This is my first attempt at etching denim and I'm officially hooked! My goal for this project was to jazz up an old denim jacket I never wear using the Trotec Laser Cutter at TechShop Pittsburgh.
As a textile artist, I'm experimenting with ways to incorporate lasers and fabric. Here is an example of a 100" square quilt that includes laser cut thrift store clothes: http://mitchcollective.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/cr...
The image for this laser etch came from a reductive screen print I made. I simplified the skull and created a vector file that can now be implemented in many different CNC machines. You can see more of my work at www.sienabaldi.com
After talking to a laser cutter guru about the prospect of etching denim, it was suggested to start out with the settings for paper and go from there. I had a scrap piece of denim to test out different settings. I found that the paper setting of power 42 speed 100 made hardly any image whatsoever so I upped the power.
Test A is two passes at power 60 speed 100 and Test B is two passes at power 80 speed 100. The test piece of denim was lighter than the actual jacket, but I was pleased with the visibility from Test B and opted to give those settings a whirl.