new to this board, have searched but I am not finding a specific post on this subject. (I.e. Bleeding dye from hand finished veg tanned leather and/or waxed leathers)
Recently I have been looking at expanding my work from holsters, knife sheaths and wallets to bags and accessories (totes, purses, dope kits, etc.). After making a number of items I've run into an issue. namely, dye bleeding from the leather under certain conditions (typically hot & humid and in contact with sun screen...?).
BACKSTORY - I made my wife a tote bag out of oil tanned leather, knowing the oil tanned leather wasn't going to work well for straps I made straps from veg tanned leather. I hand dyed the leather and finished with a top coat of resoline, the edges were beveled, dyed with Fiebings pro dye and burnished with Tokonole. For the Flesh side I opted for Eco-Flow water stain, sealed with Saddle-lac (I've done this with belts with positive results for a while). Prior to fixing to the bag, I tested for dye transfer with paper towels over multiple passes, no transfer.
The issue I ran into was that on a hot and humid day the straps began to bleed dye out (onto my wife's fair skin, she laughed, I laughed... I was wrong..). I thought the issue might be related to the two different dye options or maybe the sunscreen she had on her leg (maybe it acted like solvent???). I tested the strap again against my skin (no sunscreen), nothing, tested against a paper towel, nothing.. tested on her arm (with sun screen) and it transferred.... not sure if this is causation or merely correlation?
I could use an edge paint vs. dye but I'm wondering if the transfer had more to do with the heat/humidity or the sunscreen?
Onto the second dye/bleed irritation.
Unsure of the issue causing the first bag's straps to bleed, I made another bag. This time out of waxed red crazy-horse leather. The straps were dyed with fiebings pro dye only (thinking maybe the water-stain wasn't setting fully) and burnished with tokonole before sealing the whole dang strap with Saddle-lac (thick coat). I thought I'd addressed the bleeding issue, but then, on another outing she informed me her jeans were marked with red lines. I'm super irritated at this point because I can't seem to find a solution to the bleeding (note I've never had this issue with holster, belt pouches, wallets, belts...) Then I realized the lines were consistent with the color of the crazyhorse waxed leather, not from the dark brown straps.
I became confused and frustrated, I may have called the bag mean names as I handed over my debit card to buy new jeans..
I drank some beer and thought about it all.
I may have had a few beers while I thought about it all.
I am now wondering, can the waxed crazyhorse leather be sealed to prevent bleeding, or does it need to? Could the bleeding effect be simply due to the hot/humid conditions when the dye transferred? It doesn't seem to transfer under normal (<80f) conditions or in my leather shop. And if that is the case, would a pre-dyed and finished veg tan have the same issue potentially? or would it be more resistant to transfer due to the industrial processes it goes through?
Also, does the Eco-Flo water stain require some other sealant to prevent bleeding? (other than Saddle-lac or Resolene?)
Has anybody else experienced similar issues? Am I missing a step in prep/finish somewhere? Or am I Simply dealing with an extreme scenario due to weather? It was 90-100F with pacific northwest humidity on the days of the issues..
Does anybody else have a preferred beer or whiskey for their leather shop time?
Inquisitive minds must know! Any thoughts, questions, feedback are appreciated.
(pictures attached of offending bags and straps)