Using Burlap string bags as a material?

I’m looking to engrave onto burlap drawstring bags some words or designs and I would use these bags as little gift bags with the real gift inside. Would I be able to do so (is the material safe?)
This is something im looking at buying --> Burlap drawstring bags

Does anyone have experience with this and have any suggestions of settings to use that would not just cut it but merely burn it enough to etch a design on it?

UPDATE: I got super thin, cotton muslin bags and decided to score at max speed and min power, and it didn’t do super well as the areas where the laser makes sharp turns is where the laser spends a tiny bit too long and burns a hole into it. Engraving at min power and max speed is the way to go!
(The bag is thin as is, but there seems to be no loss of durability/strength of the bag, it everrrr so slightly burns the bag to have your engraving show up.)

Here was my successful test bag!:



Start out really low power & highest speed. Keep engraves down to 195 lpi or lower. It’s really easy to over burn these (like canvas too).

Don’t use Score because it’s almost impossible to prevent burning in the corners of direction changes.


sounds like I’ll just be using one bag as a test-bag :stuck_out_tongue: sounds about right!


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Put a tile, or something that is non-flammable, inside the bag before you try to engrave it. (Or you’ll likely burn right through it.)


If you figure this out, please share. I have a wedding for my kid that this would be great for.

This is a very cool idea. I didn’t know bags like that were available. Thanks for the tip! Please do share how the experiment goes.

I would think that burlap would be a bit coarse for engraving—you may be disappointed in the results. I’m thinking the large weave could interfere with your design. You might want to also try muslin bags and see which you like better.


Actually, why don’t you engrave a stamp and use that to mark the bags? It should work? Could work?

Or make a stencil and use that instead.

The laser doesn’t have to be the final step, but works great helping you make something that would get you the results you need.


As a heads up to everyone following, I don’t have any of the materials so I likely won’t be trying anytime soon (I don’t wanna keep you on your toes for too long!). But it’s nice to get tips from everyone! =]


I’ve done a lot of cotton muslin bags (autocorrect loves to argue when I type muslin). Engraves at 800/speed and around 6-7 power work well.

I usually put a piece of thick chipboard/puzzleboard inside of them because they can be a bit of a pain to keep flat, no wrinkles in the surface, etc.


What you might find interesting is to use hardwood veneer for the engrave attached with a very light coat of glue so only the top of the cloth was fastened.

Moved to Beyond the Manual to allow discussion of non-PG settings. :slight_smile:

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It is. That’s why you want to keep a low LPI. Otherwise you’re wasting time and you’re overlapping engraving lines which will tend to burn through the burlap as well.


I got woven cotton for drawstring bags to go with my guitar straps–considered laser etching–briefly. I did a test of block printing, but opted to silk screen instead, in part as I wanted some color in the image. You can get pre-emulsed sheets, and if it’s a fairly small image, you don’t even need a frame. I’ve used these type of sheets for >10 years, most from And if you’re close to an Artist & Craftsman Supply store, highly recommend getting your ink and squeegee there. For small things, credit cards even work OK as a squeegee, but get the right type of ink for the material (nearly any silk screen ink should work for burlap, though). And definitely put some cardboard inside the bag when you print–whether by ink stamp, block, or screen, to prevent the ink going through to the other layer!

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If you had an excess of leather laying around, you could potentially engrave that, then glue them to the bags. Costs would go up, of course, but it’s just another option if your heart is set on using these and they don’t engrave well.

From what I see, they look as though they might take an engrave well, but as others have said, fast and low will be your safest starting point, if or when you do this :ok_hand:t4:

As I recall over in the Epilog sample file area, they had a canvas wine bag project. Here’s the link. You might get some ideas from it.


I’ve added an update! =)

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For something like this, it could be done… but, you’re maxed out on both thresholds, so you could break each line at the corner. Just depends, I guess, on how many lines you have and how many of them you want to do, as to if it’s worth the time and effort.

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