of CO2 Laser Engraving on Leather


A CO2 laser engraver is flexible because it allows for rapid development of new design samples and enables trying out many textures, patterns, and other effects. Technically, it aids product development and speeds up the overall production cycle. This is because you can easily switch designs, patterns, or logos as you desire during the product development process.

Efficiency optimization

By identifying shared contours that can be cut at once, the controlling software allows for the CO2 laser machine’s optimized


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