Difference Between Engraving and Embossing
Most of us might feel that embossing and engraving are similar things but there’s a brief difference that only experts can figure out. But if you’re a leather enthusiast and like something written on your jacket or a bag in the most subtle yet stylish and trendy way, you must get some insight into engraving and embossing. These two methods are the most common in the leather industry for decorating accessories because they are long-lasting and don’t damage the leather the way paint does. These common ways to hand tool leather can be distinguished by the details you get to witness in the final result but in simple words, embossing compresses the leather, however, engraving removes a small amount of leather by cutting and scraping. Both these methods are commonly used to elevate and enhance leather gifts and make them more personalized for yourself or your loved ones.
Embossing is very popular when it comes to leather jackets, bags, or wallets. One of the most common mistakes that people do is choosing the wrong type of leather for embossing. In order to get that perfect final finishing, it is absolutely important that the leather is even-toned and has a smooth texture. If the leather that is chosen to be embossed is raw and rugged, each step of the process will be affected. The issue with such embossing is that even if initially it looks fine, it will wear off pretty soon leaving your leather accessory to look unattractive. Apart from that, there are only limited options of letters and shapes for embossing and any customized letter or logo is super costly.
Engraving, on the other hand, has no expiration date. Its entirety makes it way more preferable when it comes to long-lasting luxury leather products. Leather jackets or bags are the kinds of products we use on a regular basis and their exposure to harsh weather conditions can be a little rough on the texture of the leather. Engraving can actually stand the test of such hard times. And contrary to embossing, you can literally have any kind of leather engraved no matter what grade or quality. You can have anything engraved on your leather, literally anything without having to worry about the cost limitations, so be creative!
How To Emboss Leather?
The most important thing that must be kept in mind to achieve a perfect outcome is that wet vegetable tanned leather is required. Any leather other than that with an uneven surface or unsmooth texture will be a waste of money and time. It is recommended that you try and emboss unfinished leather because that is the easiest and most effective. Some special tools are needed before you get started with the process: a few C-clamps depending on the size of your leather, a cylinder to hold stamps, metal embossing stamps with the particular shape, size, and letters you aim to emboss, and finally a wooden mallet.
Make sure that the leather is moist and soft by rubbing a damp sponge on the surface gently. Wipe off any excess liquid from the leather surface because too much liquid can have a detrimental effect.
Using clamps fix the leather to a sturdy surface so it does not move during the process. Fix the stamp to the cylinder tool and place it on the surface of the leather. Now you have to put pressure on the cylinder using a mallet, that’ll press the stamp into the leather. Hit the cylinder multiple times to get the desired embossing depth. Repeat the process with every letter/logo stamp. Once you’re done with embossing, apply a leather finishing agent to protect it.
How To Engrave Leather?
Well, there are many similarities between the processes of engraving and embossing. The difference only lies in the details but the tools you’re going to use are the same as embossing; the stamps, clamps, cylinder, wooden mallet are often similar. However, for engraving, the stamps in this case are designed to cut more than just push. A bevel tool is also required for the engraving procedure.
Start by cleaning the leather surface using a clean cotton pad or a piece of cloth to red rid of any dust or solid particles. Rub a damp sponge at the targeted spot to soften the leather. However, always remember to use a small amount of liquid at a time because too much water exposure can damage your leather beyond repair.
The rest of the process is pretty much similar to that of embossing except you’ll be using different stamps that are aimed to engrave the leather. It might take you a few rounds to determine how much pressure to apply. Striking the engraving stamp will cut through the leather.
Once you’re done with creating the shape you aimed to, now is the time to do something about these edges that have appeared as a result. Use a bevel tool to angle into the cuts and lift the edges, creating a smooth and finishing. Don't forget to apply the finishing agent to keep your leather protected and durable.