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Hello, i'm new in leather-working,

Does anyone know about making leather dye using coffee ? how is it made ?

just want to make leather dye in cheaper ways :D

thanks before.

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I've done a tiny bit of experimenting with two different processes. I like to make traditional Mexican Molés where you roast the various dried chills and then soak them in hot water for an half hour or so. The water, which for the most part is thrown away, is a beautifully complex dark brown color and I've dunked leather in it to see what happens. It colors the leather depending upon duration of course on how long you leave it on. The color is not a drastic change at all. I haven't really done extensive testing on it for longevity.

The other process which is instant and I'm thinking permanent is using a mixture of vinegar and steel wool. I make furniture and sometimes I will ebonize the wood. It's an old process of applying a rusted solution of iron to the wood and the tannins in the wood react to the iron and turns the wood black. So I got to thinking that leather has all kinds of tannins in it and did a little test and bingo, the leather went black instantly.

Here's a link to the process for wood but there's information in there about making the iron solution.

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniques/ebonizing_wood

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The other process which is instant and I'm thinking permanent is using a mixture of vinegar and steel wool. I make furniture and sometimes I will ebonize the wood. It's an old process of applying a rusted solution of iron to the wood and the tannins in the wood react to the iron and turns the wood black. So I got to thinking that leather has all kinds of tannins in it and did a little test and bingo, the leather went black instantly.

yeah it's called "vinegaroon" lots of threads about it on here

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its alright hard to search for it if you don't know what folks on here call the process :)

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I'm making a breast collar and used coffee to dye it, it worked really well. I bought a pound of the cheapest dark roast I could find, put it in a big pot and filled the pot about half full of water. I put in a peice of steel wool then brought it to a boil then let it simmer till it was reduced by half.

I then used scraps to experiment with and let them soak for various times. I finally settled with 24 hours, it came out a very dark brown almost black. I realy like the color, next batch I make I'm going to leave out the steel wool and see if it will make a lighter brown.

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I'm making a breast collar and used coffee to dye it, it worked really well. I bought a pound of the cheapest dark roast I could find, put it in a big pot and filled the pot about half full of water. I put in a peice of steel wool then brought it to a boil then let it simmer till it was reduced by half.

I then used scraps to experiment with and let them soak for various times. I finally settled with 24 hours, it came out a very dark brown almost black. I realy like the color, next batch I make I'm going to leave out the steel wool and see if it will make a lighter brown.

okay i get it, just put some roasted coffee then boil it in a pot. but what is the function of steel wool ?

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The steel wool is supposed to make the dye darker, not sure how or why. Like I said, I'm going to try a batch without it and see if it makes a difference.

The batch I'm using now it starting to mold, I read if you put rubbing alchol in it that it will stop the mold then cook it off before you use it again.

I saw a website that discussed coffee and vinagroon but I'n not sure where it was, if I can find it again I'll post the link for you.

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From what I have been reading, the steel wool in the coffee is to act as a mordant which allows the color to stick to the leather. This perplexes me as I also read that the tannins in vegetable tanned leather is it's own mordant and their is no need for one. (With hides being tanned in so many places with so many different processes, I am skeptical of this last statement, but too unfamiliar with the process to make a definitive decision.)

Morb - you said you were going to try a batch without the steel wool in it to see if there is a difference - have you had a chance to do that yet? From the hours of reading I am thinking it will just be a light staining but I would be interested in hearing your results.

Karina

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The steel wool (iron) in the vinegar (acetic acid) produces ferric acetate which reacts with the tannins in the leather and turns them black through a chemical reaction. It is NOT a dye as the solution is the color of tea and the reaction is almost instantaneous. Ferric Acetate can be purchased but it is very expensive. I have heard that the less expensive ferric nitrate will perform in a similar fashion.

Cya!

Bob

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The steel wool (iron) in the vinegar (acetic acid) produces ferric acetate which reacts with the tannins in the leather and turns them black through a chemical reaction. It is NOT a dye as the solution is the color of tea and the reaction is almost instantaneous. Ferric Acetate can be purchased but it is very expensive. I have heard that the less expensive ferric nitrate will perform in a similar fashion.

Cya!

Bob

We are actually talking about steel wool in coffee not in vinegar.

Morb, I actually did a batch yesterday. I used a dark roast and made the strongest coffee I could. I placed a piece of leather in the batch before bed yesterday. As soon as I get some coffee in me I am going to go to the shop to see what it looks like and I will post pics of the color.

Karina

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Duh! That's what I get for posting at 2am, BUT coffee is high in tannins and possibly the steel wool is having a similar reaction with the tannins. One trick with vinegaroon is to presoak the leather in very strong tea to add extra tannins to the leather for a better reaction.

Cya!

Bob

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Just made it into the shop. Here is the piece that I placed in the coffee over night. It was 4/5 oz veg tan and I think I placed it in the coffee brew around 5pm yesterday.

It is still wet so I will post another one once it dries to see the final color.

post-32363-0-62532000-1397832557_thumb.p

BDAZ you may be on to something, I really would like a darker brown so this weekend I am actually going to try it with steel wool in it. Hopefully I can get a darker brown.

Morb since you said you got a dark brown almost black, I think I am going to try the technique you posted. I didn't boil the coffee, I just brewed the strongest pot of dark roast coffee as possible. I packed the coffee down until I filled the coffee filter to the brim. It was so strong it was giving me a headache. Smelled awful, like burning tar/rubber or something. I am going to take this outside and do it on the stove top on my deck because that smell was in my shop for hours, I had to turn on the roof vents to clear it out. Luckily the leather don't smell bad so I guess that's a good thing.

Karina

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Karina

Here's a link to the breast collar I made for my horse. The pic doesn't show the color that well but you'll get the idea.

I like the color on your piece, it turned out nice. Be sure to oil it once it's dry, it will make it a little darker as well.

http://leatherworker.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=54753&hl=

That color you achieved is awesome! I really wanted mine to be darker so I am definitely trying it out with the steel wool.

I will post a pic of the final color once dry and oiled.

Karina

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As a suggestion why not brew the coffee with vinegar and then add steel wool, maybe a quarter of a pad, of 0000 and let sit for a couple of days.

Cya!

Bob

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I guess the coffee would indeed turn black.

Cya!

Bob

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Hi all,

I'm new to leatherwork and leatherwork.net and came here to get some info about old style dyes (and wasn't dissapointed!).

Based on the info found here, I tried some experiments on the almost magical coffee and steel wool combination. Looking for a darkish kind of brown, I brewed up two very strong medium dark roast coffees (125 grams of coffee to 1 liter of water), added some 000 steel wool to one of them, and had them simmering for some time until half the water had evaporated.

Here are the results for

1) veg tan leather and coffee, and

2) veg tan leather and coffee and steel wool.

In all pictures showing pairs, the one on the left is the plain coffee dye, the one on the right is the steel wool dye.

After 1 hour
th_651916521_IMG_2077_122_365lo.JPG

After 12 hours

th_651922617_IMG_2078_122_50lo.JPG

After 24 hours

th_651927210_IMG_2079_122_544lo.JPG

Comparison between 1, 12 and 24 hours
th_651932977_IMG_2080_122_590lo.JPG

Same sequence again, but now after an olive oile treatment...

th_165193756_IMG_2081_122_224lo.JPG

th_651943882_IMG_2082_122_153lo.JPG

th_651948830_IMG_2083_122_514lo.JPG

th_651953811_IMG_2084_122_208lo.JPG

I stopped (I hope) the dying process after 24 hours by rinsing it with a lot of cold water and now, after a week, the colours still hold.

Since this turned out to be a very interesting method I retried again with a darker roast of coffee but for some (to me unknown) reason, the colours came out quite more "lightly".

Colour penetration for the coffee-only variant is marginal; colour penetrations for the steel wool variant is total; see picture below...

th_653478912_IMG_2086_122_101lo.JPG

Anyways, thanks to all you out there for pointing me in this direction and I hope you can use some of the info here.

Cheers,

Gleek

Edited by Gleek

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I thinking about the steel wool and cofee solution, I am assuming strong coffee is acidic and the acid is probably reacting with the ferric steel wool and producing a form of ferric acetate. I just saw a show on making Turkish carpets and they use crushed walnut shells to produce a brown dye. They boil the walnut shells and then use the liquid for a permanent dye. Crushed walnut shells are available at your local Pet's Mart and used for lizard and bird bedding. The shells in Turkey were ground quite fine.

Cya!

Bob

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Hi

Coming a bit late with my reply in this discussion.

I noticed that applying on the surface of leather(not soak) the brown walnut hulls dye results in a bleeding leather - i guess this is the right term for wiping the dye with water.

Not tried with coffee so far but I assume it ll be the same result.

What veedub3 stated in a post earlier: adding some steel woo l as a mordant; I want to know if anybody tried adding small quantities of steel wool thus preserving the color of the coffee dye and then rubbin it ONLY on the surface, will it bleed?

Or , is there a natural-diy mordant which u can use with a natural dye such as walnut hulls or coffee?

I will try it soon and post my results.

Mircea

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