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ScottEnglish

Is it possible to mould chrome-tanned leather?

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Before buying some vegetable-tanned leather for moulding I may try using the chrome-tanned leather that I possess. I'm wondering if anyone has actually tried moulding chrome-tanned leather? Did it work?

Thanks.

Scott

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This might interest you. At 1:49 they mold Alligator + veg tan? + Haas Zermatt calf. I have no experience with this, if the middle layer is veg tan, it might be to keep it's shape better?

 

Edited by Danne

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You can on some but not all chrome tanning is the same either. On the second page in this post I did awhile ago you can see how I used some chrome tan leather to make some handcuff pouches and the 3d printed moulds etc.As long as the leather will absorb the water into it it will normally dry harder and into the shape but may not always set as firmly as veg will.

 

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45 minutes ago, RockyAussie said:

You can on some but not all chrome tanning is the same either. On the second page in this post I did awhile ago you can see how I used some chrome tan leather to make some handcuff pouches and the 3d printed moulds etc.As long as the leather will absorb the water into it it will normally dry harder and into the shape but may not always set as firmly as veg will.

 

 

Do you think that's the reason Hermès used what looks like veg tan in between the gator and Zermatt calf? to keep it's shape better when dried? Btw, your result was really nice, I might need a 3d printer now :)

 

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It can be done on some chrome tanned leathers. I've played around a little but never put enough time into it to make anything useful, other than blocking some keeper loops or ironing creases into folds or out of stuff that's supposed to be flat. The key tends to be heat (150+ degrees C), though that heat can be enough to ruin any finish on the leather, depending on the leather. Most chrome tans are largely unaffected by water, though I've found that very hot water does improve the mouldability of ones, and then you often run the dye.

I don't think that any chrome tanned leather can be moulded to the extremes that veg tans can, but heat embossing (with a maker's mark, a monogram etc.) is basically the same thing, just on a far smaller scale so in theory deep mouldings can be done. Perhaps it's heresy on this forum, but a lining or backing of a stiffer thermoplastic sheet like HDPE or kydex glued to the leather before moulding might help.

Thinking outside the box a little, I wonder if a vacuum forming machine could be used with chrome tanned leather? It's essentially doing the same job (evenly heating a thermoplastic to within its plastic range, then quickly forming it over a mould before it cools).

Check out Checaflo doing some raised work in upholstery leather:

 

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Thanks for your post Matt S. At present my only option for moulding leather is water, so in view of what you've said I'll try moulding some of my chrome-tanned leather using hot water.

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I have seen chrome tanned saddle seats block out using luke/tepid warm water with a little bit of washing up liquid in it.

 

Hope this helps

JCUK

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No not really its means the leather pulled into a shape over the tree to form the seat until you are happy with it, but it will retain its shape if you remove it from the tree seems for some works better some its just a way you may want to test for your self to see if its works for you.

 

JCUK

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Thanks for explaining what block out means jcuk. I'll try moulding some of my chrome-tanned leather and see what happens.

Scott

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7 hours ago, ScottEnglish said:

Thanks for your post Matt S. At present my only option for moulding leather is water, so in view of what you've said I'll try moulding some of my chrome-tanned leather using hot water.

Use a little dish washing detergent as well as that helps to get the water into the pores/cells. I sometimes leave the leather in for hours and give it another hot water dip before taking it out and further breaking up the grain with my hands sometimes depending on the thickness and the character of the leather. Before putting into mould I squeeze out excess water then press into some paper towel to get rid of any remaining excess of water.

12 hours ago, Danne said:

Do you think that's the reason Hermès used what looks like veg tan in between the gator and Zermatt calf? to keep it's shape better when dried? Btw, your result was really nice, I might need a 3d printer now 

Yes and to my knowledge mostly any leather they use has to be veg tanned including the alligator or croc skins. regarding the 3d printer....I have to say I wish that technology was around when I started my business. There would hardly be a day go by that I am not finding some other thing I can make with it to improve manufacturing times or the quality of products produced. My latest one yesterday was designing a funnel in pla to improve how well my strap folding machine worked as it folds the straps on soft leathers. Took 3 tries but I am happy to say it works real good.:) (cost in pla+ is less than $1 per piece and I can now just stretch the design for any width strap or thickness in a couple of minutes.

DSC00003_resize.JPG

DSC00007_resize.JPG

 

With regards to strength of the pla+ used in a shaped product as against wet casting veg I would offer up my latest phone pouch design for you to consider for yourself.

d.JPG

DSC05870_resize.JPG

To protect the hardware on the back of this phone pouch I have used another one of the phone pouch shells.

DSC05907.JPG

 

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Brian your posts are a constant inspiration. I've been having good results with my resin printer but the main limiting factor is the small print size. More jigs and guides than shells if you see what I mean. Looks like I'm going to have to buy a filament printer after all! :lol:

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