Can you use any type of leather to cut or engrave on your glowforge? Can you cut faux leather? I am new and just getting started. Any links to purchase more materials would be greatly appreciated.

So, first of all, hey, welcome, that’s great that you’re here now.

My advice is both directly helpful and also a bit of a wet blanket…

First things first, you probably should start with some basics to get familiar with things. This is all gold.

But I know how it is, you want to try leather. I get it, it’s awesome.

So first things first: the #1 worst thing to put in your leather is PVC plastic, and a lot of faux leathers are PVC based, so I wouldn’t start there.

Ideally what you want is chrome-free leathers. They’re less toxic to work with. There’s a ton of information on the forum about this, so I’d suggest rolling up your sleeves, getting a nice drink and a snack, telling your loved ones not to call the police when you’re gone for the next three days, and dive in.


Enjoy, it’s a lot of fun. for inspiration, I’d also check out leather projects in the MOAG category:



I think if I wasn’t married and had kids, you’d never hear from me as this is what I’d be doing. SOOOO much to learn.


There are many posts here in the forums on leather cutting. The biggest issue for faux-leathers is what they are made of. Of course anything with vinyl in them is out (you need to get the MDS for the leather to check) as the chlorine in the vinyl will form HCL when it contacts the water in the air, and badly damage the laser (and your lungs if you breathed it, keep the HCL in your stomach!). (the laser dot is hot enough not to not just burn, but actually decompose chemicals back into their constituent parts). Also “real” leather while in and of itself is safe, how it was tanned matters a lot. Chrome tanned will also release nasty stuff (and if I recall doesn’t cut super well) from the chromium salts (although a chrome plated GlowForge does sound cool, I would imagine chromium would destroy a lot of electronics). Read what some of the leather experts on here have posted about their selections. Leather works really well in the glow forge (although it smells like burned cow).


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