While traditional leather tooling is pressure based and utilizes a cold stamp and mallet, you can get equally impressive results with an electric brand using the “hot stamping” technique.
Leather hot stamping is especially beneficial in cases where you’re stamping a large quantity of items, or when you’re going to be using the same, consistent design.
Check out our guide to learn how to stamp leather with an electric branding iron.
Hot Stamping Steps
1. Set the desired temperature and allow your electric brand to heat; lower temperatures or exposure times will produce less prominent marks, while higher or longer ones will produce deeper marks.
Note: If you leave the brand on the leather a long time, it will produce a blackened or “scorched” print.
2. Dip a sponge or cloth in water, squeeze it, then wipe across leather where you’ll be stamping until the area is darkened.
Note: if you have a hard time getting the leather to darken, it may have been treated, making it unabsorbent. You may need a different piece of leather depending on the level of treatment.
3. Place the electric branding iron on the darkened portion of leather. Apply even and consistent pressure and avoid letting the brand move or rock– shifting will cause a “double stamp” or parallax effect.
Note: The water and heat do most of the work, so excessive pressure on the brand is not required.
4. Remove the brand and inspect stamped area. It should be darker and appear “pressed”
or in lower relief than the leather around it. If neither of the above are visible, the leather might be treated, too thick, or not enough water was used -- try again on a new piece of leather.
5. Allow the leather to dry, and you’re done!
The hot stamping technique can be used for a variety of purposes – be it custom leather purses and wallets, horse tack, leather wraps for cozies and drink holders, clothing and accessories, or another creative endeavor. If you’re looking for a professional finish, hot stamping with an electric branding iron is the way to go!