National Etching designs and manufactures a wide variety of etched, engraved and marked products for individuals and commercial clients. With state-of-the-art equipment and highly skilled artisans, we offer the highest quality etching in the business.
Yes! We are glass etching specialists and have extensive experience etching and painting high-end products including glassybaby® votives, drinkers, and rockers. We abrasive etch, never laser etch, glassybaby® votives to ensure a high-end finish. We have an assortment of stock designs that are available for any customer-supplied glassybaby® votive.
See our Votive etching page for a wide array of designs for every holiday.
Votives, drinkers, and rockers can be shipped directly to us from glassybaby or dropped off at our shop in Issaquah, WA. We provide electronic proofs for custom designs to ensure we engrave exactly what you want and we keep your artwork on file. We can provide shipping for out-of-town gifting and pack your boxed glassybaby carefully to ensure there is no breakage.
Note: glassybaby is a trademark of glassybaby llc. National Etching is not affiliated with glassybaby, llc.
We are committed to being earth-friendly in all our processes and as such our shipping materials are recyclable. After viewing the movie Trashed, we redesigned our packaging to be recyclable. We now wrap our glassware in paper and pack into cardboard boxes. Our breakage rates are well under 1% with tens of thousands of glassware orders shipped directly to consumers annually. We continue to make improvements in our packaging.
This is the premier method for etching glassware. Sandblasting, also known as Abrasive Etching, produces a deep, permanent mark, and it allows for greater flexibility in design. It produces the best result of all the available methods. Sandblasting is a labor-intensive process. The glasses are first prepped with hand-applied film masks and protective taping. Glasses are blasted with stream of pressurized abrasive in a special cabinet one at a time, then washed and packaged for shipment. At National Etching we use a sandblaster to ensure all our finished glassware is of the highest quality.
Benefits of sandblasting:
Etching is permanent and will never wash, chip, or wear off.
Etched glass has a more elegant appearance with deep and even cuts.
Designs can be extremely intricate.
Limitations of sandblasting:
Color is not an option with etching unless adding paint infill. Etched designs will appear as frosted white on clear and colored glass.
In general, etched glassware is more expensive due to the hand labor required.
Glass Decorating Methods Comparison: Engraving
While many people use the terms etching and engraving interchangeably, they actually mean quite different things. Where etching involves use of pressurized air and abrasive, engraving utilizes a fixed tip (similar to a drill tip) to incise or cut grooves into the surface of the glass. Designs can be quite complex depending on the engraving tip used. Nowadays this is an automated process with machines able to control the tip.
Benefits of engraving:
Engraving is permanent and will never wash, chip or wear off.
Automated process greatly reduces hand labor required.
Ideal for plastic and polycarbonate drinkware.
Limitations of engraving:
Color is not an option with engraving. Engraved designs will appear as frosted white on clear and colored glass.
“Banding” in designs is common, where the grooves cut by the engraving tip are visible.
Complexity of engraved design is limited by the size of the engraving tip.
With laser etching, a laser is used to permanently mark the glass. The laser fractures the glass at a microscopic level, thereby vaporizing it. This technique does not involve the use of abrasive material, tool bits or inks. Rather, the laser acts similarly to a pencil in that the laser beam traces preprogrammed designs. At National Etching, we use a laser for non-glassware applications such as wood, ceramic, and metal.
Benefits of laser etching:
Lasering is permanent and will never wash, chip or wear off.
Automated process greatly reduces hand labor required.
Designs can be quite detailed.
Limitations of laser etching:
Color is not an option with lasering. Lasered designs will appear as frosted white on clear and colored glass.
Lasered glass has an uneven look.
Lasered polycarbonate drinkware turns yellow at cut marks as the chemical composition is altered by the heat.
Glass Decorating Methods Comparison: Printing
Printing designs on glassware is a popular option for large production runs with color or at a lower cost. Designs are laid on screens then ink is pushed through the permeable screen and onto the glass surface. Ink is then cured in an UV light tunnel to increase durability. Screen preparation is labor intensive, thus accounting for high setup charges.
Benefits of printing:
Color! Full color printing is available as well as Pantone color matching.
Lower cost for large production runs.
Limitations of printing:
Durability. Despite claims of inks lasting over 500 dishwasher cycles, this is rarely experienced.
Minimum order size requirements can be daunting.
Screen setup charges can add up, especially with full color designs.
Yes. We take pride in our ability to provide smaller manufacturers the same quality of product, professional caring service, and customization that is typically offered only to large manufacturers. Our modern facility uses state-of-the-art equipment to produce a broad range of customized products using multiple marking capabilities including Laser, Traditional Sandblast, Rotary Engraving, Electro-chemical and UV printing. Please contact us for more information.