Engraving on purse

Hello Glowforge family, Let me start out by saying I’m still new on this machine and I don’t have extra material to practice on. So I’m reaching out to you for HELP. My best friend mom is a cancer survivor and we are making her this purse for mothers day. I’m going to engrave the design attached on the purse. The purse looks to by Nylon. I attached pictures of purse, drawing, and up close picture of purse. There is no tag on the inside other than, made in China…WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON SETTINGS or is this even possible…thank you for any help. REMEMBER WE HAVE NO ROOM FOR ERROR… :slight_smile:


You need to know what it is made from with 100% certainty. It looks like a form of vinyl, and vinyl will destroy your machine.


First of all, congrats to your friend’s mom, it’s a tough fight, I’m glad she’s doing so well.

This is the problem. Artificial leather is often made from PVC, which is a material you absolutely can’t cut or engrave with the laser, as it can and will damage your machine.

So, my recommendation first thing is that you find out for sure what it’s made of, and then consider your options.

If you can’t figure out the materials… it’s time to think of other possibilities. One thing that might work well is a little tag that hangs from the strap? You could make it out of acrylic or wood and tie a pretty ribbon or chain on it, and it’d be a nice symbol that could be transferred to another purse if/when this one is replaced.



Well darn so about the only thing you can engrave on purse wise would be leather…right

Some people have engraved successfully on canvas, as well as other fabrics. You can use the laser to make a stencil and paint or dye the material as well, though you only have one shot at this with that purse so it might not be time to try something that will be so analog, if you know what I mean.


And it needs to be vegetable tanned leather - not chrome.


Wonderful idea, probably bad material.
The authority on materials is the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for a particular material. Good luck getting that from China - if it exists.

There is an ad-hoc method of testing for vinyl by using a copper wire and a torch. Get the wire hot and touch it to the sample somewhere inconspicuous to get a bit of it on the wire, and stick it in the flame of the torch. Watch for any sign of green in the flame. Green = chlorine

The problem with PVC is the “C”, Chlorine. the fume of it will combine with atmoshperic moisture to produce Hydrochloric acid. That can destroy everything in the machine starting with the sensors and electronics, followed by everything else.

I’m a fan of David’s idea of a tag, or charm you could embellish the bag with. I love the idea of the metamorphosis! You got this!


There are laser safe faux leathers, but they will definitely be identified as such!

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As others have said, you have to know with 100% certainty what you are engraving. There is no way to undo the damage to yourself or the glowforge.

Do you mean acid wash leather? I was thinking of using that for some jewelry. I’m new Here any help is appreciated.

I don’t know about acid wash leather or what it means, but I do know chrome tanned leather is bad for you to breathe in and will ruin your Glowforge.

Do the engraving on a piece of veg tan leather. You can then attach the leather to the purse. It would be an added accessory like a key fob.

This is acid was leather / hair on cowhide. Would you know if this is safe to use in my glowforge?

I don’t know… at any rate it is probably going to stink bad with all those hairs burning…

Thank you. I appreciate your help.

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