Is Colored leather ok?

I understand I need to select a vegetable tanned leather to use with the glowforge but is it possible to use pre-dyed vegetable tanned leather?
Or will I have to color the leather after I have cut/engraved it with glowforge?

Many sellers on etsy have leather already colored and state it is vegetable tanned, do I need to look at a certain type of dye to be glowforge friendly?


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Sounds like a job for @morganstanfield - aka “Leather Lady”!


Hi @gaz_t

Vegetable tanned is the way to go with the Glowforge, as it is an organic substance, which works best with our patiently anticipated machine.
There are some videos where @dan has mentioned dyed leather and referee to using vegetable tanned leather material.

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Great question! The answer depends on the specific dye. I’d recommend asking the leather vendor for the name of the dye they used, and then getting the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for it. Then you can check its ingredients for laser safety.

Then, I’d order a sample swarch of the colored leather from the vendor, or get a bottle of the dye and prep a test piece myself. You never really know how something will laser until you try it, so I recommend testing before you buy a big batch of it. Besides, dyeing leather in a single color is usually pretty cheap and easy, so you may find you just want to dye it yourself anyway.