Recommended Posts

I know that the "real" answer is to dye it the way that I like to do it.  But for a newbie like me, that's not very useful.  I don't know what I like yet.

Anyway, I'm looking for advice on how I should be dying my leather for projects.  I don't do much tooling, but I've been using this leather to make my projects because it's a neutral color and relatively inexpensive, so I don't feel so bad if I mess something up.  I've been using Pro Dye exclusively because I've read that it's a really good product and doesn't dry out the leather or make it hard.

But should I dye before cutting out the pattern?  Should I dye the flesh side?  This pattern has me use hole punches for the stitching holes, do I dye before or after?

For my current project, I cut and punched everything first, then I dyed.  I had a bunch go through the holes, so ended up dying the flesh side as well.

Once it's dyed, how do I get a nice semi-gloss to the leather?  And will leather dyed with Pro Dye be kind of water resistant?  It's a Dopp kit, so will get wet, I don't want it looking all splotchy and nasty.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dye is not a finish.  If you want to protect it from moisture, pick a finish that is somewhat water resistant.  Lots of them are.  To get a nice high polish, wax the surface.

You can dye any time you wish depending on the result you are looking for.  If you dye an article before punching holes, you can go back with a small brush and touch up the holes.  You can dip dye the whole thing after all the cutting and punching.  You can use an airbrush to apply dye.  ...

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/12/2019 at 10:36 AM, GregS said:

I know that the "real" answer is to dye it the way that I like to do it.  But for a newbie like me, that's not very useful.  I don't know what I like yet.

Anyway, I'm looking for advice on how I should be dying my leather for projects.  I don't do much tooling, but I've been using this leather to make my projects because it's a neutral color and relatively inexpensive, so I don't feel so bad if I mess something up.  I've been using Pro Dye exclusively because I've read that it's a really good product and doesn't dry out the leather or make it hard.

But should I dye before cutting out the pattern?  Should I dye the flesh side?  This pattern has me use hole punches for the stitching holes, do I dye before or after?

For my current project, I cut and punched everything first, then I dyed.  I had a bunch go through the holes, so ended up dying the flesh side as well.

Once it's dyed, how do I get a nice semi-gloss to the leather?  And will leather dyed with Pro Dye be kind of water resistant?  It's a Dopp kit, so will get wet, I don't want it looking all splotchy and nasty.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Lots of questions there, Tom has great suggestions.  We all seem to do things our own ways, and a bit differently.  Here's my take:

Pro dye still dries out my leather to some extent.  Always add neatsfoot oil (NOT the compound) after a dye job, also it makes the colors more lustrous imho.

I usually cut before I dye.  If you have a large project, you could dye a whole side if you have a large horsehair brush to help keep it all even.  Sometimes I dye the flesh side, sometimes I don't.  It is difficult to get even, to say the least.  Airbrushes help there some say.

I usually punch holes, and mark stitch holes after everything is dyed and glued up. This alleviates the situation you had of dye going through holes.

After dye, as mentioned, oil it, then consider Aussie, or dubbin made with oil and wax as Tom mentioned.  You can apply Tan Kote, straight or diluted 50/50 with water,  I find this gives a nice semi gloss finish.  You can even apply both, but make sure to wait sufficient time between applications, like a day or two, to allow oils and waxes to fully penetrate, and acrylic finishes to dry thoroughly.  Which order is up for debate and your own experience.

Water resistance can be obtained by applying an acrylic finisher like resolene, or a laquer based finish like neat-lac.  Wax finishes help but don't seem to be as effective in my experience.

Hope all this helps.

YinTx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/15/2019 at 11:14 PM, YinTx said:

 

We all seem to do things our own ways, and a bit differently.

Exactly why I put that I know the answer is to do what I like.  I want to avoid things that blatantly don't work.  I also want to start with what works for others and experiment off from there.

As for the flesh side, I did a chocolate on this piece, I dyed the flesh side to ensure that I didn't have a dark finish outside and the unfinished flesh side visible inside.  I just felt that it would look better and would cover anything that came through the holes.

Thanks to you both for the responses. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're making items one solid color, the best way to do it is to purchase the leather already drum dyed.  No mess, no fuss, and you get consistent color.  And for that project, I might go with english bridle leather.

But then you have to buy each color you want, which can be pricey and cause storage space issues, maybe.  Next best deal, use the pro dye you're already using, and dye before cutting out.  Doesn't happen ALWAYS, but sometimes the edges can absorb more dye due to increased surface area, and you have a less consistent color.  I would normally cut the leather a bit larger (1/2" will do) than all the pieces you need, dye the whole piece, and then cut out the parts you need.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm thinking that you are not planning to tool nor to wet form this project because you did not ask when to do that.  So, if you are not wet forming nor tooling, perhaps you should be using chrome tanned leather.  I know nothing about chrome tanned leather other than it is used for garments that are flexible and resistant to moisture.

AFAIK, there is NO waterproof top-coat.  Some finishes are mildly splash resistant but the water must be wiped off as quickly as possible or it will leave a dark stain.  Snow Seal isn't even able to stop that.  Watch the many comparisons on YT.  I have done my own tests.  Yes, including Snow Seal.  I was very hopeful for that one.  However, water eventually marks the leather, it's just a matter of time, and not much time at that.

As you will eventually discover, there is no answer as to when a project should be dyed.  

Sorry for the bad news...

Edited by wizard of tragacanth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started to re-think my comment about Snow Seal.  Technically, it is not a top-coat, it is absorbed into the leather.  I did another test, using 3 or 4 applications of Snow Seal, warming the leather in a 120° oven before each application. I put some drops of water on the area and let it dry completely.   The result with hard tap water, and RO water was the most minimal of marking.  I had to hold the leather in good light at a certain angle to see it.  BTW, Snow Seal is made of bees wax.

Edited by wizard of tragacanth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw a Weaver Leather video where he did some finishes and it seems that things like Resolene tend to be more water resistant than the waxes and such.

 

Sorry for that empty quote down below, I was going to reply with a quote the other day and I can't seem to figure out how to get rid of it.

 

On 5/15/2019 at 11:14 PM, YinTx said:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now