Definition of Burnishing
Burnishing is a leatherworking technique that involves rubbing the surface of leather with a burnishing tool or bone folder to create a smooth and polished edge.
This process compresses the fibers of the leather to create a tight and durable edge that’s resistant to fraying or unraveling.
Burnishing is used on a variety of leather products such as belts, wallets, and bags to give them a professional and finished look.
Here are the steps to burnishing:
- The leather is cut to the desired size and shape, then the edges are beveled to a 45-degree angle using a leather skiving knife. This creates a smooth and tapered edge that will be easier to burnish.
- The edges are moistened with water or a burnishing agent to help soften the fibers and make them more pliable. This step is important because it allows the fibers to be compressed and smoothed during the burnishing process.
- A burnishing tool or bone folder is used to rub the edge of the leather in a back-and-forth motion while applying pressure to compress and smooth the fibers. This can be done by hand or with a rotary tool or drill press.
- Friction is applied to the edge of the leather using a canvas or denim cloth to create heat and further compress the fibers. This step helps to polish the edge and make it even smoother.
- Wax or leather balm is applied to the edge of the leather to further seal and protect it from moisture and wear. This also adds a glossy finish to the edge.
American Bench Craft belts are burnished to give them a smooth and durable edge. Additionally, we’ve left the inner side of the belts unfinished to give them a rugged, natural look.
Burnishing is a simple but effective way to enhance the look and durability of your leather products and you can customize it to achieve different levels of shine and finish.
With a little practice and patience, you can master the art of burnishing and add a professional touch to your leather projects.
Here are some of the benefits of burnishing:
|Burnishing creates a smooth and polished edge on leather products, enhancing their appearance
|Burnished belt edges
|The compressed and smoothed fibers result in a tight and durable edge resistant to fraying
|Long-lasting wallet edges
|Burnishing adds a professional and finished look to leather items, giving them a high-quality finish
|Polished bag edges
|The level of shine and finish achieved through burnishing can be customized to suit preferences
|Matte or glossy burnished edges
|Applying wax or leather balm during burnishing helps seal and protect the edge from moisture
|Water-resistant belt edges
Example of Burnishing in a sentence
“After dyeing the belt’s edges, the artisan burnished them with a special tool.”
Polish, shine, buff.
Related terms for Burnishing