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Leather Engraving and Embossing, what is it and which is better?

When it comes to personalizing leather items such as wallets, there are two main types of ways to do it. One is embossing leather and the other is engraving leather.

So the question is, is it better to emboss or engrave leather?

For a long lasting design it is better to engrave leather and for texture and dimension it is better to emboss leather.

Both methods have pros and cons and we will cover both of those below.

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What is the difference between embossing leather and engraving leather?

Embossing is the process of using raised surfaces to create designs or letters.

Engraving is the process of removing material to create a pattern or letters directly into a surface.

What does it mean when leather is embossed?

Embossing means that the surface of the leather has been manipulated in some way to create different surface heights to create patterns or letters.

The main tool used for this is a stamp or roller with a 3 dimensional shape. When pressed into the pliable leather with pressure, the leather will form to the shape of the stamp or roller.

There are two types of embossing, the first creates a raised pattern by compressing the surrounding leather with a stamp that is hollowed out in a pattern.

Raised Embossing Example

embossed wallet

The second is by compressing the leather inward creating a sunken pattern, this can look similar to engraved leather.

Sunk or Reversed Embossing Example

reverse embossed leather

There are both pros and cons when it comes to embossing leather.

Pros of leather embossing:

With embossing you can create a raised textured surface and mimic other materials like alligator.

With stamps or rollers, you can produce large quantities of complex designs quickly.

Cons of leather embossing

Embossed surfaces can wear out more quickly or if not reinforced lose their form.

If a leathers surface is not even, the quality of embossing can be affected.

Treated leather resists embossing or can be difficult to emboss.

What does it mean when leather is engraved?


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