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Best Way To Dye Kangaroo Lace

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Hi all!

I've just received 3 natural veg tan kangaroo hides (for the first time!) and I plan to cut the lace from it and use it for braiding.

The question is, what would be the best way to go about dyeing/coloring the lace?

So far I haven't found anything posted that would be specifically related to this, and I apologize if I have missed it and might be duplicating some other thread.

I don't like the idea of coloring the hide first and then cutting the lace. I wan't to have the option of different colors from one hide. I also wonder if the color would actually penetrate deep enough. If not, the edge/bevels might remain "natural".

So far (using other types of leather to learn the basics) I've cut it with the lace cutter. Then I stretched it and tied it's beginning to a cable (like a clothes line which is streched under the ceiling of my work room) and then used a piece of wool or sponge soaked in color which I wrapped around the start of the lace, and just rubbed it / dragged it through to the end by pulling on the dyed part. If it was too long and might touch the floor, I simply tossed the colored part over the same cable. After the dye was dry/set, I applied the finish (Satin sheene) in the same manner.

After that I split and bevelled it. In this particular case do not plan to split it (before or afterwards), as the hides already seem to have been thinned down to an even thickness.

I wonder how the rest of you do it? Is there a simpler or more effective way? It is just too expensive not to ask and see what the best practices might be.

I am also wondering, if It could be done by simply dragging the lace through a cup filled with color. I could hold the string down at the bottom with a stick of some sort, and perhaps have some sponge (in a function of a wiper) on the exit part of the cup (so that I don't waste too much color and too prevent uneven blotches after it dries).

I believe that stretching should be done with saddle soap (I haven't done it with other types of skins, but I think I should do it with kangaroo). And I also believe that stretching should be done before coloring, or the color might end up being uneven (lighter in parts where it stretches more). Would saddle soap affect the dyeing? Can I stretch without it and achieve the same result?

Thank you for all your thoughts!

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Basillex, Not sure about roo, but with rawhide I cut split & corner my strings & then dye & rinse 1st in cold water to help set the dye &then in hot till the water is pretty clear.Your probably correct about stretching after dying making the color uneven. I don't dye until my strings are ready to braid. Also, I soak my strings in the dye solution. Hope this helps. Buck

Edited by bucksnort

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I think the biggest problem you will run into is dye bleed. Bucksnort might have the answer but my experience says that braiding home dyed leather leads to bleed and rub off. With the exception of black done with vingroon, I always got rub off by braiding. We all know to lay the foundation in the light color then add the darker color. But black just doesnt look black with a red hue to it.

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