Top grain leather settings

What settings does everyone use for engraving too grain leather? The type everyone is putting on caps. Also masked or unmasked?

We can only discuss settings for non Proofgrade material in the Beyond the Manual section of the forum. I will move this post.

I suggest starting with Proofgrade settings and adjust as necessary. Also, there are lots of posts about leather if you use the search function.


Didn’t see it moved so I moved it.


I generally find for all leathers up to about 7oz that the PG settings work, with more passes if needed. If your leather has the fine hairs, then a final pass at like double speed will take care of those.

Top grain can really depend on what it’s glued to - and probably what glue it used, but it’s worth starting there :slight_smile:


For etching, I start with the PG setting, but often find going down to 60 power and higher LPI produces a nicer image if it’s a lot of material being removed. I don’t mess with speed for etching.

If fairly thin lines, PG is fine & use that for a wide variety of colors–tannery dyed, mostly oil tanned, and some veg tans.

And I rarely mask, unless it’s white or suede. But if you mask, always test to make sure the adhesive from the masking doesn’t mess up the leather finish itself!

I clean the soot from the etching with a very very soft tooth brush (used for cancer patients–not found in normal stores) and some mild soap & enough water to rinse, dab, and air dry. Except suede. Then I just use masking tape to pull up the soot.

But TEST TEST TEST until you find the setting to get the result you want for any given artwork on any given piece of leather! Good luck–it is fun!


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