Find a place to do this job safe from kids and animals. I like to use my kitchen counter but if you have a table in a spare room that'll work too.
Grubby Clothes (something you usually wear for dirty jobs like painting.) Remove laces, buckles, ponchos & rosettes (put metal in a safe place so you don't lose any parts).
Lay each piece you're dyeing out on your protective drop cloth. Dip a dauber in the declarer and apply to the front of the leather.
Dip a clean dauber (not the one you used to deg laze) in the dye, you want a good amount but not so much it's dripping everywhere. Apply dye to leather, I usually start on the back side.
You'll need to redid your dauber often, the back side of leather is very absorbent. If your leather is virgin (hasn't been dyed or finished before) it will soak up a lot of dye and you will need to apply a few (2-3) coats, letting leather dry in between each coat.
Make sure you get the entire piece covered with dye, use a small paint brush to get into tight places. Notice how the dry piece looks kind of chalky, I'll rub that off before I finish it.
The dye will rub off and I'll polish the studs when I finish the rest of the reins. Switch to a clean part of the towel as the dye rubs off.
You want the rub off on the towel now, not on your hands and horse for the next 6 months so do a good job! Here you can see the leather needs another coat. After your initial rub off and redyeing you want to let the dye soak in and set for a few hours.
I use Black Rock because it gives a nice sheen to the leather without looking shiny & plastic-y. A little of this stuff goes a long way, so be sparing with the amount you use. Here you can see about how much I use.
The shiny circles are Black Rock, and that's about a foot of rein you see. It's ready to buff when it no longer feels sticky but is smooth.
:wink: puts on puzzled face:? Why would anyone want to dye anything any other color than black? They can strip color out of hair and then redye, I don't know of a way of stripping color out of leather and then redyeing, not saying it can't be done, but I've only been brave enough to go darker.
Could you maybe send me links to the websites were I could purchase the items needed? I have a mental block about what it is called but it's the same stuff as in nail polish remover.
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After washing, I tumbled the saddle pads for about ten minutes but took them out still damp as it makes it easier to fold the material. With the Martial Small Diamond Saddle Pad I utilized the swirl technique, pinching the fabric in the middle and twisting into a spiral.
The spiral was a harder technique but would be easier if you have a friend to help and the result was worth it! Lay out your table cover, put on gloves, and apply dye to the fabric.
I also then placed the wrapped pad into a plastic bag to make sure it didn’t leak. While many tie- dye instructions will tell you to wait 6-8 hours, I would suggest letting this sit longer to allow the colors to penetrate the fabric.
You can dye saddle leather easily with a few simple materials, depending upon the type of finish you want, and how you will use the item. These are the same formulation as the spirit dyes, but with some oil added, which further helps in penetration.
The results are generally satisfactory, and the idea is to produce dyes that contain no carcinogens, volatile organic compounds (Vows) and so on, but it is more difficult to achieve a consistent color with these than with the oil- or spirit-based dyes. They are wax-based, and rather than penetrate the leather, they sit on top of it, and bring out any tooling or carving.
“I have successfully dyed a Brooks saddle, which subsequently dyed the seat of my pants successfully,” wrote a disgruntled rider on the online resource Lifeforms.net (see References 2). All the dyes (but for the acrylic paint variety) are prone to rubbing off onto clothing.
Cyclists who buy an expensive Brooks leather saddle, and wish to dye it to match the bicycle, are better off painting the saddle ; the acrylic “dyes” let leather breathe fairly well. You cannot dye a blue object yellow; you will get a muddy, unpleasant green.
You will achieve your best results dyeing unfinished leather to a color. Any cowhide you buy will have some oils and waxes, and a manufactured item like a saddlebag or coat will likely have some protectants as well.
Use a declarer of volatile organic compounds (like benzene or toluene) first to remove any coatings, then to enable penetration. Bottle may suit a small job, but for anything larger, purchase a 1L or 1/2-gallon container.