Dying Leather

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Basic Leathercrafting
Basic Leather Carving
Cutting Leather
Dying Leather
Edging Leather
Key LW Techniques


How to Die Leather

  1. Choose a leather dye appropriate to your piece of leather. Vegetable-tanned leather takes dye very well, and many leather dyes can be used only with it.

  2. Choose a leather dye based on the dyed leather samples provided at the place of purchase. As with many dyes, the applied dye color can look radically different than it does when in the bottle.

  3. Clean the surface of the leather. Mix a solution of 1 oz. leather bleach to 1 pint water and apply the cleanser with a soft-bristle brush or wool dauber.

  4. Dampen the leather with a spray bottle of water or a sponge. Spray or sponge evenly across the surface.

  5. Apply the leather dye in long, even strokes across the surface of the leather. Make sure that the color remains even. Apply coats of dye until you achieve the desired shade.

  6. Let the first coat of dye dry until the leather's surface no longer has a wet look to it. The average drying time between coats is 1 to 2 hours. The exact time will depend on the leather.

  7. Flex the leather several times during the drying process. This will keep the leather's fibers loose and will help keep the leather from becoming too stiff.

  8. Allow the leather to dry thoroughly, and then buff it with a clean, soft cloth to remove any excess dye and to give the leather a polished look.

  9. Apply a coat of leather finish to the leather's surface. Finishes come in both spray cans and bottles. Spray evenly over the entire surface of leather or apply it from the bottle with a wool dauber