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Steps To Dyeing Vegtanned Leather?


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#1 Magsley

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 09:04 PM

So I am making some belts for a costume and they were cut from vegetable tanned leather from Tandy's leather. I didn't really know what I was doing and just applied the dye some pieces that were dry, some that were damp, and some that were wet. When they were dry they were all very stiff and some were very discolored- blotchy and uneven coloring. Some of the belts' edges were slightly curled up too. What are the steps I should take to dye vegtan leather and get a good result? I am using oil-based dye, Fieblings (I think I spelled that wrong). I just would like some clear steps on how to dye my leather and have everything look nice and even! I'm a complete newbie.

#2 electrathon

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 12:32 AM

What I would do: Pour the dye in a pan. Dampen the leather, not that wet, like you are going to tool it. Put on gloves and pull the belt through the dye. Pat the leather dry with a rag. Lay it flat to dry.

Aaron

#3 dirtclod

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 05:05 PM

If you put some conditioner like Lexol ( not a lot i rub it on using a trimmed piece of wool on sheep skin ) on the pieces you have dyed it should help limber them up.
I'm old enough to know that i don't know everything.

#4 Magsley

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 10:00 PM

What I would do: Pour the dye in a pan. Dampen the leather, not that wet, like you are going to tool it. Put on gloves and pull the belt through the dye. Pat the leather dry with a rag. Lay it flat to dry.

Aaron


Okay, so I don't need to clean the leather or anything before I dye it?


If you put some conditioner like Lexol ( not a lot i rub it on using a trimmed piece of wool on sheep skin ) on the pieces you have dyed it should help limber them up.


Would just using it on a rag work? And is Neatsfoot oil about the same thing?

Last night I applied some more dye to the really unevenly colored pieces to try and even them out and it kind of worked, any tips on fixing the pieces besides just blotting dye where its too light? Thanks for your help so far, I'm glad I got the hide on sale so I don't feel bad wasting pieces :)

#5 r lenna

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 09:54 AM

I've had the same problems, I use the same die and I use Purell "the hand cleaner" when the die is still wet the alcohol will even out the die. It will darken in the areas that you use it some. I think its the water that's in it. I would think you could take just alcohol and do the same thing. Thats what I do.. Rob



#6 GlenH

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 04:13 PM

Are you wiping the leather after the dye dries? The "blotchy" looking spots you're talking about could be just pigment that didn't get soaked into the leather. I just take a paper towel and rub it on the leather until it stops picking up the color.

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#7 electrathon

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 12:54 AM

Okay, so I don't need to clean the leather or anything before I dye it?



In general I don't. You can wipe it with deglazer or alcohol if it needs it.

#8 RedDragonShoppe

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 10:06 PM

I do all my dye work dry. When I want a solid color I cut a piece of sheepskin that is as wide and tall as the belt is wide. I then trim the hair down to about a centimeter and use that as my applicator, just rubbing in small circles down the length for the first coat, and then in long passes from tip to end and then end to tip to even it out. I have found that soaking the leather afterwards also evens out the color.

#9 Bob Blea

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 04:53 PM

I have found that soaking the leather afterwards also evens out the color.



When you say soaking, do you mean in the dye or with water? I'm assuming water.....
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#10 Magsley

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 11:09 PM

Thanks for all the tips, I also went back to Tandy's and bought some Neatsfoot oil to combat the stiffness. I've been applying the oil dye on dry leather and it has been working to eaven out the color, except on two stubborn pieces (the only pieces that were tooled). One of the pieces has a bit of a "crackled" look, without actually being cracked...

#11 RedDragonShoppe

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 04:55 AM

When you say soaking, do you mean in the dye or with water? I'm assuming water.....


I do indeed mean soaking in water. I wet stitch my stuff, and even if the dye work is a little splotchy at the start, by the time I'm done stitching, after repeatedly submerging my piece, the dye is a lot more evened out.

I also use almost exclusively the old Fiebing's Dye. I have found that the new green label Fiebing's acetone based dye migrates much more when the leather is soaked in water.

#12 ChrisHodge87

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 07:22 PM

Can you cut the oil die with other oil?
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#13 Billsotx

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 05:26 PM

So I am making some belts for a costume and they were cut from vegetable tanned leather from Tandy's leather. I didn't really know what I was doing and just applied the dye some pieces that were dry, some that were damp, and some that were wet. When they were dry they were all very stiff and some were very discolored- blotchy and uneven coloring. Some of the belts' edges were slightly curled up too. What are the steps I should take to dye vegtan leather and get a good result? I am using oil-based dye, Fieblings (I think I spelled that wrong). I just would like some clear steps on how to dye my leather and have everything look nice and even! I'm a complete newbie.


Mags, this is pretty much SOP. The neatsfoot should take care of it. Next time before you dye, clean it with rubbing alcohol to get dirt, oil from your fingers, etc. off and while it's damp from the alcohol apply the dye with a dauber, piece of shearling, or piece of soft cloth - you can spray it if you have a sprayer - an air brush.

Don't over oil it. You'll have to learn by doing, but too little is better than too much. You can always apply more oil. Pure neatsfoot is best. I wouldn't mess with compound neatsfoot.

As mentioned Lexol - real good stuff in my opinion. Esp. if working with natural russet as it doesn't darken it. It's easier to work with than neatsfoot, soaks in better, less residual esp. at the surface.

After you oil, let it set at least 24 hours. Neatsfoot may take even longer than Lexol. I like to let a fan blow over it. Next step is to buff heck out it. Once it evens out and you're not getting rub-off you can apply a finish coat - or - another coat of dye if it needs it - it usually doesn't need any more dye if you cover it well. Plenty of people dip dye things like gun leather so you can daub it on heavy and not go overboard.

From you last post you had pretty much figured it out. You on the right track. Don't be discouraged with a few splotches and uneven hues. Where ever you burnished, slicked, matted, i.e. compressed and sealed the surface you'll have to add more dye and give it a change to penetrate those less porous areas.

You're getting there!

#14 Magsley

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 10:22 PM

Mags, this is pretty much SOP. The neatsfoot should take care of it. Next time before you dye, clean it with rubbing alcohol to get dirt, oil from your fingers, etc. off and while it's damp from the alcohol apply the dye with a dauber, piece of shearling, or piece of soft cloth - you can spray it if you have a sprayer - an air brush.

Don't over oil it. You'll have to learn by doing, but too little is better than too much. You can always apply more oil. Pure neatsfoot is best. I wouldn't mess with compound neatsfoot.

As mentioned Lexol - real good stuff in my opinion. Esp. if working with natural russet as it doesn't darken it. It's easier to work with than neatsfoot, soaks in better, less residual esp. at the surface.

After you oil, let it set at least 24 hours. Neatsfoot may take even longer than Lexol. I like to let a fan blow over it. Next step is to buff heck out it. Once it evens out and you're not getting rub-off you can apply a finish coat - or - another coat of dye if it needs it - it usually doesn't need any more dye if you cover it well. Plenty of people dip dye things like gun leather so you can daub it on heavy and not go overboard.

From you last post you had pretty much figured it out. You on the right track. Don't be discouraged with a few splotches and uneven hues. Where ever you burnished, slicked, matted, i.e. compressed and sealed the surface you'll have to add more dye and give it a change to penetrate those less porous areas.

You're getting there!


Wow, thanks so much for this! All this is so helpful!! Its kind of hard to find exactly what I need since everyone's leather situation is different. I will definitely be keeping your advice in mind when finishing up my belts, the color is pretty much even now and I'm about to go apply the neatsfoot oil :)

#15 Kichigai

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 08:54 PM

As a newbie I can not tell you how helpful this forum has been.  Thank you to everyone for all of your advice!  This leather stuff is hard sFun_duh2.gif







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