How to Engrave or Emboss Leather: The Complete Guide

For millennia, leather has been a preferred material for various items because it is durable and timeless. Due to its natural hardness and toleration, it can be easily manipulated and engraved with various patterns and details.

The art of leather cutting is practiced and passed down from generation to generation. Nothing is more elegant than simple and complex designs that can be engraved on a leather surface. They can take the form of traditional monogram letters or involved designs.

Whether buying a leather journals, notebooks, photo albums, portfolios or MacBook case for yourself or as a gift, personalizing it makes it even more special. For this reason, some companies offer customers the ability to add customization.

Why would leather be engraved?

A leather-based product can be personalized or provided with a decorative appearance through leather engraving. The design is permanently engraved into the surface of the leather during the making process. Using special equipment, this engraving is done by cutting or etching patterns on the surface of the leather. This method of application produces a surprising and long-lasting effect. Leather engraving can be done in several ways. The leather will look different depending on the technique used to engrave the material.

How does laser engraving on leather work?

The same basic principles that apply to engraving or on other suitable materials also apply to laser engraving on leather. The temperature of the material increases thanks rapidly to the powerful laser beams. As the temperature increases, the material begins to vaporize and reaches the point of vaporization. As a result, materials on the surface begin to evaporate.

Conversion, or the direct transition from a solid state to a gaseous state, occurs during laser engraving. When the powerful laser beams hit the surface, the temperature rises immediately. This is why you only see smoke or gas when you burn a substance. When leather is laser engraved, the same process takes place.

After etching, the distinction between etched and unetched areas is obvious. The etched area darkens from burns or high temperatures, creating a noticeable etching effect on the surface. Also, as the particles are removed from the surface, you may feel the material cut when touched.

How to engrave leather?

Although you use many of the same tools for both processes and the stamps are often similar, leather engraving is the equal of etch. They are made for cutting rather than pushing. A stable work platform, two to four C-clamps, metal engraving pads, a barrel tool, a wooden mallet, a beveling tool, and the leather you want to engrave are all you need to start.

Use a damp sponge to clean the area of the leather you wish to engrave. As with embossing, the water will soften the leather, but wait to soak it too long, or it won't harden as quickly. Secure the leather to a smooth, sturdy surface with C-clamps.  

While some varieties of engraving pads can be used independently, others are attached to the cylinder kit. If it can be dabbed, do it. Align it with the surface of the leather and beat it several times with the hammer. It takes practice to know how much weight to use. Repeat until you have the pattern or characters you want. Cutting the leather with the engraved seal will do. You can skip to the next step for a more exciting look or leave the engraving cut into the leather along the edges.

Engraving has the advantage of giving your patterns, shapes, or characters a raised appearance. Once the form is stamped, use a beveling tool to smooth the edges of the lines left on the back of the stamp. This will lift the edges and tuck in the cutouts, giving the engraving a raised look.

If the leather wasn't finished when you started, add a dye to finish the job. Popular leather items that can be engraved include:

● Leather engraving tools

The most popular tool for engraving leather by hand is the chisel, also called a chisel, which is made of hardened steel. Chisels are used for engraving patterns on the surface of leather manually.

Most people who do their leather carving use this tool. The process takes a little longer, but the result is just as satisfying. Carving leather by hand takes practice, like anything else, so resolve and time are your most valuable resources.

A punch or leather chisel and a leather hammer are used to make the required holes in the leather component. Since it is a hand tool that punches a hole, a leather awl works on the same principles as a paper awl. Alternatively, the material can be struck firmly with a leather hammer while a special chisel is pressed against it.

Many tools available in the market can be used for decorative designs. Each must be pressed against the leather component and beat with a hammer to achieve the desired impression depth. Remember that if you wet the leather before dabbing it, the depth of the impression will be greater because a wet surface is more malleable.

● Leather engraving kit

The leather engraving package will include all tools needed for leather engraving. You only need a few basic supplies for leather engraving, although there are kits with over 400 components.

Typically, a simple leather engraving kit will contain everything a beginner or someone interested in leather engraving as a hobby will need to get started. These things usually include, but are not required to be, a leather punch, awl, chisel, leather mallet, and some pressing tools.

● Custom leather engraving

There is a custom leather engraving option for those who need many items or want to spend less time and resources to engrave themselves. This option is also helpful if the image to be engraved is incredibly complex or detailed. By engraving the leather by an expert, you won't have to worry about making a mistake or wasting both the leather and your time.

● Laser engraving on leather

Leather laser engraving may be a better option if you need complex or detailed engraving. As noted, the process involves a specially designed laser that cuts the design into the surface of the leather. Compared to engraving by hand or with a Dremel tool, laser engraving can provide a more focused and precise engraving style.

The added benefit is that once the process is complete, there is little to no need for touch-ups or touch-ups, resulting in a professional-looking, flawless product that is ideal right out of the machine.

What is meant by leather embossing?

The process of marking writing. The process of embossing images, designs, and logos onto the leather. For one method, the leather is finished and stamped immediately, while for the other, weight is applied to the leather to create the animal skin pattern. elaborate leather sometimes covers the entire surface of the animal's skin.

Leather that has a heat and pressure-stamped pattern or design is called embossed leather. There are many options, including crocodile, alligator, ostrich, floral, geometric, and Indian designs, to name a few.

10% to 20% of skins that get there

Slaughterhouses are rated from "excellent" to "very high." As long as the embossing does not hide imperfections that could reduce the longevity of the leather, it is perfectly acceptable.

Embroidery techniques:

● Blind engraving

This type of leather embossing carries out the processes without dyes or pigments. As a result, what you see is a natural feature of the animal's skin rather than appearing as an additional coating or process.

● Color engraving

Blind relief is an alternative to color relief. When this type of leather is stamped, pressed, or subjected to other embossing methods, dyes and pigments are added.

● Platinum gold

This unusual style of leather tooling uses gold leaf.

What is crocodile embossed leather?

Embossed crocodile skin is printed and finished to resemble a real alligator skin. Artificial designs are printed into the natural grain of the leather using pressure and heat to create embossed leather. Compared with real genuine reptile skin, crocodile embossed leather is much cheaper, has no social impact and is more durable.

What does snake-embossed leather mean?

Embossed snake leather is leather whose pattern resembles the skin of an embossed snake.

Leather embossing process

Leather embossing can be done manually or mechanically. Industrial machines are pretty fast and deliver instant results. As we have already said, damp leather works best; it is moistened before the first embossing, and other tools are used to adhere it to its surface. Stay in this position for some time. Perhaps minutes to hours - the best way to condition leather is to apply chemicals evenly while carefully following other instructions.

Why would there be embossing of the leather?

Embossing is a unique way to add dimension and personality to your leather goods. Embossing creates a protective layer on the rawhide as the leather fibers imprint the pattern more deeply. This adds texture to the design and makes it stand out.

How is the leather embossed?

Obtain the appropriate equipment due to the application of lubricants and waxes. Embossing and embossing are more difficult to penetrate on polished leather. Unfinished leather should be removed for best results, as it will absorb moisture and expand the fibers into more exciting patterns. You can use leather polish after you complete the project, but only after.

Finding the right leather is another option. There are wide varieties of leather, but not all of them can be stamped. We recommend full-grain leather and vegetable-tanned leather suitable for your engraving work. These leathers are an excellent earthy color, durable, and smell like leather. Choose leather at least 1.2 mm thick, as embossing does not work well with lighter leather.

● Obtain the necessary equipment and supplies.

Your skills and experience will only be helpful if you have the right equipment. Because the tools are expensive, you should only buy them if you plan on long-term use.

● Find a suitable office

Leather craft can only be easy with the right tools. Your productivity will increase, and your health risks will decrease if you work at a sturdy and comfortable workstation. Your workbench should be height adjustable to sit or stand while you work.

How can leather be embossed?

Belt is easier to engrave, but with some experience, you can also engrave finished or dyed leather. Carving leather requires a few tools. Lay the cowhide on a solid surface. This will make the leather soft and easy to handle. Clean the entire area you will be working on with a damp cloth, being careful not to get it wet, as the more water the leather absorbs, the longer it will take to dry. To keep it from moving when lifted, secure it with a clamp.

Then, while holding the cylinder in your non-dominant hand, attach your first stamp to the cylinder tool and place it face down on the surface of the leather. With a firm grip, strike the other end of the cylinder with the hammer to drive the pad into the leather. Practice refines the process to fine-tune the pressure and number of times to strike the cylinder to achieve the desired stamp engraving depth.

Leather Embossing Chemicals:

Chemicals are used to improve leather results. These chemicals are used to stamp or print sharp, visible images and patterns. These compounds also contain other water-soluble substances such as acrylic, silicone, and silicon dioxide.

Reason to emboss the leather:

Before embossing, the leather is sanded to remove marks and unevenness from the animal's skin. Because of this, embossing on leather helps eliminate the marks inherent in leather. This way, all wounds and scars on the animal's skin are removed. The leather also becomes supple, feeling silky all around.

Leather embossing equipment:

● Rotary knife

The Rotary Cutter is the perfect tool for embossing leather and is essential for carving or carving leather as it is small and sharp. The most common types are ceramic, hollow-ground, and angle less rotary cutters. 

● Stamps

Leather stamps are tools used to imprint patterns on the surface of a material—various stamps including border, background, and angle. As you gain experience, you may add more stamps or create a custom leather stamp to give your work a mark. Also, a basic jig without a basket would be helpful.


● Cutting preparation area

A stone block is another essential ingredient for leather embossing. (You can use marble or granite). If it's too expensive, you can use flat anvils instead of stone blocks. The embossing process provides a firm working surface to ensure the whole impression of your leather. Since there is a small nail where the pattern paper is attached, book boards are rubber boards placed under a stone or vein slab to absorb pressure when embossing. They are excellent for tracing designs, direct embossing, and cutting designs. However, the latter is not recommended. This requires a solid base.


A mallet is used to imprint the stamp into the leather or to flatten the leather to make an embossed stamp. The amount of pressure applied when using a mallet depends on the size of the head. Depending on your taste, you can choose between nylon, rawhide, or wooden mallets.

Choose between embossing and engraving: 

● Method 

There is no clear winner between the two methods, as each has different pros and cons that you need to consider for your specific project. An essential factor for jobs is speed, and burning takes some time. On the other hand, embossing produces branded images much faster than engraving. So if speed is a significant concern for your project, you can opt for embossing.

● Description

While embossing may be faster than both, engraving offers a more advanced and impressive degree of detail you can see. This fact is especially actual for products that have been laser engraved. For example, The Engraving People experts can create intricate logos and images on a variety of materials using a CNC machine. Therefore, engraving is your best option if details are essential to your particular business.

● Long-term design

Because they are recessed and provide good protection from the elements, the engraved letters and designs are less likely to tarnish or fade. However, the embossed design and logo are exposed to the elements, so any damage may erase the lettering or render the design unreadable. For example, using the wrong material will cause your leather engraving to fade faster. Therefore, engraving should be your first choice if durability is essential to your project.

How is the leather carved by hand?

  • Before creating a pattern on the surface of a piece of leather or a product, clean it. As a result, the color of the surface will change.

  • You will soon identify dry areas on the surface.

  • Then, using a cutting or engraving tool, cut the leather along the lines of the drawn design.

How can I embroider leather with my name?

Buy a collection of metal stamps online.

Set in required character order.

Apply constant pressure with an arbor press.

Can you engrave leather at home?

Leather can be engraved at home using a variety of simple techniques. For this task, even an essential sculpting tool should suffice. Do-it-yourselfers can benefit from several affordable power tools. Laser machines or other advanced equipment are used for intensive leather engraving for fashion companies.


Engineering and Embossing leather technique is widely used nowadays. In the above article, we have briefly discussed both. If you are also a leather fan and use many leather products, this article is for you. 

Shop our collection of:

Leather Portfolio | Leather Journal | Leather Backpack | Canvas Backpack | Leather Laptop CasePersonalized Leather Planner | Leather Notebook Cover | Leather Pencil Case

Related Posts:

On every order, every day!

We value your security

30 days money back guarantee

Whatsapp ID: 8617714348460

Your cart is currently empty