Engraving already dyed leather

Hello, I am enjoying getting to know my GF.
So here is a question, has anyone had experience with engraving already dyed leather? Tank you in advance.


Hey welcome.

This is a topic that’s definitely come up before.

Take a look:




Yes, there are a lot of options–but I assume you’re talking about natural veg tanned that you’ve dyed yourself? I’m sure that’s possible. I work mostly with factory tanned/dyed leathers, and I rarely mask my leather, unless I’m working with undyed veg tanned.

It’s all a matter of the look you want–the laser burns thru the top and exposes the flesh–a lot of the darkness is due to the soot, which you’ll want to wash off, else it gets on fingers of all handling the leather, though some remains and does darken the flesh. There are many ways to do clean/remove excess soot, for suede I use tape else the finish does get altered by the water/soap, otherwise I use gentle soap with a very soft toothbrush and bit of tap water, and pat excess water off. Test your pieces for what is best for any given project!

So many like dying after etching to add color to the etched areas as well as the top…

But be sure if you dye first, that after etching the cleaning process you use to remove the soot doesn’t affect the surface. Low-tack masking can help protect the top surface from getting soot on it, but that can cause it’s own issues too if the finish gets affected by the tape–or leaves residue that could affect the dye post-etching!

But always test first! Leathers can vary a lot between sources for the same type/finish, and even within the same hide the properties can vary due to inherent difference between areas of the hide (e.g. shoulder and butt is tougher and thicker than belly).

Good luck, and enjoy. I love etching leathers with my GF!


Thanks for the info. It is much appreciated. Good luck on the armor!

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