Leather craft is a fascinating hobby and many leather jackets artists have taken this way beyond carving initials or embossing a logo. Leather craft requires special tools and specific types of leather
Embossing / Stamping / Tooling
An excellent place to shop, learn about leather craft embossing, and gain knowledge on all types of leather craft information is at eLeatherSupply.com you’ll find tools, hardware, leather, kits, and patterns there.
Embossing is art of creating a three-dimensional image onto leather. The only type of leather you want to try this on is vegetable tanned leather, which may be described as “tooling leather”. With leather craft embossing, you do not need extensive training since all that is required are some special tools, embossing plates or wheels, and some basic leather craft knowledge, which can be learned in a class or even on the Internet.
With embossing, pressure is created from underneath the leather item or from on top. For de-bossing, this is when the design is backwards, created from the top side of the leather, which would produce a sunken look on the other side.
The great thing about embossing is that you do not need extensive training or expensive tools to create a remarkable leather craft piece. The most popular method of embossing involves buying an embossing wheel. These wheels do range in size but the one used most often is one-inch wide made of metal. On the metal wheel are various types of designs that protrude, which is what will set the image into the leather.
You can find embossing wheels with every type of design imaginable. There are flowers, animals, scrolling, geometric designs, and so on. These embossing wheels are very inexpensive and easy to find at any craft, hobby, or leather store. Just keep in mind that if you plan to emboss leather on a regular basis, it would be best to buy the better quality wheel.
This type of leather work involves getting the leather wet so the design of the embossing will dry stiff and stand out more. If you do not have a special embossing wheel, you can use stencils like you would have used in elementary school to trace your initials.
Most hobby stores have a huge selection of stencils to choose from, giving you a good variety. Then, using a hammer made specially for embossing, you would tap out the design in the stencil, producing the embossed design on the other side of the hide.
To give you an idea of what leather craft embossing looks like, if you have ever seen a notary public stamp on an important document such as a marriage license or birth certificate, that raised design is embossed. Keep in mind that the quality of the embossing is dependent on the skill of the person swinging that hammer. The more detailing you see in a piece of embossed leather, the more time and effort it took to achieve it.
This type of stamping is a reference to embossing surfaces that are not colored. On occasion, pigmentation may be added or gold leafing added to enhance the leather craft work.
With stamping, a special press is used that looks like a rubber stamp to create the design. Additionally with leather craft stamping, the design is often not three-dimensional but contrasting colors. The results are very nice but do not have the raised effect you get with embossed leather.
Tooling is an art form that takes time to learn. This type of leather craft involves hand tools like a chisel and hammer to create intricate designs. Look up our article on “Classes” through the link below for more information on where to find quality training for this amazing style of leather craft.