Unlock Membership Benefits
  • Spend $1, Earn 1 Point
  • 10% OFF on accessories
  • $10 OFF on materials
Unlock Membership Benefits
  • Spend $1, Earn 1 Point
  • 10% OFF on accessories
  • $10 OFF on materials

Fabric Laser Cutting: The Ultimate Guide

by Winnie Li Posted on March 03, 2023

Laser machines have made cutting and engraving fabric a lot easier than ever before. They offer precise, accurate, clean, and quick results without wear and tear. Such an outcome is not possible by using any kind of handheld or automatic machine that makes mechanical contact with the fabric.

laser cut felt pockets

You can cut and engrave fabric using a laser cutting machine, but for that, you need to understand which machine is suitable, how you can achieve the best results, and where you can apply them. If you are looking for a laser cutter for fabric and want to know everything about it, read this complete guide on fabric laser cutting before you make a decision.

Table of Content

  • Advantages of Laser Cutting and Engraving Fabric 
  • What Types of Fabric and Textile Can be Laser Cut/Engraved?
  • Applications of Laser Processing Fabrics and Textiles
  • Choosing the Right Laser Cutting Machine for Fabric and Textile
  • Best Laser Cutter for Fabric and Textile
  • Tips for Getting the Best Results for Laser Cutting and Engraving Fabric
  • Conclusion

Advantages of Laser Cutting Fabric

With their exceptional precision, laser cutting machines are capable of cutting through almost any material. Among the many applications of these machines, fabrics and textiles have become a popular area of use. 

Unlike traditional cutting methods that require pressure, there is no direct contacnt between the fabric and the laser cutting machine, thus eliminating the risk of rough edges or fraying. 

Precision is key when cutting fabrics.  Laser cutting machines are software-controlled, which can minimize errors and flaws in the cutting process and guarantee the same cut every time if programmed correctly. This level of consistency speeds up the production and produces fabric materials with intricate designs that are free from discoloration, deformities, and uneven edges. As a result, laser cut fabrics are commonly used in industries like luxury apparel which require a high level of precision.

What Types of Fabric Can be Laser Cut and Engraved?

Laser cutting and laser engraving can be performed on a wide range of fabrics and textiles, including natural fibers, as well as synthetic materials. Here are some of the most common fabrics and textiles that can be laser cut and engraved:

  • Denim
  • Linen
  • Felt
  • Satin 
  • Silk 
  • Polyester
  • Cotton
  • Fleece

However, it's worth noting that some fabrics may require different settings and techniques depending on their thickness, texture, and composition. Additionally, some materials may emit fumes or release hazardous particles when laser cut, so it's important to use appropriate safety measures and follow recommended guidelines when working with these materials.

Applications of Fabric Laser Cutting

Laser processing has revolutionized the textile industry by enabling precise and accurate cutting, engraving, and marking of fabrics and textiles. Here are some of the applications of laser processing in the textile industry:

Cutting Designs

If you try to cut silk and similar fabrics with scissors or any other mechanical tool, you will see threads coming out from the cut. No matter how hard you try to cut those fabrics, you can never achieve perfection. However, if you laser cut such fabrics, you will get a sharp edge with no threads. It is because of the heat that the laser produces, and it binds the treads and creates a seal.

laser cut clothing & dress

image credit: Whenthebeestingsusa - Etsy 

Thus, the laser is an ideal option for cutting fabrics with utmost precision, cleanliness, and no fraying.

The most important thing about laser machines is their accuracy. You can accurately cut any type of design. No matter how intricate the design is, it will offer you perfect results in no time,  making it a very popular method of cutting intricate designs in the clothing industry.

Engraving Patterns

Laser cutting machines can also engrave fabrics. With the help of laser machines, you can make lighter or darker patterns on fleece, leather, quilting fabric, denim, cotton, and some other fabrics. 

laser engraved patterns on fabric

The final patterns are quite neat and precise, and the result of the laser is more than satisfactory. In some fabrics, you can also control the power of the laser to get multiple shades of a color.


You can make customized dresses using laser cutting machines. For instance, fleece jackets and bathrobes can be engraved and customized according to the buyer. Many spa owners get their bathrobes customized using laser machines because the engraving lasts for a long time and looks amazing.

Cutting Layers

The multiple layers of dresses can be precisely cut using a laser cutter. If there is any design, it can be cut through the laser and pasted or stitched to the dress. It makes cutting different layers of dress and fabric a lot easier.

Choosing the Right Fabric Laser Cutter

You can find different types of laser cutting machines on the market, but not all of them are suitable for cutting and engraving fabric. According to textile and fabric experts, a CO2 laser cutter is the best option if you want to cut and engrave fabric. The wavelength of a CO2 laser is in the infrared region, which is why it can easily be absorbed by the fabric and a wide range of non-metals. It is very useful for cutting and engraving natural and synthetic fabric.

For commercial and bulk manufacturing, large CO2 lasers are suitable. You will find CO2 lasers in almost all textile industries. But you can also get a desktop CO2 laser for cutting fabrics at home.

Diode lasers can also be used for laser fabric cutting and engraving, and they are quite affordable. They are available at a fraction of the price of CO2 lasers. For DIY projects and small businesses, a diode laser can also be a good option.

You also need to look at the features of the machine. The most important thing is fire safety. While laser cutting on fabric, the material is prone to catch fire. Thus, the machine should have a detection or safety system. 

Best Laser Cutter for Fabric and Textile

xTool D1 Pro

xTool D1 Pro is a diode laser cutter and engraver perfect for home and small space use. It offers exceptional results on fabrics and cuts and engraves them flawlessly. You can use it on a wide range of fabrics by controlling the power and speed.

The 20W or 10W module is more than enough and merely takes seconds to cut the desired shape from the fabric. It is more powerful than the common diode laser machines, and that is why it can easily cut fabric and even hard materials without any hassle. The speed can be up to 400mm/s; therefore, it can complete the job at an ultra-fast speed.

It prevents the fraying of the cloth after cutting and offers ultimate precision and accuracy. The movement accuracy of the machine can reach up to 0.0004 inches, which means it can make intricate designs with perfection.

You can even cut intricate mandala art on fabric without any hassle. In addition to that, the laser spot measures only 0.08 x 0.10mm; thus, it is capable enough to consider the tiny and minute details.

The working area of the machine is 430 x 390mm, which is more than enough for cutting fabric design. However, you can also attach the extension kit and double the area of the machine. So you can cut large fabric designs easily.

The most important thing about the laser machine is its safety. Fabrics are prone to catching fire, so it requires utmost attention. In case of fire, the machine stops immediately. You can also attach the xTool Fire Safety kit to detect the fire and extinguish it automatically. 

Besides fabrics, the machine can work with a wide range of materials, including wood, acrylic, ceramics, stone, and metals. It is a versatile machine that you can use for your small business. The notable feature is that you can upgrade the machine with new accessories and laser modules to work on a wide range of materials and get quick and flawless results. 

Tips for Getting the Best Results for Laser Cutting on Fabric

Speed and Power Testing

Fabrics are quite delicate, which is why the laser can directly pass through even at low power, and you can even burn them during engraving. Getting the optimal power and speed is necessary, but it is a bit difficult in the case of fabrics. Thus, you can try a few low-power and high-speed settings and compare their results. It will help you select the right settings for the fabric. Make sure to run the speed and power test on a spare piece of fabric. Different fabrics require distinct speed and power settings for the best results.

Right Type of Fabric

All fabrics possess distinct qualities and features. Some of them are ideal for engravings, such as fleece and quilting fabric, while some do not offer significant results, such as silk. Thus, you must know which type of fabric is suitable for laser engraving and which can only be laser cut. Once you pick the right type of fabric and settings, you will get the best results.

Laser head Height

The thickness of fabrics is less than a millimeter in most cases. You need to adjust the height and focus of the laser properly because if you place the laser too near the laser head, there are chances of fire. Therefore, there should be a suitable distance, but do not take the laser too far as it can disturb the focus.

Proper Exhaust

Depending on the type of fabric, there can be a smell due to cutting and engraving. There should be a proper exhaust to remove the smoke and other particles away from the area. It ensures optimal cutting by removing the hot air near the object.

Turn Off Air Assist

Air assist is ideal for laser cutting, but when it comes to cutting fabric, you might need to turn it off. Due to the blow of air, the cut pieces of the fabric can leave their place. These pieces can also stick to the laser head and start a fire. Thus, it is better to turn off the air assist. If you are using air assist, then make sure to secure the fabric using tape, magnets, or anything else.


Laser machines can cut and engrave fabrics better than any other mechanical tool, as there is no point of contact. They ensure perfect results without fraying the fabric or harming it in any way. Thus, it is the perfect choice for textile industries, tailors, and designers. You can go for CO2 laser machines; these are available in various sizes and power ranges. They can work well on almost all types of fabrics. The next option could be a diode laser machine, such as xTool D1 Pro. It is quite affordable and can cut and engrave various fabrics with perfection.

For more questions. Please join our Facebook group to get inspired!

Related Articles