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Jenn64

Do you moisten your leather before dying with Pro Dye?

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Hi everyone,

I've been lurking around here for years & never posted. I have a question about dying...do you moisten your leather before dying with pro dye, I'm not knew to dying but I've never moistened the leather first, I usually just dry dye...so do you recommend wet dying?

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I tried damp leather with regular dye in the past, came out really light colored, didn't really help imo.  Dont' see where there would be an advantage for it with the pro dye either, but the easiest way to find out is to do a test sample and see if it suits your technique.

YinTx

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You'll get different opinions on this.  My bottom line is this, if what you are doing is working, don't change anything!  But if it isn't, then experiment until you find something that works for you.

I've been in the construction chemicals business for more than 30 years, and in that time I've seen all sorts of different techniques that contractors use in order to get the best result.  And sometimes they seemingly conflict with what others are doing.  But it works FOR THEM.  And that's all they are worried about, right?

I don't pre-wet my leather with anything before dying.  I'm of the belief that if you want the dye to penetrate deeply into the leather, then it is best for the leather to be dry and thirsty.  The leather absorbs the dye like a sponge when it is dry.  If the leather is already "wet", then you can only get so much dye into the product.  It ceases to be sucked down into the leather if the leather is already wet.  That's my thinking on the subject.

Others will say they they always pre-wet their leather and get great results.  And that's great!  I don't and I also get great results.  Still others use air brushes and some dip-dye.  Use whatever method works for you.  And you'll only find out by trying for yourself.

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@Jenn64   Whatever you end up doing, you should report back here what you did and how it worked for you and show your work.  That way everyone can benefit!  :rockon:

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On 7/19/2021 at 1:04 PM, YinTx said:

I tried damp leather with regular dye in the past, came out really light colored, didn't really help imo.  Dont' see where there would be an advantage for it with the pro dye either, but the easiest way to find out is to do a test sample and see if it suits your technique.

YinTx

Thanks for your reply Yin Tx, so I've done a little experimentation & there didn't seem to be any difference in colour just longer drying time, so you're absolutely right there's no notable advantage.

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On 7/19/2021 at 10:11 PM, Tugadude said:

You'll get different opinions on this.  My bottom line is this, if what you are doing is working, don't change anything!  But if it isn't, then experiment until you find something that works for you.

I've been in the construction chemicals business for more than 30 years, and in that time I've seen all sorts of different techniques that contractors use in order to get the best result.  And sometimes they seemingly conflict with what others are doing.  But it works FOR THEM.  And that's all they are worried about, right?

I don't pre-wet my leather with anything before dying.  I'm of the belief that if you want the dye to penetrate deeply into the leather, then it is best for the leather to be dry and thirsty.  The leather absorbs the dye like a sponge when it is dry.  If the leather is already "wet", then you can only get so much dye into the product.  It ceases to be sucked down into the leather if the leather is already wet.  That's my thinking on the subject.

Others will say they they always pre-wet their leather and get great results.  And that's great!  I don't and I also get great results.  Still others use air brushes and some dip-dye.  Use whatever method works for you.  And you'll only find out by trying for yourself.

Yep, I'll just keep on keeping on with my normal process which is using a dense damp sponge on dry leather, sometimes I 50/50, sometimes I don't, I use the air brush for certain effects, although I do smear on an ever so light coat of neatsfoot before dying anything which I find gives me a more uniformed dye job.

I also experimented with dip dying a larger project (usually only use this process on small pieces) & nahhh not happy with the outcome, the edges dye deeper in colour & the leather also grabed extra dye in random places. 

So I'm happy with my usual process....I ain't fixing what ain't broke! :yeah:

But I am a curious cat & love learning others process's. 

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On 7/20/2021 at 5:36 AM, JayEhl said:

@Jenn64   Whatever you end up doing, you should report back here what you did and how it worked for you and show your work.  That way everyone can benefit!  :rockon:

Thanks for the heads up & had fully intented too & have but haven't posted pic's....so what's your dying process out of curiosity?

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3 hours ago, Jenn64 said:

Thanks for the heads up & had fully intented too & have but haven't posted pic's....so what's your dying process out of curiosity?

My process depends on the thickness of leather I'm dying.  With thinner stuff, if I can, I dip-dye it.  The dye goes all the way through readily.  I then lay it on a clean piece of cardboard and I rub the surface gently, blotting it really, to remove any excess and then I let it dry.  If it is overly stiff, I will use either Carnauba Cream or Neatsfoot Oil to soften it.  I like the results I get.

On thicker stuff I apply dye in two directions.  I go "east to west" on the first pass and then "north to south" on the second.  I then will usually add a bit more and do it in a circular fashion.  That eliminates any chance of streaking.  It may sound like a lengthy process, but I'm usually dying fairly small pieces at a time, maybe 2 feet square or so.  I apply the dye with a rag.  I've heard some say they get good results from an applicator, but I've never tried it.  

I have rarely dyed the backside on thick leather.  

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Where I have found doing this makes a difference is when you have a piece of leather or a leather item where there are sections/portions that are drier or dried out from age/use than the surrounding areas. Applying water to dampen (not soak) the entire piece/section before dying results in a more uniform dye job when it dries. As mentioned, it may result it a slightly lighter finish and take a little bit longer to dry but its nothing a second coat won't fix if you want it darker, but it ensures that the end product doesn't have spots/areas that are darker/lighter than the surrounding leather. 

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Whatever type of dye I use I dampen the grain side of the leather before I dye and as I dye it

I reckon it helps the distribution of the dye thru the leather, giving me less patches of differing colour density.

Initially the dye colour might be light but I just apply more coats of dye to get an even depth of colour

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On 7/22/2021 at 10:28 PM, Tugadude said:

My process depends on the thickness of leather I'm dying.  With thinner stuff, if I can, I dip-dye it.  The dye goes all the way through readily.  I then lay it on a clean piece of cardboard and I rub the surface gently, blotting it really, to remove any excess and then I let it dry.  If it is overly stiff, I will use either Carnauba Cream or Neatsfoot Oil to soften it.  I like the results I get.

On thicker stuff I apply dye in two directions.  I go "east to west" on the first pass and then "north to south" on the second.  I then will usually add a bit more and do it in a circular fashion.  That eliminates any chance of streaking.  It may sound like a lengthy process, but I'm usually dying fairly small pieces at a time, maybe 2 feet square or so.  I apply the dye with a rag.  I've heard some say they get good results from an applicator, but I've never tried it.  

I have rarely dyed the backside on thick leather.  

Arhh yes, the multi directions is a great anti-streak technique, glad you mentioned that, thanks! I never use daubers they are just too narrow & never happy with the end result, I'll stick with high density sponges & I love my air brush.

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22 hours ago, ScottWolf said:

Where I have found doing this makes a difference is when you have a piece of leather or a leather item where there are sections/portions that are drier or dried out from age/use than the surrounding areas. Applying water to dampen (not soak) the entire piece/section before dying results in a more uniform dye job when it dries. As mentioned, it may result it a slightly lighter finish and take a little bit longer to dry but its nothing a second coat won't fix if you want it darker, but it ensures that the end product doesn't have spots/areas that are darker/lighter than the surrounding leather. 

That makes sense regarding dry area's, that's what possibly went wrong with the larger piece I dip dyed with the dye grabbing in certain area's....note to self....will moisten beforehand & see if I gain bettter results! Thank you

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21 hours ago, fredk said:

Whatever type of dye I use I dampen the grain side of the leather before I dye and as I dye it

I reckon it helps the distribution of the dye thru the leather, giving me less patches of differing colour density.

Initially the dye colour might be light but I just apply more coats of dye to get an even depth of colour

Yeah that's true, that's what I do with the neatsfoot for even colour, it can also lighten a little but not much & like you will just recoat...thanks fredk

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