I have a question not really about edges but about dying, I was told by someone I buy leather from that when using fiebings oil dye that I should apply a coat of thinner to open the pours...? I was wondering if you had an opinion on this and or a method in which you also followed this procedure. I had been cruising the site looking for a topic on this but to no avail. I am so happy I have found this site and the people here are so honest and generous I look forward to your reply.
have a wonderful day
The first question I would ask is what color dye are you using and where on the leather are you using it? Is it just a highlight or are you dyeing the entire piece?
I use the alcohol dyes rather than the oil dyes, mostly because that was what I learned on and am most comfortable with. Also, 90% of my dyeing is in the background of my tooling and I use very dark colors. I haven't found a need to do anything to the leather to accomodate this type of dye.
When I am ready to dye my backgrounds I clean the surface of the leather with oxalic acid. This removes any soiling picked up off the bench as well as oils from my hands that are left on the leather. I feel strongly that the this cleaning makes a difference when I begin applying my finishes such as antiques. So it holds for me that it will be beneficial when dyeing the leather with medium or light colored dyes as well. By cleaning the leather you are removing anything which may inhibit the penetration of the dye or affect the color. For the dark colors, I doubt you would notice any difference whether you are using oil dyes (which aren't really oil at all) or alcohol dyes. Using oxalic acid is just a good habit to get into to help keep everything as clean as possible. I can see where applying a coat of thinner may help increase the penetration of the oil dye. I have just never seen the point in using it on what I do because the alcohol dyes work so well. The alcohol dyes dry much faster than the oil dyes do, which I think is a positive side benefit.
I hope this answers you questions...
Thanks so much for the brilliant tutorial!
However, I have a stupid question: Edging should be one of the last steps in the piece, right? After dying/staining the tooling but before the finish?
For me the answer to your question is yes, that's the best sequence. There are, however, times when I will edge and dye before I apply any antiques only becasue the sequence of assembly requires it. I was taught to edge and dye right after tooling, but I like to get some of the finishes out of the way first. It helps me create neat straight lines when dyeing the edges and also helps in keeping everything clean along the way. It's not critical, it just works a little to my advantage to do it this way.
Hope this helps....