Elegant debossed and contrasting patterns are reproduced on the surface of fabrics with lasers or by chemical etching. Just like plastic and paper – check out glowing plastic patterns and precise paper models – many types of textile, including leather, natural and synthetic fabric, can be precisely cut and engraved with lasers. Synthetic textiles are typically made from polyesters, polyamides (nylon) or a combination of the two.
Alternatively, chemical etching can be used to selectively dissolve patterns into fabrics. For example, devoré is the process of dissolving or "burning out" the plant fibres (cellulose-based, such as hemp and cotton) from a textile that includes plant and animal fibres (protein-based, such as wool and silk), or synthetic fibres, to produce a decorative pattern or surface texture. The chemicals do not affect animal or synthetic fibres, so the weave or knit combined with the etching pattern will determine the finished appearance.