VYO

Veg tan leather discolors/stains reddish when wet

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Hi,

I use Sepici veg tan leather and on the project I a question on I used Feibings Buckskin leather dye.

I've done this same combination before many times and I've never had trouble with this kind of discoloration/staining.

I cut the holster pieces, dye them buckskin and then assemble them. Once assembled I wet the inside of the pocket top. As soon as I get it wet enough, when the wetness comes through to the outside I get reddish stains. They aren't always in the same place and they happen before I insert the multitool in the holster to shape it. The photo is the third I tried today and I tried not to get the top piece as wet on the inside but as you can see in the photo there are places that the moisture soaked through to the outside.

As mentioned I've done this many times with Sepici leather and Feibings buckskin dye and this has never happened before. The only difference today is a started using a new hide. 

Any ideas what could be causing the discoloration/staining? I haven't changed my process so I'm stumped as to what could be happening.

Any insight appreciated. 

Thank you in advance!

buckskin holster1.jpg

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if the only thing new, including areas you work in, then it is a default in the leather, most likely in the tanning process.

 

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Ok, thank you. I'll contact my supplier and see if they will replace the side.

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Could it be red rot?

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Hrm, I'd never heard of that so I looked it up. I live in a place with super low humidity. The supplier I buy from has a fairly high turnover I think, so probably not from being old. I store it at room temperature.

I did some experimenting tonight and I will be testing again tomorrow but on a piece of leather I tested tonight it looks like where the highest concentration of dye is, is where the red shows up after wetting from the flesh side. You can see in the photo the outermost edges is where I applied less dye and the darker area where I applied the most. This is after the leather has mostly dried out after wetting.

I remembered also that besides the new side I also got in a shipment of new daubers. Tomorrow I'll try applying with a rag and see if there is a difference. Also I'll try a lighter coating of dye.

It almost seems like a chemical reaction maybe something like what I read about red rot. Maybe something in the tanning of this lot of leather went haywire. In one of the tries I did today it manifested as red dots almost pitty looking.

Thanks for answering! It gave me some other things to think about.

 

buckskin leather1.jpg

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I always worry about this, so I mold first let dry overnight then assemble glue, then dye, sew last, trim excess , finish edges

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I'll try that today too because in my test last night, which you can't see in the photo I wetted the section just above where the dye is to see if the leather discolored where they was no dye. There is no visible sign that I did anything to that area. 

Thanks for the suggestion!

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Leather is pretty much a crap shoot in my book. Anything can show up taking into consideration just how many hands have touched before you get it.

My worst run ins were with Tandy vegtan. Unless I dipped it full strength in a dark color there was no getting the color even. Drove me nuts. I just won't buy any tooling stuff from them anymore.

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I've had pretty good luck with Sepici tooling leather up until now and I'm still not sure whether it's the leather or a chemical reaction from the dye and new daubers combined with this particular side. I bought the new daubers from a different supplier. But, I have no idea which of the constants is causing the issue yet. After I finish some tests today I might have a better clue I hope so I can avoid this issue. At least my customer is being patient about waiting while I sort this out.

I get the Sepici from Maverick Leather. They're great and normally Sepici is great. Sepici is wonderful for tooling even down to 3oz. I've been using it for about a year now. When I first started I was getting Hermann Oak from Springfield and that was ok too. From what I remember Hermann Oak is a little darker in color than Sepici. One reason I like Sepici is because I get a better truer color when dyeing in colors other than the brown shades - blue, pink, purple, etc. They're about the same cost.

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Did you think about just approaching the client with a mahogany version?

My guess is it's something in or on the leather.

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Yes, I did. He's seen the mahogany, tan, and buckskin versions of this holster and really wants the buckskin. If I don't get it right in the three tests I'm doing today I'll probably not do the buckskin color until I use up this hide and get another one. I haven't tried mahogany or tan with this hide yet so not sure if they will behave the same way. At least the mahogany shouldn't show the leaching as much if it's the leather.

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A modicum of success on the first sheath assembled today. The top pocket section has not been sealed yet. I need to let the inside dry a little before I do that but at least I don't have the reddish stain issue. For this one, I did it with the same process as the one that stained. I changed how I completed a couple of those processes. 

1) I used a white t-shirt to dye the pieces instead of the daubers.

2) I was very careful not to get any water on anything but the edge when I did the initial burnishing. Even at that I still got some bleeding of red color. A minor amount. ( There was no dye on the edges when I did that. 

3) After seeing the stains in #1 above I applied some 100% neatsfoot oil and waited for it to dry. That seems to have removed the visual of the bleed over.

4) After getting it all stitched when I wet the inside, I didn't soak it. I got it just wet enough that I could form the pocket around the multitool.

5) I touched up the edge burnishing where necessary.

Now I'm just waiting for it to dry so I can seal it. Hopefully that will all go well.

In this process I eliminated the issue of the daubers. I still got bleed over using the t-shirt to dye with.

The process described above did not work that well for the initial sheath I originally posted about. In the next post I'll show a photo of how that one turned out.

sheath.jpg

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Below is the sheath from the original post. Because it was already toast I tried an experiment with it. While it's not what was intended I think it still turned out ok in two-tone.

I applied 100% neatsfoot oil on the top piece and then sealed it. The stain is still visible a little bit but looks much better than it did. It's still a reddish brown. I can probably sell this one now instead of tossing it.

sheath fixed.jpg

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I like your solution.  Not what the client wanted, but someone is going to want this.

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Thank you @Aven .

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just curious, how did you redye the pocket and still keep the stitching bright white?

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22 minutes ago, spurdude101 said:

just curious, how did you redye the pocket and still keep the stitching bright white?

Funny thing happened. When I re-dyed the pocket the stitching of course turned a yellow color due to the buckskin dye. What is funny is that when I applied the sealer (RTC) after the dye dried it removed 'most' of the yellow from the stitching. My guess is that because the Tiger thread has a heavy wax coating most of the dye didn't penetrate the stitching when I re-dyed.

Edited by VYO

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On 1/1/2019 at 9:46 PM, VYO said:

From what I remember Hermann Oak is a little darker in color than Sepici. One reason I like Sepici is because I get a better truer color when dyeing in colors other than the brown shades - blue, pink, purple, etc. They're about the same cost.

True. HO is a bit darker.
Now this is interesting: "they're about the same cost" - there is no tannery in Turkey that can match a quality of HO/WC. I didn't find any, including Sepici. They feel the hype of veg tan leather and raised their prices closer to HO and WC,  despite the quality is not the same. Not at all.

If you like lighter veg tan, you can get directly from Wickett &craig.
 

On 1/5/2019 at 8:00 PM, VYO said:

 I applied the sealer (RTC) after the dye dried it removed 'most' of the yellow from the stitching. My guess is that because the Tiger thread has a heavy wax coating most of the dye didn't penetrate the stitching when I re-dyed.

All polyester threads I used so far will loose their initial colors over the time, no matter what is the wax amount inside.

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