Have you ever wondered how to remove embossing from leather? Perhaps you have a perfect piece that wants the name taking off it or has a mistake somewhere, and you want to get rid of the embossing – but can this be done and should you attempt it at home, or get a professional to do it for you? Embossing is a major alteration to the leather, so how easy is it to get rid of without ruining the item that was embossed?
Embossing isn’t easy to remove from leather, as it is intended to permanently change the surface of the material, and changing it back so that the marks are completely gone is pretty much impossible. However, you may be able to reduce the embossing, depending on the kind of leather and the kind of embossing that has been used, so you may want to give this a go yourself at home. If you do, you should try to find out what sort of leather you’re handling so you can figure out the best removal method.
If you are going to attempt to remove the embossing, you should be prepared for some marks to remain, and you should also be aware that you may damage the appearance of the leather in the surrounding area, as the finish may be affected by whatever technique you try. However, if you have some embossing that you really want to get rid of, it may be possible to do so if you are lucky.
How To Remove Embossing From Leather!
There are a few different techniques that may allow you to remove embossing from leather, but the most successful is likely to be soaking it in water and then heating it, because this will affect the grains of the material. When leather is embossed (or debossed, which is the word for compressing the leather), the fibers are pressed or raised into a specific pattern, so you essentially need to make the fibers move back into their original position.
The best way to do this is usually to soak the leather thoroughly so that the fibers are loosened and softened, and then heat it so that they swell and dry in a new position. This will usually result in the embossing or debossing being softened and the pattern becoming less obvious; it will pull the fibers closer to their original position in the texture of the leather, softening the overall appearance of the leather’s surface. This is generally enough to hide the embossing.
Other techniques, such as dampening the leather, covering it with a cloth, and then ironing over it can help to lift the embossing out and make it less visible. However, not all kinds of embossing can be removed, and embossing on certain kinds of leather (such as suede) is permanent; you will not be able to get rid of this, no matter what you do to it. You may also find that even if the embossing is lifted out, a small mark remains.
Is It Worth Debossing Leather Yourself At Home?
If you really want to remove the embossing from a piece of leather, you may feel that it is worth doing this yourself at home, but the amount of work needed will depend on the size of the embossing and the mark you are working with. For example, if you need to sand the surface of the leather first and the mark is large and unlikely to come out well, you may feel it isn’t worth trying. If you can simply wet and warm a small mark, it might be worth a go.
Removing the embossing from leather shouldn’t take long if it is going to work; you only need to dampen and heat the surface, so you can generally do it in under an hour, unless it is a particularly large mark. You should work slowly so you can check whether you are damaging the leather and stop if necessary, but even a fairly large piece of embossing shouldn’t take long to work on using the wet and heat method. It is usually worth trying yourself at home unless you are extremely pressed for time.
It isn’t worth trying to remove embossing or debossing from certain kinds of leather, such as suede, because you will not be able to do this. However, nor will a professional service, so if you are determined to try, you may as well do so at home.
Can You Cause Damage When You Deboss Leather?
You might cause damage to the surface of the leather when you try to remove the embossing, as both water and heat can affect the appearance and may leave permanent marks. If possible, test your method on an inconspicuous part of the leather before you try it on the main area to see whether the leather responds badly to the moisture and warmth. If it does, you may wish not to remove the embossing from the leather, because it will leave bad stains in its place.
If you can’t test a small area, you should begin this project knowing that you may leave permanent marks in place of the embossing. Many people do successfully remove some embossing from leather without marking it, but it’s important to be prepared for this to go wrong.
If you don’t want to risk this, you might want to consider covering up embossing instead. A small piece of tooled leather could be used to hide it.
So, if you’ve been wondering how to remove embossing from leather, you now know the top technique – but bear in mind that this isn’t always successful and it will only work on certain kinds of leather. Be careful about applying both moisture and heat, and do as much research into the kind of leather as possible before you start. This should reduce the risk of you accidentally damaging it, but this is always a possibility, so try to patch test the leather first if you can, before treating a large area.