Leather projects

Hello Everyone,
Please be patient with me :slightly_smiling_face: I just purchased a Glowforge and it will be here in a few days! I’m trying to line up materials. I have noticed that some of the gallery photos show colored leather. Where do I find that? What is offered here in the Shop is paint ready, but the projects appear to already be colored?
I appreciate your help! Thanks in advance!!

Tandy Leather is a great resource if you have a local store.
https://www.rmleathersupply.com/collections/vegetable-tanned has a great selection online.

Keep in mind, where ever you end up getting it from, that you’re looking for vegetable tanned leather. There are more colours/finishes available in chrome tanned, but the gases that releases can eat your machine (and do damage to you!)


Search the forum for “leather source” and you’ll find a lot.

My Go to is Tandy Leather, (they have local shops all over the place), but there are others. There is a lot of discussion about types of leathers to use, the basic takeaway is “don’t use fake leather, they are often PVC based, and if possible vegetable tanned is better than oil tanned, is better than chrome tanned”.

Rummage through the forum and read as much as you can stand, it’ll pay you back, this is all covered in crazy detail.




@kanati @deirdrebeth @evansd2 Thank you so much for getting back so quickly!! I’m still learning how to navigate through everything. I SO appreciate your information, that helps me out tremendously!!
Thanks again!!


The PG leather is natural (undyed) veg tanned, and lots of options on dyes & finishes you can use on that.

Though I don’t post much of the work I do on leather, I use many varieties of already finished/dyed veg & oil tanned & various weights/thicknesses & species, and only nat veg tan (“sole bend” thickness, not PG) for some items.

So it’s really a matter of what your project is that will determine what leather is the best choice for you!

But also get a snap thickness gage so you can always measure the thickness yourself (is critical especially for cutting), and spend time at leather stores to understand the differences as usually staff there are very helpful. There are also sources that sell scrap (either at stores, or on line), and it’s a great way to figure out what you like to work with before investing in buying larger pieces & sides & full hides!

IMHO, it’s better to learn how to work with the leather without the laser involved and get the techniques down, and the GF is an additional tool to (significantly) expand your abilitities to add artwork to the leather and can make cutting faster/less tedious. Lots of videos on the net to show techniques for hand stitching goods. I have an industrial machine I sew my leather projects on, and rarely hand stitch.

And always clean the soot off your leather from etching and cutting. Methods vary, but my favorite is simply bit of soap on a toothbrush & gentle scrub with bit of running water. Nat veg tan will soak up the water, but dries fine. Very rarely have I had a leather that is left with a water mark.


@bansai8creations oh wow, you are a wealth of information! I went online and was looking at all the different leather options, and I have decided I need to go to Tandy and talk to someone, and show me hands on what the different leather types are. I think it’s a great idea to buy scraps to begin with!
Thank you so much for all of your helpful information! The more I get acquainted with the GF and the materials, this will all make such perfect sense!


If you have a tandy leather local to you that’s a good idea. But I would also note that springfield leather actually has a glowforge and are pretty familiar with the system and lasering leather. :slight_smile:


Thanks–I discovered my passion for working with leather about 15 years ago, and always still learning… Tandy is great source for tools & some leathers, but loads of other good sources, too. You can always message me if you want a list of places & sites I recommend or any question!


That’s great to know! Thank you! That does make a huge difference discussing materials with someone who knows about the GF!
Thanks again!! I will be in touch with them!

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I have wanted to work with leather for years, and have done a few minor projects. But the GF is going to take it to a whole new level! I love learning new techniques too, and pushing the limits sometimes :slightly_smiling_face:
I appreciate your willingness to help out! I am definitely interested in your recommendations! Thank you!

Something like this: https://www.springfieldleather.com/Assorted-Color-Veg-tan-Remnant-1LBS is a great way to start. You don’t need big pieces to find out what it’s like to work with :slight_smile:


Yes!!! That is exactly what I am looking for! I will be ordering some today! Ok, Glowforge, you need to hurry up and get here!! :smiley:
Thanks much!!

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