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Found 38 results

  1. I have had several pieces of veg tan that have these spots that come to light after I apply the dye. I make sure the leather is fully dry before application and I just don’t know how to prevent this or predict when it will happen. Dies anybody know what this is or how to combat this problem?
  2. My all in one guide to Vinegaroon Kaden Kopas Hey everyone. I’ve been lurking around these forums for a while now and haven’t posted much, so I thought I’d finally make a contribution. I’m going to University for a Chemistry degree, and surprisingly some of the things I’ve been learning in my labs are actually applicable to my leatherwork! I thought I'd write up some of my observations and experiments with vinegarroon, to try and help shed some light on what is actually going on in the reaction. Please, read through and share any knowledge you have working with this stuff! (I know this is a lot. I was bored just typing it. You can skip to the bottom if you don't have time to read it all) Background Vinegaroon, or ‘roon, is a homemade black ‘dye’ that has been used by leatherworkers for centuries. It is also used by woodworkers to ‘ebonize’ wood, and was used since the 5th century as ink, called ‘iron gall ink’. It is not actually a dye, but a reaction between ferric acetate and the tannins that naturally occur in leather and wood. Tannins content varies between hardwoods and softwoods, and can be boosted by brewing a strong black tea and wiping it on the wood. I assume that this is also true of leathers. I have a few junky tandy's sides that are pale in appearance, and they seem to be low on tannins because roon has less of an effect on them. ‘Roon is used by many leather and wood workers but understood by few. It can be very useful alternative to commercial black dye in areas where dye is unavailable, too costly, or undesired because of environmental reasons. Also, because it is fundamentally different than other dyes, it will not bleed or crock (rub off) onto fabric. Pros: -easy to make with household materials -available in places where dye is not, or shipping is too expensive -nearly free -does not bleed or crock like other black dyes Cons: -often does not make a deep enough black colour without lots of neatsfoot oil added afterwards -can make your product smell like vinegar -acidic nature can cause issues with metal hardware in contact with the leather, might also degrade then leather after long periods of time Typical Recipe: (not recommended by me) Put some old rusty nails into a jar of vinegar and let it sit for a week, or a month. Filter it through cheesecloth and wipe it on your leather. This produces a nasty, smelly mixture of a whole bunch of iron complexes and compounds. The active ingredient, iron acetate, is in there, but along with a whole bunch of other junk you don’t need. It doesn’t have to be this way. With some chemistry and a little bit of research into the mechanism here, I’ve made a crystal clear, mostly odourless solution that only takes half a day to make. How I did it: I bought fine steel wool from the dollar store, which came in small bats. Any steel or iron will do, but fine steel wool has the greatest surface area so it will react the fastest. Metal shavings/powder would also work, but I’d think they would just clump on the bottom of the jar and prevent the vinegar from reaching the bottom layers. I washed one bat in soapy water to remove any oils left over from manufacturing. Some people have used acetone, which would work well, but seems a bit over the top when soap is cheaper. I pulled it apart and placed it in a beaker of regular vinegar, so that all the wool was submerged. You don’t need very much steel wool at all, even a quarter of the amount I used would be enough. The amount of metal actually being dissolved is in the order of milligrams or even micrograms. You probably shouldn’t keep a lid on it, because you are producing gas in the reaction. After a few hours, small bubbles form on the steel wool, causing it to rise to the top of the solution. I would mix it gently to dislodge the bubbles and keep it submerged. Every few hours I would use an eye dropper (so that I didn’t have to pour it out) to take a bit of the solution and test it on some leather. The darkening effect increased slowly over time until full strength was reached after about 12 hours. Still, I left the wool in there for 2 days to see if it got any stronger. Next time I won’t leave it in so long. After 2 days, I removed the wool. Since none of the wool was ever exposed to the air above, there was no rust in the beaker and I was left with a nice clear solution that didn’t smell much worse than straight vinegar. This is my vinegaroon solution. It turns leather black, is fairly stable, and is still acidic. The final product: a clear, nearly odourless solution of vinegaroon. Neutralization (optional): Next, I tried to neutralize the solution with baking soda to see if that changed the effectiveness of it at all. I took a small test tube of the ‘roon solution and put a spoon tip of baking soda in it. Obviously this will make it fizz up like your kid’s science fair volcanoe project, so I added it slowly. I didn’t have any pH paper to test the acidity so what I did was add an excess of baking soda (seen on the bottom of the tube), and then re-added the acidic ‘roon solution dropwise until there was no excess left. These images show the neutralization process, if pH paper is unavailable. A base (sodium bicarbonate/baking soda) is added in excess, which is seen in the bottom of the test tube by the red arrow. Then, the acidic vinegaroon solution is re-added slowly until this excess base disappears. The resulting solution is assumed to be neutral. This neutralized roon solution has the exact same reaction with the leather as the acidic solution. However, it was not as stable. After a hours sitting or a few minutes shaking, the solution turned into a cloudy grey-orange sludge. This is because the oxygen in the air oxidized the Fe2+ ions into Fe3+ ions, which are not soluble and have a rusty colour. Neutralized roon is good for immediate use, but turns nasty after a while What is happening? (skip this section if you don’t like chemistry) The iron is dissolved by the acetic acid and becomes a free-floating iron ion, in the +2 oxidation state, called Fe2+ or Iron(II). Hydrogen gas is produced in the dissolution process but in such small amounts that there is nothing to worry about. This ion is colourless and soluble in water, which is what we want. Furthermore, when this ion is in an acidic solution, like vinegar, it is relatively stable. Some of the ions complex with the acetate, which further increases its stability. When this mixture is applied to the leather, the iron ions interact with the tannins to form an iron-tannin complex, which is black. Oxygen messes with this system. Obviously there is oxygen in the atmosphere and dissolved in your solution, and this can oxidize the iron ions – it will take them from the 2+ state to the 3+ state. Fe3+ or iron(III) is NOT what we want, because it is orange and gross and not soluble in water. If this forms, it creates an orange/brown powdery solid that sinks to the bottom of the jar. To prevent the oxidation of the iron in solution, we need to keep the pH LOW and keep the oxygen out of the system as much as possible – by not pouring or shaking the solution. Now, the acidity of the solution is what keeps it stable – I’m assuming that you could store vinegaroon for a few weeks or months if you kept a lid on it. But the acidity is also what makes it dangerous for using with metal hardware. So what I’ve done is neutralized the solution with baking soda, just before applying it to the leather. The neutralized solution is just as effective, but noticeably less stable. The nice clear solution will turn orange overnight if untouched, or in seconds if shaken. So there you have it. Here’s a summary of what you SHOULD do: -keep the oxygen out of the system. Oxygen is your worst enemy, and turns this pure, clear solution of iron acetate into a sludgy, brown, stanky mess. -keep the solution acidic until you need to use it, then neutralize it if you need to before applying -use steel wool, as it has way more surface area than the same mass of solid iron And what you SHOULDN’T do: -don’t use rusty metal. It wouldn’t make a huge difference, it would just be introducing iron(III) into the solution which you don’t want. -don’t stir vigorously or pour the solution if possible -don’t use lots of metal, cause you only needs a little -don’t wait for a week, cause full strength is reached in less than a day -don’t put a lid on it until you’ve removed the iron, cause you’re building up gas in that jar -don’t worry about anything exploding either, there’s not that much gas -don’t filter it! Pouring it would introduce too much oxygen into the system. If you have stuff that you need to remove, it would be better to suck the ‘roon out with a turkey baster or something. What you could do differently than me: -using stronger vinegar, ie pickling vinegar, would speed up the reaction slightly and probably produce better results, since the pH would stay lower. Normal vinegar, however, is fine for most uses. -If you want to ensure that you have neutralized the solution, or gain a greater insight into the reaction process, pH paper would be very useful. -The solution could be neutralized with other bases, I only used baking soda because it was within an arms reach of the vinegar. Using sodium hydroxide, for example, wouldn’t cause it to bubble so much. -The solution can also be heated to speed the reaction, although I personally wouldn’t bother -Perhaps the best thing you could do is to calculate just how much iron will react with the vinegar and use slightly less than that amount of steel, to ensure that you have vinegar in excess. This will keep the pH from rising as vinegar is consumed by the reaction. This could be calculated stoichiometrically, or possibly by weighing accurately the mass of steel wool before and after to find out how much was consumed. I would assume that it wouldn’t be very much at all. Resources: The main reason why I found it so hard to find information on this reaction is because I initially had no idea what to search for. “vinegaroon” only can up with a few result, and most of them were not scientific explanations. I soon found out that it is more commonly used for “ebonizing wood” and that yielded a few more results. Finally I came across some scientific papers for Iron-acetate and iron-tannin complexes. Here are links to most of the pages I found helpful in my search: http://chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/35351/iron-chemistry-acetates-for-ebonizing-wood http://chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/5027/how-does-the-mordant-ferric-acetate-interact-with-tannins-when-ebonizing-wood https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_gall_ink https://pubs.usgs.gov/wsp/1459d/report.pdf Thanks a lot for reading that, if you made it all the way through! Ask me any questions or share your experiences with roon below!
  3. Beheadoth

    Cordovan: water stains

    Hi There, This is my first experience working with Cordovan leather (bought it from cordovan.co) I was surprised by how easily this leather stains: I accidentally dropped a water drop and clean it rapidly with cloth and it create a mate stain. Before trying to clean the stain with other products, I replicate the stain in small remaining piece of cordovan leather: Replicating the water stain I put an small drop of water on the leather, rub it off with a clean cloth and the stain appeared instantly. Trying to clean the stain I tried to use Neatsfoot oil: didn’t worked, stain is still there. I tried to use Saphir Creme Universelle: didn’t worked, stain is still there it made the leather lost his shine. Could someone with more experience with this leather help me regain the shine of this leather? Thanks in advance
  4. Anyone ever used wood stain to achieve a color on leather? I've searched forums and can't seem to find it anywhere. Asking because I have plenty of wood stain from various projects but no dye for leather. Wondering if it will dry enough to coat with leather sheen or resolene, or would it be too gummy. May just try some on a piece of scrap but was hoping someone knew before I went through the trouble.
  5. lyonsy

    Hi-lite stain running

    Hello, I made a few belts and i used Tandy hi-lite stain in the briar brown. The belts come out looking real good with the stamped parts darker in the creases, but when i applied tandy super sheen, the stain ran out of the creases and left black streaks across the belt. It was about 6 days between staining and putting on the top coat. I would really appreciate any help. Thank you.
  6. General Question - Anyone have any non-traditional tricks/advice on the application of the various finishes out there - Beeswax, Tan-Kote, Aussie Conditioner to share? Especially for weather-proofing? Also, I usually apply oil BEFORE staining but most videos I see don't start with oil. Pro/Con? This Link is an awesome weatherproofing comparison of various products and Fiebing's Resolene wins - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyTg_hfpNUM But of course there are many other products out there so I'm seeking your experience as well as cheaper solutions. Specific Question - My process has been - Veggie Tan Leather, Mink Oil, Antique Gel and then some sort of finish (Fiebling's Leather Balm with Atom Wax but... I haven't found my favorite finish) - This process has done okay but whatever finish I use always strips half my gel stain off with even the lightest rubbing. How long do I have to wait?! I assume dye works better and is more even, but I like the way Gel Stain rubs into my stamps and gives them definition. So... solutions/tips for applying a weatherproofing finish to gel stain?
  7. Hey everyone! I'm not sure if this forum answers leather care questions, but here goes. I have this slight dark patch or discolouration on my leather weightlifting belt. I've tried cleaning it with saddle soap, as well as leaving cornstarch on the patch overnight, it didn't seem to help. Any ideas to what it is or what I can do? Thanks!
  8. Hello, I'm trying to make a wallet lately, and I've used yellow threads for hand stitching, my issue is that with waxed threads, especially the bright colored ones stain with the dirt from our hands overtime. I think that the cause of this is the wax on the thread that makes it such a dust magnet. Is there any thread that you recommend that doesn't stain? Or am I just wrong?
  9. I decided I wanted to further burnish one side of a project I was doing, after it was already stained...After I wet the edge I realized the water caused part of the leather to darken along the sides. I'm just wondering how much it might change the colour of the leather? I may re-stain the other side to make it have a darker edge as well. Suggestions? This also happens to be my first ever attempt at leatherwork.
  10. Does anyone have a preference over paste vs liquid antique stain? Why?
  11. PatHochstein

    Cernunnos Mask

    After a few prototypes and studies I finally finished a complete, full-sized mask. Not completely satisfied with how poorly eco-flo super sheene performed blocking the brown hi-lite color stain in the white areas despite having applied 5 coats. Next time I'll try resolene.
  12. Chief Filipino

    What Is The Order Of Steps?

    Please help a newbie out! What is the order of steps out these: burnish, tooling, oil staining. I am about to start working on a project and realized I wasn't sure what to do first. Basically the project is a leather "fanny-pack" thingy. It will have two pockets I was thinking of riveting on a backing piece then stitching it closed into a pocket. One of the pockets will have tooling on the cover flap. Should I tool then stain then burnish? Please help! Thanks!
  13. My husband wants me to make a wallet for him. Plain Jane, black dye/stain around the edges and blend it to a lighter color. Probably brown. I have seen some outstanding dye jobs and am just wondering, how the heck do y'all do it?! I've read that you have to use spirit-based, is that true? I'm a newb and using Tandy's Eco-flo line. I like the colors, and don't even know where to begin outside of their line. Pictures for reference to give y'all an idea what I'm talking about.
  14. I've been playing with a variety of leather dyes and stains over the years trying to come up with some unique and beautiful effects. I'm still learning, but I've posted a tutorial on youtube for anyone that might be looking for some more creative staining techniques to really make your projects eye-catching. Click here to go to my video link. I've also posted a video tutorial on the wallet I'm staining in the video. Click here to go to the wallet tutorial. Enjoy!
  15. Grey Drakkon

    Making Your Own Dyes

    So in my back yard I have a huge old Mulberry tree, which drops a metric ton of berries that stain everything, up to and including my chickens. (pretty easy to tell when they've been eating them, beaks are all purple stained on the edges and backs have splotches where berries bounce off of them) Should have taken a before pic, but as you can see the scrap of veg tan I used had plenty of surface flaws which turned out to make it look pretty neat. I just cut the strap and the 5 strands, took it outside and started squishing berries (with gloved hands, learned not to pick up the berries if I didn't want to get stained a while ago) and rubbing the juice onto the leather. It ended up making a nice dusty rose color with darker flecks where the flaws in the leather caught more of the juice. After letting it mostly dry, I burnished the edges with a scrap of canvas and that made a really nice burgandy, pretty much the same color as the darker spots on the leather. Then I rubbed beeswax over it and braided it up, I'll have to see how the stain lasts long term but for now it's sealed in pretty well, just rubbed it on some white paper and not a bit of color came off. I'm thinking next I'll try juicing a bunch of the berries and reducing it on the stove to get a more concentrated liquid. Looking online it says add salt to berries to use as a mordant (something to make the dye "stick") but I worry about how that will act with the leather. Maybe I'll do a few batches... Anyone else try doing it the old-old school way? I know some people have made vinegaroon (which I'd also like to try). and for that matter, try out some of the colors/plants shown on this page: http://pioneerthinking.com/crafts/natural-dyes
  16. Which is better for repelling dye/stain? I need to paint some letters light gray and dye the leather black. I've been experimenting with the two, and am still working on it, but though I'd ask if anyone has any experience in this area. I had planned to dye first, but it distorts the paint color if I paint on dye/stain.
  17. HeritageLeathercraft

    Fiebings Dye For Sale. Two Colors

    I've slowed down on my leather workering a bit and now when I use veg tan, I don't dye it. Luckily for you guys I have quite a bit of dye left that I want to move off the shelf. I'll add pictures so you can see how much is left in each bottle, but the two colors I have British Tan and Light Brown (which actually translates to a nice medium on leather). Both of these would cost you over 50 dollars new including shipping. I'm looking to sell theese for $35 with Free Shipping. The pictures are too big to upload here, but here's the link to imgur. http://imgur.com/a/lv9Sp
  18. Hi folks. I'm new to leather work and just bought a job lot of old kit. Apart from the leather smelling musty (now in my freezer) can tandy dyes, stains and super sheen go off. Going by the paperwork in the box, the liquid stuff is at least 20 years old. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  19. So I have traced and carved a dragon on a wallet similar to the one below. No I did not do this fine piece of work - wish I could. I'm to the staining part and was looking for any tips on staining with mulitple colors like this. Where can I go to find some instructions? I really love when leather fades from a dark to a lighter color. Just not sure how to do it. Never been taught and never seen it done. Do you think this is all airbrushed on? Any help would be great. Thanks.
  20. Hello everyone, I would like to apologise if this is not the proper place for this question. So I have a new pair of leather sneakers, all white. But found a new stain on them which kills me. What is very strange: looks like the unknown solution, went throw the paint itself and detach the paint from the leather surface. So there is a spot where the paint is no longer adhered to the leather. How is this even possible? Would like to know your feed-back. What can I do to fix this? Can I do anything? If possible would also like to attach a photo or a video of the "problem". Thank you and excuse my ignorance.
  21. Diluted water stain dyes water colored on to the raw tooled leather- then I'll follow up w serious super sheen blocking and antique gel saddle tan. Can't wait to see this!
  22. Question from a newbie. I bought a nice trimmed double shoulder leather from Tandy recently for holsters and belts. Great price, but I almost did not buy it because it had been laid on an oiled product for a few days while moving stock and consequently has a rather large oil streak that actually penetrates the leather. The question: will this veg tan accept dye to hide the oil stain or is it a lost cause? I use Feibings Professional oil dyes. Should I return the leather to Tandy and pay twice the price for another piece, or is this one o.k.? If I test dye a piece of the leather I cannot return it.
  23. DUNGEONSnDECORATIONS

    Leather Stain Recomendations

    I've attached a photo of a project I completed using Eco Flo Mahogany Leather Stain. It seems this lovely color has been discontinued. Could anyone tell me of a similar product? I would prefer a maroon color, but any information you could give me would be appreciated. I'm mainly looking for something that settles into the tool marks and gives that nice outlined look my designs. I've tried fiebing's leather stain, and it just doesn't work as well, too uniform. If not, does anyone have some techniques to share to get a similar effect with other dyes? I haven't been doing this for very long so please be specific with brand names trade terms. Thanks in advance.
  24. I was wondering if anyone else if have problems dyeing the tandy sides that were sold on black Friday and to see if there is someway to dye them better?
  25. Hi, I'm relatively new to working with leather. I do beadwork and work mostly with tanned hides. I have a question.... I would like to stain an elk hide for a possibles bag (contemporary design) and would like to use some Mayan Blue pigment. I've done my research ... and all signs point to mixing the pigment with vodka for the best pigment dissolution and applying it to a dampened surface by vigorously rubbing it in. Then, let dry. Then buff (to remove excess pigment and rub in the stain) ... What would you recommend I seal it with? And will the dye rub off after it is sealed? My hide is very soft and I'd like to keep it that way. I plan to put the buff/sueded side on the interior and the skin side on the exterior. The skin side is what I'd like to stain. One site, Earth Pigments, recommends sealing with a fixative spray such as that which charcoal artists use. I'm not sure that will work for leather? The hide is very likely German Tanned since I got it from Crazy Crow. Not sure if that means it has been veg tanned....and how that will affect the pigment uptake. Thanks! Sue Mandel