What Is Leather Engraving?

Leather Engraving

Have you ever seen an engraved leather purse or wallet and thought, “Wow, how did they do that”? Well, the process for embedding words and designs on leather is known as leather engraving. It’s a very intricate technique that creates beautiful designs. 

If you’re interested in learning more about engraving on leather, just keep reading.

Ways to Engrave on Leather

There’s more than one method for leather engraving. Here are some of the most common techniques:


Pyrography is performed through an electrical tool that’s similar to a pen. This engraving tool heats up, so users have to be careful of potential fires. However, its pen-like construction makes it easier for craftsmen to keep steady while etching their designs.

This option is great for individuals who want to add a personal, detailed touch to their leather.


Branding is one of the most common and straightforward methods of leather engraving. The process involves using a hot piece of metal and pressing it against the surface of the leather to burn a pattern into the material. It requires a significant amount of force in order to apply the pressure needed to burn the leather.

 The details of engraved leather often include a dark-colored letter or pattern with a sunken surface. It’s the deep, dark etching that makes it stand out against the material. If you’ve ever bought engraved leather from a store, it most likely had a branded design. 

If you choose to perform this technique, the safest way to do so is by holding the branding tool once you’re done. Most tools have a long handle attached. Holding it allows more time for it to cool off. Also, it’s wise to use heat-resistant gloves or metal tongs while operating a branding tool.

Furthermore, you can brand leather by various means. It’s either done directly through fire or with an electronic power device. Obviously, the electronic version is the safest and easiest method.


This particular technique involves stamping a pattern onto the leather using a rolling wheel or steel plate. You can create a variety of styles and patterns with embossed leather.

Not only that, but embossing allows the material to stay close to the same texture as the original leather. The reason being is because this method only touches the surface of the material, rather than burning it off.


You can carve leather in the same manner as wood. However, you can only carve on a certain type of leather that’s viable enough. This technique can only be done on full grain vegetable tanned leather. 

The reason being is because other leather material doesn’t saturate well enough or maintain the carved designs after drying.

In order to carve leather, the material has to be rubbed down with water and saturated for a few moments. Once that’s done, the designer transfers the image that he wants to carve onto the material. This step is done much like a stylus. 

After the image has been stamped, then the designer uses a ceramic swivel knife to cut the lines into the material.

To further imprint the design, various tools, like chisels and scrapers, are used to cut the fabric until the design is completely formed into the leather.


Embroidery is a design that’s used on many different materials, including leather. This technique only requires a few special tools to perform the task. All you need is a needle to stitch on the pattern. 

Embroidery is done by hand or with a sewing machine. The advantage of using a sewing machine is that it generally has an embroidery feature that makes the task much easier. Keep in mind that the best type of leather to embroider are the varieties that have been tanned with animal tanning or chromium salt.

The good news is, soft leather materials are used in clothing manufacturing. Therefore, if you want to embroider your jacket, it’s no problem. However, if you embroider a thicker leather material, make sure that you use needles that are large and strong enough to puncture the material without bending.


Believe it or not, perforation creates incredible designs. This method includes putting small holes into a piece of leather to enhance its breathability. However, in making the leather more functional, you can also use it as a means of creating a special design. 

Poke the holes in certain patterns or images to make it stand out. Although this technique creates a cool look once it’s done, it takes a lot of time and patience to do it by hand. 

That’s why perforation is generally carried out by sewing machines.

Additionally, you don’t want to perform preparation on flimsy leather. Avoid using it on clothing or accessories that could rip easily.

After looking at this list of leather engraving techniques, you might be thinking about designing your favorite leather boots. With that said, follow the highlighted link to find a vast variety of incredible boot options. Look here now!

The Beauty of Leather Engraving

Leather engraving is an incredible form of artistry that takes leather material to the next level. As you can see, there are many ways to do it, and it requires careful skill. However, the outcome is always incredible!

Which one of your leather items are you thinking of engraving?

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About the Author: Piran Tarapore