Embossing refers to an elegant artistic process that creates a distinct pattern on materials such as metals, papers, woods or leather products. As a matter of fact, the process of embossment has been around for some hundred years and numerous artifacts like leather belts and metal ornaments have attested its presence. Embossing offers a new dimension to any surface and elevates the quality and standard of the product. The embossed dimension can include a distinct pattern, symbols, design, logo or letters.
High quality embossing can transform the simplest of objects into wonderful pieces, adding an astounding aesthetic appeal that is worthy of highest praise! The process of embossing the leather articles blends advanced technology and creativity to impart a ravishing appeal to the end product. Be it engraving a set of initials or a logo in wallets, bags or car holders, custom embossment renders a distinctive look to the products that is complimented by a subtle elegance. Corporate firms often personalize their leather products with custom embossment to offer a definitive identity to the brand. The leather articles can also be personalized by embossing flamboyant designs and patterns, resulting in astounding engraving finishes. Simply put, embossing can turn any kind of leather product into wonderful masterpiece that excels in texture and design.
Methods of Custom Leather Embossing
There are various embossing methods that are popularly used in the industry. The different methods include die or roller embossing, laser embossing and plate embossing. Roller embossing is generally done at the tanneries, especially during leather production process. With roller embossing, the pattern is placed on a big cylinder that slowly whirls over the surface of a flat hide, from one end to the other. Roller embossing method is usually implemented on full hide sizes and prevents the issue of plate lines appearing on the end product.
Another method of leather embossing is laser embossing (also referred as laser etching). In this method, computerized lasers and heat are used to burn patterns onto the surface of the hide. The lasers are programmed to create custom patterns, such as monograms, logos and different unique designs. Custom laser etching requires â€œcamera-readyâ€ artwork and proper dimensions of how the design should be positioned on the cut piece or the hide.
The most conventional method for leather embossment involves the use of plates. In this method, the pattern appears on a flat and rectangular plate which is positioned on the hide. By combining pressure and heat, the pattern from the plate is clasped into the leather. The plate is then moved to another area of the hide and the procedure is repeated till the time the pattern appears clearly over the entire hide. The process of plate embossing is generally done on half hide sizes owing to the platesâ€™ size constraints. Some patterns having a bit bigger larger plate sizes are done on full hides.
Things to Remember
Before plunging on to leather embossing, there are certain aspects that one should remember. Firstly, it is essential to choose proper leather type for a project. The process of leather embossing combines the application of heat and pressure and hence certain leather products might react differently under such conditions. For instance, aniline leatherâ€™s color might get darker on being exposed to pressure and heat and when the embossment process is completed, the color of the product might change drastically. It is imperative to choose the right leather type that would aptly match with the embossing pattern. The pattern may pull out if the leather is too soft or if the pattern lacks the right depth.
Secondly, it is important to know about the direction of the pattern and the pattern repeat. Not every pattern has directional or repeats and hence it is better to have a knowledge on how the pattern appears on the embossing plate and what direction the plate will be placed on the hide. Generally, the plate is horizontally placed on the hide, but the clients can request their service provides to rotate the plate and place it vertically, instead.
Finally, if the appearance of plate lines is a matter of concern, then it is better to inquire about the size of the plate. This will help one to contemplate the probable areas where the overlaps and seams might pop-up on the hide and how could that affect the cutting yields. Garnering such information will ease the entire embossing process, from beginning till the end.
See how it’s done