Laser cutting is common in industrial settings, however, working with lasers and leather fabrics is becoming a popular activity that produces fantastic results in the fashion industry as well. However, if you're thinking of dealing laser-cut leather, then there are a couple of things you need to be aware of. Making the wrong move may turn an otherwise good piece of art into a disaster. So here are some of the things you should pay attention to.
Use protective paper backing
One problem with dealing with leather is that it easily burns during laser cutting. That's why large format paper backing is used. This is simply a special paper material applied on the leather surface before you begin any cutting or engraving. It is placed on both faces of the leather to reduce the surface burns that the laser may impose on the material. However, you need to be careful when peeling off such protective material once you're done. It may easily damage or rip off the leather surface and destroy the engraving.
You could also use compressed air to reduce the burning effect. Simply direct the air on the area you're working on to prevent any soot from settling on your leather. You'll be more likely to get a product with no stains or burn marks.
Beware of the cutting beam width
When dealing with patterns that lie very close to each other, you need to properly fine tune your laser beam. Having a 0.3mm beam, for instance, on a pattern with lines that are almost 0.5mm apart is asking for trouble. Leather is pretty sensitive and the beam will cause a flimsy-looking pattern when it completely obliterates the lines.
Here's where you need to get the smallest spot size possible. You can use trial and error on a piece of paper before you start working on the leather. Test different heights and fine tune the beam to the optimum result. The focal length of your lens can give you a pretty good starting distance. Having a smaller spot size will also keep the burn marks at a low.
Keep the hides flat
You need to ensure that your hides are as flat as possible. When storing them, ensure they are not rolled for long periods because that will create a curve that can cause problems during engraving. Even a slight curve will make it difficult for you to properly manage the laser beam and give an even engraving. Some areas will be deeply engraved as compared to others. The final outcome is not pretty.Share