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Hello! So i am a fashion student from portugal and the leatherwork always amazed me, so i am using this new project at college to do some experiences with veg tanned leather.

And, of course, as a newbie i have encounter some problems with the art... would really appreaciate if i could get some insigh, helps and tips from the pros! Help please?





So on the 1st two pictures i wet molded veg tanned leather and then tried to dye it with the fiebing's pro dye (used the deglazer first), burnished the edges with tokonole and as i really want a really high gloss finish i tried to aply the fiebings Saddle-lac spray and as you can see it is really baaaaddd! all uneven, full of little spots of dirt, just bad. 

And on the last three pictures, i have cut some straps of veg tanned leather and again, deglazer, dyed with the black pro-dye, burnished edges and this tip i tried to apply the Eco-flo top finish gloss diluted on 50% of water, and again, all uneven, some parts glossy and other not, and as i want this strap to go over a D-ring, as i tried to bend it got those tiny ugly bumps/wrinkles. HELLLLLLLP?????

For how long should i wait between applying each product? (i think i did it quite fast, tbh like in 10 minutes gaps) With what should i apply the different products? And i kind don't like using the tokonole to burnish the edges as i get on both sides of the leather these sticky imprints that you can notice in the end and it is really ugly. Is the leather i got just bad quality? Thanks!

I would loooove to get some tips, help and insights from the pros!! Please, thank you and much love from portugal!!


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I would say your biggest problem arises from your "dry" time. I usually wait hours between steps. Sometimes as long as 24 hours. Leather is a sponge and it takes time for things to fully cure/dry.

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Where do I start??
1) Did you let the molded leather dry thoroughly before dying?
2) The Molded leather looks like it has a lot of scratches on it, maybe from tools or fingernails. Wet leather is very suseptible to anything touching it.
3) Saddle Lac dries pretty fast. How did you apply it? Spray or brush? Both require good technique. I've never had luck with brushing. All of my toppings go on with a folded scrap of tee shirt, in a circular motion.
4) You MUST apply wet stuff in an area with minimal dust and such floating in the air. You may have put too much on at once and made it dry slower. This would add to the dust collection. Multiple light coats is better.
5) On the straps, that folding issue looks like fatty leather. Nature of the beast. it's less pronounced with non-fatty pieces. If you are trying to make a fold such as around a ring, look or Dee ring, try wetting it at the fold and letting it soak in for a few minutes before folding. It will soften the fat and avoid any cracking.
6) I never used the Ecoflo stuff. But, it looks like it was applied too heavily. I have been using Leather Balm with Atom Wax almost exclusively for years. Again, put it on with a scrap of Tee on both sides. Rub it it. Wait 4-5 minutes and buff to a shine. Leather becomes soft and limber. Never had a problem.
7) For a high shine, I use acrylic floor wax (same as Resolene), diluted 50/50 with water. Apply in THIN coats with 3-4 hours between coats, it I need more than 1. Buff when dry.
7) On the edges, get some liquid glycerin soap. Apply to the edges and them rub it in hard with a piece of canvas or other heavy cloth.
8) As for times, I dip dye most of my stuff, so I let it dry at least 8 hours or until the alcohol smell is gone. If I use a sponge or dauber, at least an hour or 2. Again, until the smell is gone.The Leather Balm, only about 5 minutes. Or, about an hour if I'm going to use the wax top coat.
Take your time, use thin coats of stuff and try to work in a dust free area, as much as you can, for applying your top coats.
Good Luck

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