FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What do you do? [+]
From custom etched glass keepsakes to branded gifts and just-for-fun items, National Etching makes it easy to say something special for any occasion. We design and manufacture a wide variety of etched products for retail, wholesale, and private label marketplaces. National Etching’s selection makes it easy to find just the right product, but if you need a unique image or saying on your glass, crystal, wood, or metal item, we offer the highest quality etching in the business.
What’s your story? [+]
Do you etch glassybaby? [+]
We do. We are glass etching specialists and have extensive experience hand etching high-end products including customer-supplied glassybaby votives, drinkers, and rockers. Please see our glassybaby gallery for examples of our etching and color fill work. Votives, drinkers, and rockers can be shipped directly to us from glassybaby or feel free to bring them to our shop in Issaquah, WA. We provide electronic proofs 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.
What kind of packaging do you use? [+]
What are the different types of glass decoration? [+]
Glass Decorating Methods Comparison: Sandblasting
This is the premier method for etching glassware. Sandblasting 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. 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.
Glass Decorating Methods Comparison: Laser Etching
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.
What kinds of products do you sell?[+]
Where do you make your products?[+]
Where can I buy your products?[+]
Our catalog of ready-made items is here on the nationaletching.com website and many of our products are sold on Amazon, Etsy, and Walmart e-commerce sites. Local customers are welcome to come in to our Issaquah, WA facility to place orders. To show our commitment to quality, National Etching includes a manufacturer’s warranty that covers any defects on our products. This warranty is non-transferable and only valid to the original buyer for purchases made directly from National Etching on any e-commerce platform.
Do you offer custom manufacturing? [+]
We do. 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.
Do you sell wholesale?[+]
Do you offer volume discounts? [+]
Do you have gifts for coaches or sports teams? [+]
Do you have gifts for teacher appreciation? [+]
Do you have products for school auctions and fundraising? [+]
How do I return a product? [+]
Contact us via email or phone (800.932.9273) with any issues within 14 days of delivery. Ship items back within 30 days of delivery. Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.
Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, we can’t accept returns for:
- Custom or personalized orders
- Items on sale
Is my information safe on your site? [+]
Your shipping and billing addresses and contact information are used only for the following:
- To communicate with you about your order
- To fulfill your order
- For legal reasons (like paying taxes)
National Etching keeps your payment information secure.
Do you offer gift wrapping? [+]
How long will it take to get my order? [+]
Individual orders are shipped from our shop within one business day of order (or proof approval if a custom item) and a tracking number is provided. Customers generally receive their order within 5 days. A safe bet would be to assume 5-7 days (we can’t control any of the shipping services). Orders shipping to Canada can take 10-14 days. Corporate and wholesale orders can take longer to produce and customers are advised of timeline with their quote.