There are certainly different kinds of leather used for various leather items but when it comes to pyrography, what’s the best leather you can use? In this article, I answer this question and make a couple recommendations of some of the best leathers you could use for your pyrography.
So, what’s the best leather for pyrography? The best leather for pyrography is the vegetable tanned leather, also known as veg-tan or tooling leather. This is because non-vegetable tanned leather contain harmful chemicals that will be released when the leather is burnt with a pyrography tool.
Here are 5 examples of vegetable tanned leather that’s best for pyrography.
There are couple more reasons why vegetable tanned leather is absolutely the best leather for pyrography. Keep reading to find out more!
3 Reasons Why Vegetable Tanned Leather is Best For Pyrography
Vegetable tanning is one of the processes of turning raw animal hides into leather. It entails the use of plant extracts such as tree backs, leaves, roots, etc. The ingredients used in vegetable tanning makes it one of the most non-chemical processes for turning raw skins into leather.
You can check out an article I wrote earlier on over here to learn more about vegetable tanning.
Here are a couple of reasons why the vegetable tanned leather is a truly awesome material for pyrography.
1. Not a Flammable Material
The most crucial part of pyrography is that it makes use of heat. So you wouldn’t want to apply heat on any material that can easily catch fire. This makes the vegetable tanned leather ideal because of the absence flammable substances.
Vegetable tanned leather won’t catch fire, at worse, what will happen is, if the vegetable tanned leather is very light, the heat from the soldering iron or leather burning tool used will cause the leather to wrinkle, shrink or curl.
2. Veg-Tanned Leather Is Non Toxic
When doing pyrography, the surface of the leather being burnt could release toxic substances that can be inhaled. These substances will often be basically whatever chemicals used for the preparation of the leather.
If the leather is vegetable tanned leather, chances are if it’s got from a trusted leather maker, it will have no toxicity.
On the contrary, if the leather is artificial leather, which is often made from polyvinyl chloride, a highly toxic material, can cause a lot of problems to the health of the user when it’s exposed to heat.
For the best result in leather pyrography, you would want a raw hide or vegetable tanned leather only. Never consider using any type of dyed leathers to avoid burning the chemical components as well as the leather.
3. Grain Surface Quality
Natural vegetable tanned leather burns beautifully. The beautiful grain surface textures of the vegetable tanned leather takes burns and creates unique variations that is often hard to achieve with most materials when doing pyrography.
The chief characteristics of vegetable leather is that it doesn’t melt or burst into flames with heat contact unlike how synthetic leathers like vinyl, patent leather, etc would.
Buying Guide For The Best Leather For Pyrography
There are a couple of things you might want to consider when choosing the best leather (vegetable tanned leather) for pyrography.
Since this is a simple straightforward search for something which is vegetable tanned and not chemically made, you might only have to consider the color of the vegetable tanned leather and the weight of the leather.
Color of the Leather:
The color of vegetable tanned leather you would choose for your leather pyrography is of great important. Generally, undyed vegetable tanned leathers will come with a range of light brown khaki colors. In some cases, depending on the plant extracts used might darken the leather quite a bit to something more in the dark brown tones.
So you might want to choose wisely. Since with pyrography most of the time you will be working in monochrome, super light colored leathers for pyrography means your tones are going to exceptionally visible and even if your tools are not the best of the best quality in terms of how much burns it’s able to create, you will still do a good job.
This is not to alienate the outstanding outcomes you could have with darker leathers. Sometimes you might just want your burns to be subtle and not show too much or blend nicely with the dark shades of the leather.
So when it comes down to it, it’s all about knowing the shade of leather color to use that can bring out your pyrography!
The Leather Weight Best For Pyrography
Having to do pyrography on Leather is an awesome delight. What you essentially do is to burn the design onto the leather. The tonal range you will get burning designs on leather is just awesome and satisfying.
The lines, shapes, and the shading you render will burn clean and crisp like you added some form of pigment. Natural leather is indeed a truly versatile material.
While you can achieve great effects with your leather pyrography on the vegetable tanned natural leather , it’s however, impossible if you use a super lightweight leather.
The natural leather you buy would come in a wide range of thickness or weights. The weights of leather is usually measured in ounces (oz) and can be measured using a leather thickness gauge.
So the best leather weights you would want to use for your leather pyrography should be not less than 3 ounce if you’re not going to do any heavy burning, probably just branding. But for heavier burns or detailed burns with 3 to 4 tones or shades, then you need vegetable tanned leather not less than 4-6 ounce.
You can as well use any type of heavy leather like the saddle skirting leather and even more heavier leather like the 16-32 ounce leathers for your beautiful leather pyrography.
Best Leather For Pyrography – Reviews
Here are a couple of vegetable tanned leather recommendations that would be perfect and suitable for any type of leather pyrography techniques you would want to use. So in no particular order:
1. Sepici Hand and Leather Craft Veg Tan Leather – (5-9 ounce Bull & Cow Hide Leathers)
5-6 Ounce Leather
8-9 Ounce Leather
The Sepici Veg tan leather have a 5-6 oz & an 8-9 oz A grade tooling leather. This means it’s of good quality and offers the right thicknesses and weight for a perfect pyrography.
Their colors is great and because of this, you will be able to render a lot of tones for your beautiful patterns, designs, or writings.
With this being a full grain leather, you’re assured of high quality leather that will offer you surface textures that will make your pyrography truly unique.
If you’re interest in the Sepici Hand and Leather Craft Veg Tan Leather, you can check it out the 5-6 ounce bull hide over here or the 8-9 oz Cowhide Shoulder here on Amazon for pricing and other details.
2. Jeereal (3.5-4 & 4.5-5 ounce Cowhide Leather)
3.5-4 ounce Cowhide Leather
4.5-5 ounce Cowhide Leather
This 3.5-4 and 4.5-5 ounce vegetable tanned from Jeereal are another great choice of leather for pyrography. The leather is a full grain, meaning it inherits all the naturalness you would want in a high quality leather.
The weight of the leather is 3.5-4 and 4.5-5 ounce is just about the right thickness if you want to put do some pyrography on handbags, backpacks, harness, insoles, shoes, belts and other leather products.
The color this leather comes in is really light and even if it’s dyed lightly after your pyrography is complete, the burns will still stand out. As shown above, Jeereal also has a dark shade of brown which will also be suitable for pyrography with dark colored schemes.
If you’re interested in the Jeereal 3.5-4 ounce Cowhide Leather, you can check it out over here or you can check out their 4.5-5oz here on Amazon for additional product information.
3. Muse Vegetable Tanned Leather – (5-6 ounce Flawless Bull Hide leather)
The Muse Vegetable Tanned Leather is an A Grade European imported tooling leather and with its 5-6 ounce thickness and a flawless grain surface makes it perfect leather for pyrography.
This full grain bull hide leather Ian particularly special because it’s going to offer you a clean surface with no scratches, holes, or stains like most natural full grain vegetable tanned leather.
If you’re interested in the Muse 5-6 ounce Vegetable Tanned bull hide Leather, you can check it out over here on Amazon!
4. Stonestreet Premium Veg Tan – (5-7 oz Cowhide Leather Shoulder)
This leather from Stonestreet is a B Grade single cowhide shoulder. It’s full grain leather and vegetable tanned. It’s very firm in hand and offers a good combination of perfect color and weight to make your leather pyrography a true masterpiece.
If you’re interested in the Stonestreet leather, you can check it out over here on Amazon for information about pricing, availability, and shipping.
5. Springfield’s Full Grain Veg Tan – (7-9 ounce Cowhide Leather)
This 7-9 ounce Cowhide Leather from Springfield leather is a double shoulder craftsman Grade leather. With how thick this leathers is, it’s great for making holsters, knife sheaths, dog collars, etc. and so beautiful pyrography designs can be used to embellish these leather articles.
The color as it were is considered the natural vegetable tanned color which is perfect for pyrography and will allow whatever tones you put on it to stand out. It’s a Grade C leather and so you can expect some imperfections like tic marks, fat wrinkles, etc.
If you’re interested in Springfield’s 7-9 ounce cowhide full grain veg tan leather, you can check it out over here on Amazon!
Heat Temperature Good For Leather Pyrography
The temperature of the burning tool to be used on the leather is the next most important factor after the right type of leather is chosen. Here’s what I figures helps pretty much for all burning tools.
When starting your pyrography on leather, you would want to set your leather burning tool to about 150 degree F and use that temperature to lay down the image or design outline.
Once the outline is nicely set out, you can now render a second round using an adjusted temperature between 160-170 degrees F to work in and darken the mid-tone sections and details of the overall design.
You can at this point moisten the leather quite a bit, and apply the same heat temperature that is between 160-170 degree F, over the immediately work details.
You can repeat this step if you want to work in a lot more details or add more darker shard. The maximum heat temperature for natural vegetable tanned it to keep it anywhere below 200 degree F.
The key take away is that, you will need a a leather burner that has a temperature adjustment feature to be able to gradually render pyrography in a nice systematic way.
You can check out this article I wrote earlier where I share some awesome leather burning tools recommendations, helpful tips, and how to use them. You will definitely find leather burning tools that are very easy to adjust and comes with very comprehensible digital or color coded temperature readings.