Digital leatherwork

I just made my first ever leather thing.

With some help from this book

Laser cut the shape and the stitching holes and then saddle stitched the cover together. The flower stamp I 3D printed and pushed in with a bench press. Probably needs to be a bit sharper…

The whole process was really easy, and I think looks great even if I say so myself.!


Hi Rich,
showed this to my other 1/2 , an ex-prof. leather carver and she was well impressed with the hole cutting!
Laser cut holes will have no weak points unlike those made with an awl.
To get the leaf impression to stay really requires the top layer of the leather to be cut and one side pressed down.


Hi @RichM, I have a leather project in mind and wanted to know more about using a laser cutter on leather. I have the following pelts which I believe are 1mm thick, so quite flimsy.

What is the bed size of the leather cutter?
Can the laser cutter in the maker space cut leather? And how thick?
What would recommend with regards to stitching and pattern making?

Thanks for your help

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@StudioNelle has some deep knowledge of this and might be able to advise

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Hi Matt

Do you know if this is chrome or veg tanned leather? If it’s chrome I wouldn’t use the laser cutter as it will release some pretty nasty chemicals.

Personally. I would suggest using the laser cutter to cut some templates to cut around out of acrylic.

However if you prefer to cut straight onto leather it will cut it in the laser but it skin has it’s own individual character 1mm lamb skin wont cut the same as 1mm cow hide. So will have to have a play. Trotec has ome sample settings here You can also have a look under my name in laser settings to create your own cutting speeds and power.

It might also be worth cutting under a flat piece of wood with leather taped to it to avoid uneven cutting.

Your welcome to drop me a message. If you need more guidence.



Hi Chantelle,

Thanks for the tips, you have saved me alot of head scratching. I’ll have a think about my designs and if it’s a repeating design then a stencil might be the best option. I also like the wood sandwich suggestion.

Is there away to test whether it’s veg tab or chrome? Like a flame test?

Once I have some design ideas I will post them below.

Sorry only just seen this. One way to tell is if you look at the edge of the leather if there is a fine layer of white running through. It has been chrome tanned. Another is smell, you can sometimes smell the chemical treatment if heavily treated. In general veg tanned leather is stiffer and less flexible and bendy than chrome, but not absolutely always. Oh and the back of the leather will give a clue - i should do a class!