Harry Marinakis

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  1. Oops! Forgot to say that the iron-tannin-acid dyes are all black or grey. Vinagroon is a black dye.
  2. No idea, sorry I cannot get any logwood, so I haven't tried it.
  3. Walnut husks are not useful in making a leather dye. Use green walnuts before a nut forms. Break them up into 1/4-inch chunks, boil, and strain. Wear gloves or you will have brown fingers and fingernails for WEEKS!!!
  4. I have made about 60 to 70 natural leather dyes, and here is some detailed information on what I have learned. 1. The best mordant for dyeing leather with a vegetable dye is potassium alum. Don't use too much, 5 grams dissolved in 100 ml of water is adequate. Apply only one or two coats of this mordant solution, and then allow to dry before dyeing. (The following vegetable dyes do not require a mordant: indigo, lac, walnut, woad.) 2. The following vegetable substrates are proven leather dyes, but generally they are not wash-fast or sun-fast: Brazilwood (pernambuco) (red and purple) Buckthorn berries (green, lavender, purple) Indigo (blue) Lac insects (red) Poke berries (red and purple) Turmeric root (yellow) Walnut (brown) Woad (blue) 2. You can either soak the leather in the dye, or paint the dye onto the leather. Indigo - very powerful, so dilute and brush onto leather sparingly Walnut - soak the leather for a day or two Every other dye - soak the leather for 1 to 3 days, or brush 5 to 10 coats of dye onto leather. Allow each coat to dry before applying another coat of dye. 3. To prepare a vegetable dye usually requires the following process: (a) crush the vegetable substrate and soak for one to seven days in either water, vinegar, or potassium carbonate solution (depending on the color that you desire); (b) boil and simmer for an hour, or two, or three, and then soak for a few days to fully extract the colorant; (c) strain the dye to remove the vegetable dregs; (d) brush the liquid dye onto the leather. 4. In general, you want to concentrate the final vegetable dye by simmering. A good goal is a final dye volume of 1 milliliter for every gram of dry vegetable substrate with which you started. In other words, if you start with 400 grams of dry brazilwood shavings to make a dye, then add as much water as you need to boil the shavings, but simmer the final dye bath until it is down to about 400 ml. 5. Adding crushed gum Arabic powder to the dye thickens it and gives the dye a nice texture. 6. There are a few natural non-vegetable dyes that are excellent. Iron-tannin-acid reactions produce wonderful grey and black dyes that are wash-fast, sun-fast, and rub-fast. A mordant is not required. 7. You can make an iron-tannin-acid dye by dissolving steel wool in household vinegar for 1 to 2 months (with the cap off). aka "vinagroon." Soak the leather in the vinagroon overnight, then rinse well. 8. To get grey, you'll need to boil 1 part ferrous sulfate with 1 part copper sulfate in a vinegar and tannin dye bath. Boil and simmer for a few hours. Allow to cool and settle, then decant the liquid and discard the dregs on the bottom. Apply only one light coat of liquid dye. The color takes about 3 hours to fully develop, so be patient before applying any more dye. 9. Making and using natural leather dyes is a bit of an art, so don't be too disappointed with your first results. Practice, experiment, practice, experiment.
  5. Add a whiff of vinagroon to the walnut for an even darker brown
  6. Hot scribe?

    Post beginning April 27, 2017 https://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?/topic/35179-two-swords-in-progress/ EDIT: on page 2
  7. Hot scribe?

    Never mind!! Found the answer: A "hot scribe" is a home-made leather carving knife heated with a torch. Simple to make. Same with the awl.
  8. Hot scribe?

    Recently I read an old tutorial by someone who does really nice, fine, detailed, and ornate leather tooling. He described using a "hot scribe" to deepen the lines that he cut with a carving knife, and "hot awl" for embossing. What exactly is a "hot scribe" and "hot awl?"
  9. I've used a gallon of 6% cleaning vinegar with 1-1/2 pads of steel wool. Keep adding a bit of steel wool until it won't dissolve any more. This gives you a saturated solution. Then let it sit for another month with the cap off to oxidize.
  10. Looking for all-natural veg-tan leather

    I ordered a side of natural veg-tan tooling leather from Hermann Oak. At $11/square foot, it was almost $300 with shipping. I'll run some natural dye experiments with this leather, versus cheaper veg-tan tooling leathers, and post the results here. The experiment that prompted this search was dyeing with natural walnut extract. When dyeing one cheap veg-tan tooling leather with walnut, it instantly turned a beautiful, rich brown with one application of extract. Another veg-tan tooling leather didn't change color at all, even with a 24-hour soak.
  11. Looking for all-natural veg-tan leather

    I agree, Bill I have been experimenting with both topical dye application and soaking. Natural dyes often require 5 to 15 applications, with drying between coats. Soaking in dye for a few days is usually effective, but it requires a lot more dye, and you use up a lot more dye at a faster rate. I ran into some problems with modern veg-tan tooling leathers refusing to take any natural dye at all, even with 3-day soaks. Surprisingly, most of the ancient dye recipes from the middle ages specify topical application of the dye, not soaking!
  12. Looking for all-natural veg-tan leather

    I've been using Tandy leather for years. The quality of their leather is so poor that it is not usable for this particular need.
  13. Looking for all-natural veg-tan leather

    Thanks I'm making natural leather dyes from old manuscripts that are 700-1,000 years old. I've got about 30 colors dye colors so far. I'm running into problems of unpredictable dyeing results - some dyes will instantly dye some "veg-tan" leathers, but the same dye won't dye other "veg-tan" leather at all. I'm going to switch to all-natural leather, or at least to all-natural as I can to see if I get better results.
  14. Looking for all-natural veg-tan leather

    "Natural" = vegetable tanning process before the industrial revolution Would prefer natural un-waxed
  15. Looking for all-natural veg-tan leather

    Who makes a quality all-natural veg-tan or oak-tan leather? I am looking for the most natural veg-tan leather that I can get. Hermann Oak's website says that they use all-natural tanning products, but them they finish the leather with a wax. Anyone else make natural veg-tan leather? Would like to find leather without the wax. Looking for weights from 2 oz. through 10 oz.