Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Dyes

For ages now I have been experimenting with various leather dyes, I started with the fiebings range and they worked fairly well. After a while though I found their brown range was a struggle to get a uniform colour from and the more you applied the darker it got losing the colour you wanted. These dye are chemical based and they do like to bleed a lot, you had to get a really good coat of Fiebings sealer to seal them.

Some folks work with these dyes fine but for all the reasons above they just aren't for me. I have since switched over to Tandy leathers Eco- Flo range which I find so much easier to work with.  These are water based dyes and they seal brilliantly with their approved sealer. You can also buff it to a lovely shine.

The best way for me to apply my dye is with a cut out piece of old t shirt material folded into a square. I then put a good amount of dye onto it and rub it into the leather quite quickly back and forth & side to side. I then let it dry and apply another coat if necessary to strengthen the colour. One good thing with the Eco-Flo dyes is there colour builds nicely so you get a more varied depth. Of course another factor you need to remember is every leather will dye differently, even from the same hide, so its best to cut out what you need plus some spare and dye it all at once.

I have been working on this saddle since Monday for Rachel and finally completed it today. As normal I used the Tandy dyes and sealers.



Its not actually as cherry brown as it looks but its a new colour for me and I really like it.

When you seal a dye it often completely changes the colour, normally for the better. The colour in the saddle above unsealed was a very flat nutty brown so don't be disheartened if its just not really the colour you wanted, it could change. I normally test seal a small corner of my leather and increase the dye colour if need be.

Other leather coatings worth considering are the Tandy Leather Cova colour range. These are water based acrylic leather paints and while I wouldn't recommend them for covering an entire saddle they are great for things like boots and highlighting leather detailing (flowers etc)  in colours you just can't get in dyes. We all need a touch of colour sometimes ;)

2 comments:

  1. Cristina, your work is amazing! What type of leather do you use for your saddles?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you :)

    I use petite calf tooling leather and lamb skin skiver for the seat etc.

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