Laser Marking Leather

Historically speaking, leather has proven to be one of the toughest materials to work with. However, leather marking has become easier and more efficient over time. Nowadays, possibilities for marking the material are seemingly endless thanks to laser marking machines for leather.

This article will examine modern technologies that help manufacturers laser engrave leather with pristine quality.

Leather Types and Their Suitability for Laser Marking

Manufacturers are well aware of the various types of leather on the market, but many struggle to find a way to utilize more than one. Working with numerous types of leather can be costly, inefficient, and a logistical nightmare for some manufacturers. The biggest downside is limited market reach, but this problem has been fixed with the help of laser marking systems.

For starters, let’s take a look at different types of leather and their unique properties:

  • Full-grain: Known to be the highest quality available with a durable surface perfect for laser marking
  • Top-grain: Slightly lower on the list regarding quality but more than suitable for numerous laser engraving applications
  • Corrected grain: Another step down in quality but still widely utilized, you may encounter some inconsistencies in quality
  • Bonded leather: A composite of leather that creates an affordable but less than reliable material

Aside from these categories, it’s important to consider the animal that was involved in creating such a material. Those looking to laser engrave leather should take this into account, as varying animal skins come with unique characteristics.

A few examples include the common and reliable quality of cowhide and the lightweight and soft feel of lambskin. There are many other animals involved in the process, which inherently makes it a vital consideration for laser marking leather. Aside from the differences in leather types, the other side of the coin takes laser marking design into account.

Variations in Laser Marker Technology

The benefits and challenges encountered when laser engraving leather heavily depend on the type of laser marker technology being used. Although it can't be summarized in a single sentence, a quick example would be the difference between a fiber laser marker and a UV laser marker. Both are capable of laser marking leather, but how it's done, the output quality, and the flexibility are all unique specifications.

For manufacturers who appreciate flexibility and work with varying types of leather, hybrid laser markers are a popular solution. The hybrid laser marker offers extreme precision, quality, and flexibility that separates itself from pure fiber laser marking for leather. This opens up many opportunities in various industries that want, or already do, utilize leather.

Applications of Laser Marking in the Leather Industry

From traditional to modernized ideas, you can laser engrave leather for many applications, with the flexibility to adjust production how you see fit. Laser marking machines for leather have broadened the scope of opportunity in application. Thanks to the efficiency and adaptability of CO2 laser markers and other relevant designs, you can take advantage of the following applications in leather marking.

  • Product branding and identification (i.e. logos, trademarks, serial numbers)
  • Product personalization and customization (i.e. monogramming and decorative designs)

These applications are used to mark a wide array of products, such as:

  • Wallets
  • Furniture
  • Pet collars
  • Belts
  • Shoes

All of the benefits found in these modern leather marking applications also offer manufacturers a competitive edge. This particular industry is still going through a modernized shift. Some businesses are still utilizing traditional methods, while others have entirely switched to more modern, adaptable, and efficient processes.

For those looking to start or improve marking operations, it always helps to start with the experts surrounding the technology.

KEYENCE 's Laser Solutions for Leather Marking

As mentioned throughout this article, it's crucial to consider the different types of laser marking technologies. Some are more common or universal than others that deliver more niche outcomes.

Regardless of your operation's specific needs, KEYENCE has all of the tools, resources, and support you need to get the job done. It's understandable that the technology might generate a few questions, and we're more than equipped to provide the education if needed.

We carry a wide range of laser solutions for leather marking, from fiber to telecentric green laser markers and everything in between. If you'd like to explore the topic further, make sure to visit our contact page for one-on-one support.

Related Downloads

Laser Marking Equipment Guidebook

Some laser marking applications require integration with multiple devices. KEYENCE provides a total marking solution, from X/Y stages and indexing systems to head traversal systems. Learn more in this brochure.