What Is Leather Embossing? How To Emboss Leather?

What Is Leather Embossing? How To Emboss Leather?

There are several ways used to create designs on leather, both for ornamental purposes or for personalizing it. One of these methods is leather embossing, where marks are added to leather using different manual or digital techniques.  

Today, we will shed light on the interesting methods of leather embossing, so that you can learn to personalize or beautify your leather product yourself.

What is Leather Embossing?

Leather embossing is imprinting leather by pressing it with a stamp. As a result, a design is created on the smooth leather adding texture to it. Leather embossing can be a simple project such as adding an initial to a keychain, or distinctive, complex embossing on unfinished leather to make different products.  

Types of Leather Embossing

Pertaining to its various uses and popularity, embossing on leather projects can be of different types. 

Blind Embossing

Blind embossing, as the name suggests, is a process where the leather is pressed without using any sort of pigment or color. Only high pressure and heat are used to create the imprint. 

Color Embossing

The addition of colors during the stamping process leaves pigmented designs on the leather, which is called color embossing. Color embossing is a preferred method for complex designs to make them obvious.  

Embossed Crocodile Leather

Also known as croc-embossed leather, the leather is not actually sourced from crocodiles. Instead, an embossing technique is used on cowhide leather to give it a texture and pattern similar to that of real crocodile skin. 

Handbags, boots, and belts made of embossed crocodile leather are quite popular. 

Embossed Snake Leather

Leather embossed to mimic the pattern in snakeskin is called embossed snake leather. 

How to Emboss Leather?

Depending on the type of leather, the leather product, and the type of design required, the way you emboss leather can be different. Whether you do it manually or with a machine, a set of tools are needed to emboss leather.  

Casing the Leather

The general process would always involve making the leather damp, pressing it with the stamp, and keeping it this way for some time for a long lasting result.  

Dampening the leather, also known as casing, is mandatory to achieve a prominent design. It is done to let the leather fibers absorb moisture so that they can better take the embossing.  

While thin leather could be simply cased with a wet sponge, you might need to soak thicker leather in water for a minute. 

Leather Stamping

Stamping on leather is a manual technique for embossing, using metal embossing stamps, and a few other tools. This method of crafting leather requires some expertise, so make sure you practice enough on scraps before attempting to emboss a prized leather product. 

Remember that embossing process with stamping is better done on unfinished vegetable tanned leather, as it is more receptive to pressure as opposed to finished leather. 

Leather Stamping Tools

The basic leather tools you would be needing to do leather stamping are: 

  • 3-D stamps  
  • Metal cylinder  
  • Wooden mallet
  • Leather paint (optional) 

You can buy sets of leather stamps of your choice with a matching sized cylinder online for your embossing projects. For branding a product, you can also order custom leather stamps. Here is the leather stamping procedure. 

Take your piece of unfinished leather, and dampen it with a wet sponge. Soak thicker leather in water for a minute. Put the metal stamp where you want to emboss the leather, and insert the cylinder in its center. 

Hit the stamp with a wooden mallet, repeating till the embossed pattern is formed. Make sure the stamp stays in place while you are hitting it. Apply leather paint or alcohol based paint on the embossed design if desired.  

Clamp Embossing Leather

A C-clamp machine can be used to emboss unfinished leather. With it, you don't need to manually apply pressure to enforce the embossed design on the leather. 

To use a C-clamp embossing process, you can take a piece of leather and case it by swiping it with a damp sponge so that leather absorbs some moisture. Place the leather on the edge of the table where you would fit your C-clamp.  

Put the leather stamp in place and set the top foot of the C-clamp in its center. Bend the clamp so that it applies pressure on the leather stamp. The higher the pressure, the more durable leather embossing would be attained. Let the clamp be in this position for at least 20 minutes to get the desired embossing depth.  Apply leather finishing after the stamping process. 

Machine Embossing Leather

You can also do embossing on leather with a digital embossing machine. The method is commonly known as hot stamping. The temperature settings of the embossing machine can be changed according to the design and thickness of the leather. 

Why is Embossing Done on Leather?

One of the prime reasons to emboss leather is to make it unique. Personalizing a product by ingraining one's logo, name, text, or icon is a nice way to add value to it. Personalized leather products, such as a custom leather jacket or bag, can be a prized heirlooms for generations, with the beautiful embossing being its highlight. 

Other reasons to do embossing are to transform an ordinary product into an exquisite one by adding texture and pattern to it or to hide flaws in leather. 

Difference Between Engraving and Embossing Leather Surface

In leather embossing, you press it with a leather stamp to add a design to it. While engraving leather is referred to as a technique where cutting and scraping are involved to carve out a design on the leather surface.  

Custom Leather Embossing

Buying leather goods is a truly fulfilling journey, especially when you are customizing a product to your own liking. If you want custom embossed leather jackets, Poshele is your one stop solution. You can get any kind of embossing done on your custom leather jacket, including text, monograms, icons, images, or intricate patterns to enhance its appeal. 


Is It Difficult to Emboss on Leather?

Leather embossing is a very simple technique. You need some basic leather embossing tools to get started and practice leather stamping on scrap leather pieces. You must learn to hit the leather stamp without moving it. After achieving some expertise you can begin embossing unfinished leather.  

Is Embossed Leather Real?

Embossing is done using different methods to imprint designs on real unfinished or finished leather. Sometimes, real cowhide can be embossed and finished in a way to imitate crocodile or snake skin. 

Having said that, embossing can be done on faux leather as well, but it gives a plastic appearance and can be easily told apart from real leather that is embossed. 

How Much Does Leather Embossing Cost?

Depending on the complexity of the design, embossing on leather can be inexpensive or costly. Hand embossing is the cheapest, as leather stamps can be bought at a very low cost. 

Embossed leather costs way less than exotic leather, which is why embossed crocodile leather is a sought after choice. 

Can you Remove Embossing on Leather?

You can try to dampen the leather and apply heat to it to remove embossing. However, the embossing can not be completely removed and some of its markings would still be visible.  


If you are interested in leather embossing designs, we have compiled the basic information in this blog to help you understand this amazing technique. Almost all kinds of leather can be embossed, given you have the right tools. The method, if done right, is one of the best ways to add a unique character to your leather product.