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Dye Harness Leather edges

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Hey folks,


I am trying to make some belts for the extended family for Xmas. I've got some 11-13 oz black Harness leather that has a finished back. I need to dye the edges to cover the pink middle that is sandwiched between the black grain side and the black flesh side. 


For people that do this to this kind of leather, what dye do you use and how do you prevent it from rubbing off. 


I've used fiebings Pro Dye in combination with the Bob Park method for finishing edges. I've tried burnishing with beeswax, tokonole, and gum trag (not all at the same time). The edge dye still rubs off. 


I've done a coat, let it dry, buffed, recoat, dry, buffed again, then burnished. Still no good. I've also tried some black oil dye (with neatsfoot as the liquid) but same results. 


What am I missing here? There is an element that I'm missing. I know this leather is packed with waxes and oils fighting me every step, but I've seen it done. People are selling this leather as belts with edges dyed. 


Thanks for any advise!


Edited by BtownMN

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First off don't use oil in your dye. Oil dye is a misnomer there is no oil in oil dye. Just alcohol. Putting oil in dye will never allow it to fully dry. This is my understanding. Burnish with water and saddle soap. Then dye with it full strength. Then burnish a coat of beeswax/parifin wax mix  (50/50). That's what I do and don't get rub off.

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I wrote Fiebings and got a letter back some time ago with permission to post it here. This dates from 4/2014.


Leather Dye is Alcohol based. Pro Oil Dye is alcohol and oil color based (I think he means the pigment is oil color based). Leather stain is vegetable oil based and can be mixed with most other oil up to 20%.
Professional Oil Dye is the best product as it dyes more level and does not fade and can be used on oily leather. In many cases Leather Dye works and is
lower in cost.
You may pass this on to others.
Thank You
Richard Chase
I would try the stain on Harness because of the oil base.
I didn't find the stain at Tandy but I did at Springfield. There are only 4 colors of the stain as far as I know.
Imperial Leather Works

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