Natural Leather Dye

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Cimrandir
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Re: Natural Leather Dye

Post by Cimrandir »

Okay, this is a question that isn't directly related to Tolkien but I just got in a vegtan bag strap for my other hobby (Indiana Jones) and I figured that practice is practice so I'd ask here. The leather bag strap is undyed and will need to be dyed for regular use in my daily life. I have seen from other people accounts of modern leather dye bleeding into your shirt if it gets wet or sweaty. I'm interested in practicing for other Middle-Earth projects so I wanted to do a natural dye. What is the risk of dye bleeding and how would one mitigate it? I'm looking a nice deep rich brown so probably walnut?
Persona : Cimrandir - late 3rd Age Dunedain
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Elleth
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Re: Natural Leather Dye

Post by Elleth »

The walnut dyed straps I've done shed a little color the first couple outings, but nothing bad: it's more powder residue and dubbin gook than dye, if that makes sense. I wouldn't wear it over a pretty white linen shift right off, but I've never noticed any permanent staining on my cloak or anything.
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.
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Manveruon
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Re: Natural Leather Dye

Post by Manveruon »

I’ve also had a fair deal of trouble with dye transfer over the years, but I think I’ve come to a fairly workable solution at long last ( particularly If you’re not too concerned with natural materials). First, after applying the dye I buff the ever-loving HECK out of it to take off any excess dye on the surface. Sometimes I will do this with a slightly damp cloth as well. Then, after buffing, I apply a fairly heavy coat of Eco-Flo Satin Sheen (it’s wet and messy, but it should saturate the leather), and once that has mostly dried, buff again. Finally, I apply a fairly heavy layer of Fiebing’s Aussie Leather Conditioner over the top of it all (it’s basically a petroleum and beeswax based dubbin, but you could just as easily use an all-natural dubbin - it’s just a little harder to come by). This stuff is greasy and goopy, but I just slather it on, wait a while for it to really soak in, and then wipe the excess off. Finally, one last quick buffing, and it’s good to go. I have found that this creates a really beautiful weatherproof finish that isn’t SUPER glossy, but still looks nice and professional.
It’s not foolproof, and there will still be a BIT of transfer, particularly at first for the same basic reasons Elleth describes, but overall it has worked really really well for me so far.
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Elleth
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Re: Natural Leather Dye

Post by Elleth »

Walp - I'm changing my mind on that purchased dye again. I like it again now. :mrgreen:

Most of the bad experience I was having was with "vegtan" goatskin (from loripel I think) and... the more I used that leather, the less convinced I was it was actually "vegtan." That or it had some weird finish coat. ANYHOW - on Hermann Oak vegtan, it works beautifully.

It's got a "dirtier" look to it than raw walnut + sun does - you can certainly see the iron in the mix.
Honestly, I kinda like it for Rangery projects.

Pics when everything's dried out and oiled up.
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.
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Manveruon
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Re: Natural Leather Dye

Post by Manveruon »

I’m very interested to see the final results! Still kinda’ want to grab some of that dye for myself.
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