Embossing Leather Armour

Hi all,

Creating my first set of gear. Want to get this leather armour -

Is there anyway to Emboss patterns/images onto already made armour? I can’t quite afford to buy any of the incredibly nice pre embossed sets.


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I’m only a beginner leatherworker hobbyist but I have a few methods that you can try.

First is burning. You can use hot wire (requires a lot of patience reheating it every 2 seconds) or buy a handheld electric engraver online (£10). Then simply lightly touch your tool to leather to burn in your design. If you choose to do this you have to practice first because if you press too hard or hold for too long the leather will split and break. It won’t show up as well on darker leather but it is still kind of visible. I should also warn you it smells awful.

The other is using leather stamps. The work like regulaur stamps without the ink. You place the stamp where you want the mark and apply pressure to make a indent. I don’t have much experience with them but I know they are more reliable than burning. They produce the same shape every time and mean you are far more likely to come out with a symmetrical neat design even if you aren’t artistically inclined. Also, they show up great on whatever colour leather. They do have a few problems though. Depending on how detailed you want your armor to be, they could cost a little to a lot. It is about £10 for each stamp so the price starts adding up quickly.

You can make your own stamps out of wood, metal or some plastics but from those you can’t guarantee quailty. Either way I suggest practicing first. You can buy scrap leather for pennies online that you can use for practice or adding extra detailing.

I hope that helped. Good luck with your armour. :slight_smile:

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To do tooling using the stamps that DizzyAcrobat mentioned, you should dampen the leather first.

The technique works better on vegetable-tanned leather than on oil-tanned or mineral-tanned/chrome-tanned.

Good sources for leatherworking supplies include

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The Empire wiki has some pages on leather tooling and embossing:
There it describes embossing by hitting the tools with a mallet, but you can also do it by just pressing: you don’t always have to hit, depending on the effect you want.

Also… as an alternative to embossing the leather armour directly, you could make some embossed/decorated pieces of thin veg-tan leather and attach them to the armour (by sewing, riveting or gluing).

Or the decorative pieces could even be metal!

Also consider the possibilities of painting.

Oh, and as a possible alternative to Mytholon, if you haven’t already then it’s worth a look at http://www.darkbladeuk.co.uk/leather-larp-armour
which I’d trust to be good quality and solidly made (to your measurements!), and there’s always a Darkblade tent selling kit at PD events… useful in case you ever need things repaired!

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I will second this, the guy who makes this is very helpful and friendly and has a shop outside Manchester.

I think they should be selling. Take a closer look at the options here https://leather-toolkits.com/blog/how-to-emboss-leather/ maybe something you will like/