Engrave over nylon thread?

Hi everyone, I’m making engraved leather dog collars, which have been going well so far. They have a stitched line around the edge, and currently my partner is going between photoshop and illustrator to design each vector for me, as EVERY collar is a slightly different size, and we’re fitting the pattern inside the stitched area. My problem is, I am terrible at using both photoshop and illustrator, and it takes me forever/is super difficult for my non-logical brain! My partner is a graphic designer, but doesn’t have unlimited time to help me while he’s supposed to be working (unfortunately!).

My question is, would it be ok to engrave over the thread, which is nylon? I’m aware it may melt slightly, but I’m more wary of doing damage to the machine than anything else. It would save me hours of work, as then I wouldn’t have to be so precise with every single collar design.

I’ve attached an image of the way I’m doing it now so you can see where the thread line is. Thanks for any help!


Nylon shouldn’t damage your machine (aside from the usual ways something might – fire risk, etc. This doesn’t seem like a major risk compared to any other material), but you will likely damage the threads on the collar. That might make the whole collar less sturdy?

If it were me I’d focus on designs that were more error/variablity-forgiving so that you don’t have to worry about the challenges of edge-to-edge lasering.


I engrave dog collars on a regular basis for our kennel to go home with puppies. Since they are mainly for puppies I don’t have much surface to take advantage of. I made a jig from scrap acrylic that holds them in place so that I don’t hit the threads. Some collars will separate where the thread is damaged if the leather has not been glued well.


Thanks for your reply! I’m going t
o give it a go and see how the collar fares, I guess I won’t know without trying…

Thanks, Yeh, these are handmade so the discrepancies in the shapes are quite big, and we’d have to make the patterned area a lot smaller using a jig. I do like the idea of it being so much simpler though. I’ll take a second look at how well glued/sewn they are…

Your collars look very nice. Do you make them yourself?

I don’t, they’re handmade in Liverpool. You’ve made me reconsider the jig idea though, it would make life a heck of a lot easier!


From a leatherworking perspective no, one should never engrave, tool or any other abrasive process over stitching regardless of what type of thread you use.
Have you considered engraving before stitching?


Nylon melts at a fairly low temperature. I’d think a jig to cover them up might be a good option for you? It’s a nice looking collar.

It would make sense but the collars are stitched before I get them!

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Thanks! I’d never thought of a jig to cover them up…going to get my thinking cap on now!

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Taping over the edges and stitches might also work. A couple of layers…