Leather craft is a fascinating hobby and many 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
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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.