Three Dimensional Leather Designs
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Leather embossing, debossing, hot stamping, or carving all create beautiful three dimensional patterns, design, and custom monograms. When applied to soft and pliable leather goods such as wallets, notebooks, belts, and purses it would make a beautiful gift or accessory.

Leather embossing is done by pressing or stamping a design into the leather hard enough to leave an impression or indent. Simple embossing is usually initials or a company logo. More involved designs are textured patterns such as fake alligator or an intricate floral motif.

Embossing is a form of tooled leather which encompasses leather that has been worked into a decorative design. Tooled leather can also be a design that has been cut or carved.

Embossing leather takes three basic of tools, a mallet, a die, and an embossing wheel. A steel die, think short heavy metal rod, which has a design on one end and the other end for hitting with a mallet. A set of dies, which would have all the letters of the alphabet. A stamp, similar to a cookie cutter or larger based steel die. Lastly, an embossing wheel used to make a continuous pattern, similar to a cowboy's spur, it has a handle on with a rotating wheel at the end. There are also more commercial machines that allow larger companies to mass produce but generally, leather crafting is still a very specialized skill.

When embossing leather it is best to use vegetable tanned leather or specifically tooling leather because this type of leather is soft and flexible. Dampened leather will compress more readily when stamped allowing a deeper impression of the design. This design will stay as the leather dries out but can fade if the leather gets wet. To assist in maintaining both the leather and the impression adding conditioning oils to waterproof the leather is important. Hot stamping is used to add color when imprinting the leather with your monogram or logo. The most commonly used colors are gold and silver but black and dark brown are also viable.

Debossing is similar to embossing except that it uses heat and pressure to imprint the lettering or design. Debossing is an indentation without using color. Hot stamping is used to add color when imprinting the leather with your monogram or logo. The most commonly used colors are gold and silver but black and dark brown are also viable.

Leather carving is another way to create a custom decoration. Carving is also applied to dampened leather to compress a design without actually cutting through the material. To carve leather, the main tools used are called a swivel knife, beveler, seeder, veiner, and background tool. A swivel knife is used to draw along the leather to outline the design and held much like a pencil. The others are similar to stamping or punching which are hit with a mallet to create a three-dimensional effect.

To have a beautiful personalized gift or accessory made consider embossing a leather item to your custom design.


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