Leather Stamping Tools

A carver with leather working experience asked me if the background texturing tools used for leather can be used for wood. The answer is yes, but with a caveat.

I have used leather stamps on several carvings. It's hard to see in this picture, but the backgrounds in this carving are stamped with a leather working tool.

I use a teardrop shaped, cross-hatch stamp the most. Some stamps will not work very well - especially those with much detail. The stamps work by crushing and tearing the wood fibers. The torn wood fibers will remain torn, but the crushed ones will (to some degree) return to their original form. Therefore, stamps are best used for creating texture, but not for detail. Creating texture will also add color since it will reflect light and take finish differently.