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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

Step 1: Testing

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.

<p>Very cool jacket and you did a great job on it!</p><p>My first attempts at laser engraving denim turned the scraps into dust - or it shredded when any stress was put on the fabric. After I dialed in the power and speed settings I did a vintage jean jacket. The objective was to make it look similar to biker &quot;colors&quot; or a patch jacket. The next step would have been to cut off the sleeves. I think it turned out pretty good for a first try...</p>
<p>Hi! Can I ask what settings you used and what type of denim (brand of jacket, weight of fabric)?</p>
<p>This looks great! Thanks for the great tips on engraving denim... So many do it but this is one of the best quality results I've seen. Great job!</p>
<p>Fantastic, how creative!</p>
<p>This is absolutely amazing; I checked out your quilt on you blog too - definitely rocking the laser - well done! :)</p>
Thanks so much! I'm hoping to share more soon
<p>This is such a cool technique! I love the effect and your design, too!</p>
<p>Thanks! I'm excited to try it out on leather too.</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: I live through my hands, manifesting phantasmagoric creations as proof of my existence
More by wackymacster:Upcycled Jewelry Display CNC Vinyl Spray Painted Chairs Modular 3D Printed Mold Making 
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