Leather Laser Engraving & Cutting: A Comprehensive Guide

Why Leather?

Leather laser engraving and cutting is an efficient way to manufacture, stylize and customize your leather products. Leather is a durable, flexible material made from animal hides that develops a unique patina over time. A major selling point of leather, is its natural breathability which makes it ideal for apparel and accessories. Additionally, the strength makes for a long lifespan which is ideal for daily items like bags and furniture. Another aspect that makes leather a great making material is its malleability; it can easily mold to the shape of the body.

Today, leather is used extensively in accessories, sporting goods, furniture, and many other products. By using laser engraving techniques, crafters can add intricate personalized patterns to leather goods.

laser leather

How will the leather industry develop in the future?

The leather industry will continue evolving by adopting new technologies. Sustainability will be a priority, with greener processes to reduce environmental impact. Now, leather manufacturers are beginning to incorporate more efficient customization techniques like laser engraving and 3D printing. Plant-based and lab-grown leathers will also increase in popularity. Despite the popularity of non-animal alternatives, leather’s natural appeal will persist.

The adoption of new techniques and technologies is likely to drive progress in leatherworking. It’s evident that laser engraving leather is becoming a popular avenue explored by artisans as well as large companies.

How Leather Laser Engraving and Cutting Enhance Processing and Manufacturing?

The laser-cutting industry has revolutionized leather processing with its precision, speed, and flexibility. Here are some main advantages of using laser to process leather:

Where to buy leather

Here are some tips on where and how to buy leather materials:

What are the popular leather products processed by laser?

Laser technology, including leather laser engraving and cutting, is gaining popularity in leather goods for its ability to create intricate designs with minimal waste.

Common leather laser engraving and cutting goods include:

Fashion Leatherwear

Leather jacket – Allowing more intricate shaping and detailing for stylish leather jackets.

Leather pants – Precise laser cuts giving a close, tailored fit.

Leather skirt – Easily create flattering shaping and custom designs and patterns in leather skirts.

Leather boots – Laser perforations add breathability to leather boots.

laser engraving leather belt

Leather Furniture

Leather recliner – Intricate laser cutting shapes ergonomic leather recliners.

Leather couch/sofa – Easily customize panels and designs on leather couches.

Leather chair – Creating complex laser cut leather chair designs.


Leather Accessories

Leather backpacks – Creating durable yet stylish leather backpacks.

Leather purse/wallet – Accurate leather laser engraving and cutting are employed in crafting items like purses and wallets.


Specialty Leather

Leather armour – Shaping lightweight, flexible laser engraved and cut leather armour.

Leather dog collar – Producing customized and durable leather collars.

saddle back leather – Intricately designed saddle leather.


Leather Alternatives

Faux leather – Laser processing mimics the qualities of real leather, including PVC and PU leather.

Vegan leather – Offering animal-free processing of vegan leather.


Tricks and tips for processing leather

Producing quality laser-cut leather requires the right techniques and equipment. There are several key factors: precision clean edges, efficiency, and proper smoke removal during the  laser engraving process. It is also Important to ensure you are using the appropriate power settings, steady motion and so on. More specifically, these techniques involve:

Precise Cuts

Use lower power settings for thin leathers to prevent charring and to make intricate cuts.

Clean Edges

Focus the laser tightly and move quickly to minimize heat damage on cut edges.

Assisted Extraction

Use air assist nozzles to blow away charred debris for cleaner cuts.

Efficient Layout

Arrange pattern pieces closely without overlapping to minimize leather waste.

Steady Motion

Ensure the laser moves at a constant speed for consistent cutting. Use lower speeds on delicate leathers.

Proper Exhaust

An exhaust system removes smoke and particles from your project.
For quality leather processing, you need a laser system with the power, precision and features to ensure high-quality results. The Thunder Laser series of machines listed below have been tested extensively for use on leather products

Recommended Machines for Laser Processing Leather

Nova 35 laser cuter and engraver machine product shot. a white and blue metal machine
Aurora new version of the Thunder Laser engraver machine with the lid closed. Its small enough to sit on a desktop

Laser Cutter-Thunder Nova Series

Work Area
600×400 up to 1600×1000mm
40w,60w,80w, 100w,130w

Laser Engraver-Thunder Odin Series

Work Area
559×381 up to 813×508mm





Laser Marking Machine-Thunder Aurora Series

Work Area

110×110 up to 200×200mm


20w,50w,20w MOPA

Our Nova machines optimize leather processing with fast and precise cutting. The hybrid servo system and dual gas assist enable clean, accurate cuts on leather. Its rigorous production and safety features also make it ideal for reliable, high-quality leather cutting.
Our Odin laser engravers excel at detailing leather with fast engraving speed and high DPI resolution. Its precision motors and smooth rails create accurate 3D effects. For leather crafters seeking quick, versatile, high-quality laser marking, the Odin would be an excellent choice.
Our Aurora machine optimizes precision and sustainability for leather processing. Its high accuracy and custom fonts mark leather with incredible detail. The non-metal marking capacity allows clean laser etching on leather without distortion.

With the right laser machine and techniques, leather can be cut, etched, and marked to perfection. Learn more about Thunder Laser systems at www.thunderlaser.ca.

Common laser processing leather parameters

The table below provides recommended laser settings for using the Nova laser cutting machine to process leather. You can do some testing first to fit the laser-cut leather parameters for a particular use.








Min Power


Max Power


Air Pressure Value
























With adjustable speed, up to 120W of power, and precision cutting, the Nova is optimized for leather processing. By following these guidelines, Nova users can achieve clean, accurate cuts on leather materials. Its pass-through design also improves workflow and material usage efficiency. Overall, the Nova’s capabilities make it an ideal laser system for high-quality leather cutting. Here is a video engraving leather with our laser machine. Check it out to see the effects it can achieve!

General laser processing leather tips

How to Store Leather Properly:

Leather contains oils and moisture. Over time or with improper storage, these oils can evaporate, causing the leather to dry out and stiffen, deteriorating the quality. Proper leather storage should follow these guidelines:
High humidity makes leather absorb excess moisture, causing mould, blemishes and reduced strength, so preventing dampness when storing is crucial. Keep leather in a dry, well-ventilated place out of sunlight and away from masonry, and use anti-mould solutions in wet seasons.
Leather contains oils to maintain softness and luster. High storage temperatures cause moisture evaporation, making leather fibers brittle and prone to cracking and deforming. Accumulated heat also breaks down oils, reducing leather’s durability and flexibility. Do not expose leather to sunlight or heat sources like fires or radiators.
Acidic or alkaline substances corrode leather, causing surface cracks, embrittlement, and reduced elasticity. Do not store leather with soaps, alkalis, chemicals, or certain food items.
Leather’s animal proteins and oils attract insects and rodents. Proper storage must prevent pest access.

Practical Tips for Leather Laser Processing

Leather is a natural material with irregular surface textures and uneven thicknesses, which affects laser engraving leather results. As a result, there are no universal rules for leather laser settings.

If leather deforms during laser cutting, the power is likely too high. Try lowering laser power.

Since leather is natural, it’s best not to use any cleaners. Some cleaners are corrosive and may damage or dry out leather. If cleaning is necessary, first test on leather scraps. Different leathers react differently to the same cleaner, so testing is important.

Faux leathers often have a fabric backing, making their structure more stable. Wet rags or cotton pads can easily wipe away residue.

Laser engraving faux leather can create light color variations when defocused.

Why choose Thunder Laser?

At Thunder Laser, our customers trust the quality of our machines as well as our customer services, which stands out from other laser companies.. If you want to see for yourself, check out our ratings on Trustpilot .

<h3>Shawn Zweibohmer<h3>

Shawn Zweibohmer

Thunder Laser USA Provides Lightning Service!
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We are the PROUD owners of two Thunder Nova CO2 lasers, and wouldn't think about purchasing from anyone else! The product speaks for itself; but, the customer service and support is what puts Thunder Laser above everyone else. You truly are family when you purchase a Thunder - they do everything possible to see you succeed! They get it - you, the maker, produces quality, they look great! That is what it is all about. Oh, and if you ever get the honor of working with Aubrey - she is AMAZING! Thank you so much Aubrey - her customer service is superb! Thanks again!

<h3>Rob Nance<h3>

Rob Nance

Thunder Laser has impressed me so much, will buy again
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Thunder Laser has impressed me so much. I basically uncrated my Nova 51 with nothing other than Fusion 360 and 3D printing experience prior, as a hobbyist. I now have it up and running and my product is launching any day. I've reached out to support for general questions a few times, and they've always been knowledgeable, fast, and friendly. I honestly can't imagine buying a laser from a "higher end" company, Thunder Laser has nailed the goal they set out to do, to bring quality Chinese made products with rigorous engineering and quality control, to the North American market at great prices. I'll definitely be buying another if my business grows as I hope, and I'm excited to see them increasing their lineup into new and exciting territory.

<h3>Tommy Norris<h3>

Tommy Norris

Photo Engraving Course
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Chris L. conducted our class on photo engraving with the utmost professionalism and attention to detail. His exceptional experience, knowledge, and teaching ability, allowed us to learn the steps involved in adjusting images and settings to engrave photos. He was able to explain the steps involved, in order for us to understand what exactly we were looking for in the program as well as the end result. If you have the ability to take any of his classes I highly recommend them. We look forward to our next training session.

<h3>Holter Ridge Design Studios<h3>

Holter Ridge Design Studios

Exceptional Product&Outstanding Service
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After researching several laser brands over a 6-month period (and sitting in on weekly calls with Brian) we purchased our first laser (a Nova 24) from Thunder Laser in 2020. We have been so impressed with our machine's performance, the customer service, the knowledge database, & the Thunder community that we knew our next laser would be from Thunder as well. Our second laser (a Nova 51) just arrived today. Aubrey, our sales representative, was exceptional - she went above & beyond to work with our requests. Communication for our delivery was very thorough from the time it hit the port (Randy) to the local hub (Cheryl & Sherrie) to our doorstep (Chayne). Chris responded within minutes when we had questions while uncrating the machine. Thank you all for making our experience so pleasant. Keep up the great work!

Contact Thunder Laser Canada

We became reps for Thunder Laser in Canada, because we are makers ourselves. After using many different types of laser machines over the years, we decided we like Thunder Lasers the best!

Our team is based all over Canada, but our main location and showroom is located at Fuse33 Makerspace in Calgary Alberta. This means, all our members are artists, tradespeople and hobbyists. Our members use our Thunder Laser machines for a wide range of projects. We’ve seen it all!

Let us help you decide which laser machine is best for you according to projects you want to make, space you have available and your budget. We will also help you understand the features and use cases for all of the various add-ons and upgrades available.