Leather burning tools

Written by neal litherland
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Leather burning tools
(leather bracelet image by Eugene Tokarev from Fotolia.com)

Leather burning tools are used to burn custom patterns into leather items such as vests, boots and bracers. The tools that you use for burning leather are similar, if not identical in many instances, to the tools you use to burn wood or other types of material for pyrography. It's the technique you use that is slightly different.

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Stylus

The main tool to use for leather burning, as well as wood burning, is the stylus, which is an instrument that looks similar to a wide pen with an electric cord that comes out of the rear and plugs into the wall. A grip made of a material that doesn't conduct heat, such as cork, is often around the area near the front of the pen. The stylus only takes one hand to use, which gives you a free hand to manipulate your leather, hold it down or hold a light source in the proper place so you can see what you're doing.

Nibs

The stylus is the tool that you hold and which creates the heat. However, the end that you use for marking the leather is called the nib, and it's interchangeable. Broad nibs are available for thick lines and narrow nibs for thinner, more detailed lines. Because you can change out the nibs, you only need one stylus but can have an entire selection of nibs. Some of them are small shapes, allowing you to brand your leather rather than drawing shapes on it.

Marking Tools

You want some type of pattern to follow when you burn leather. Chalk is often used on brown and black leather because it's light and shows up well against dark material. However, you can also use costuming markers and other, wipe-away measures to lay out a pattern on leather. Whatever you use to create your pattern before you begin to burn the leather though, ensure that it doesn't react to heat and that it won't stain the leather you're trying to beautify.

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