personalising a leather cartidge belt

Personalising a leather cartridge belt

Posted Posted in Leather, Other

Customers often ask if I can personalise special gifts. I’ve engraved wallets, wooden boxes and even axes for best men and ushers!

Vicky asked me if I could engrave a leather cartridge belt for her son’s landmark birthday. Leather engraves well, and the appearance of engravings depends on the colour, type and finish of the leather.

This belt was very high quality and if I made a mistake, I knew I’d have to buy a new one!

Creating the vector artwork

Vicky wanted her son’s initials engraved on the belt. I typed them into my software and chose a font that she liked. I suggested choosing a finer font as the engraved areas of leather don’t look particularly attractive. They’re best minimised for best effect.

Personalising the belt

Vicky wanted the engraving to sit to the right of the buckle when fastened. I measured the space between the right hand edge of the buckle when fastened on the tightest hole and the nearest edge of the cartridge holders. Then I created a rectangle to represent that area of the belt, centred the artwork at the size Vicky wanted in it so they’d be engraved in the right place. We were ready to engrave!

laser engraved cartridge belt

What does engraved leather look like?

Engraving leather is like engraving card of different colours. Dye colour and depth of shade, and the depth to which artwork is engraved all contribute to the appearance of the engraving. It’s usually darker than the shade of the material and browner too as engraving is a burning process.

I had some engraved dark brown leather samples to show Vicky. She was keen to have an engraving that would stand out well and possibly be recessed into the leather.

After setting up the belt in the machine and checking it was the right way up so the cartridges wouldn’t fall out, I engraved the belt using my usual raster engraving settings for leather. The first pass was so clear and Vicky was so pleased that she didn’t feel the need to have the engraving any deeper.

 

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engraving leather welding aprons

Engraving leather welding aprons

Posted Posted in Leather

When Kate from The Cheesy Toast Shack asked me to engrave signs for their Edinburgh Festival pitch, she also asked if I could engrave aprons with their logo. Kate had found suede welding aprons and thought they would fit the image of The Cheesy Toast Shack perfectly. Staff members would wear these while serving their delicious toasties.

How to engrave an apron

Cut into a traditional apron shape from thick suede with a breast pocket, these aprons were beautiful and quite heavy. Kate had bought four of them.

I had cut and engraved leather before so I was sure we would get great results. Suede has a fuzzier and more textured surface than leather. A dark engraving would look great on them, like a brand.

Kate wondered about getting them engraved below the pockets. When I tried one on, we realised that this would probably be too low to be seen by customers looking up into the van. So we decided that engraving the pockets would give the logos maximum visual impact and frame them nicely. We measured the pockets and I resized the logo to fit neatly in the middle.

Engraving suede

Concerned that the engravings might burn through the suede completely, I test engraved one on the back of the pocket where it wouldn’t be seen.  After a couple of tests, I was confident that the engravings would be dark enough, but wouldn’t damage the aprons in any way.

As suede is flexible, I set up the laser with the honeycomb bed. It keeps non rigid materials like fabric, paper and flexible plastics flat during production. This is important as the laser needs to maintain focus on a material as it cuts or engraves.

Laying the aprons flat in the machine, I set up the laser head over the pockets and checked that the engraving would be correctly located. Logo detail like the toasting iron handle engraved crisply and the dark mark complimented the ochre suede. After processing four aprons, the workshop needed ventilating as engraving leather leaves a smell like burning flesh, even with extraction!

Kate was delighted with how the aprons came out. They added a great finishing touch to their food van along with their new recycled scaffolding board signs.

 

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