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Dying Leather

Discussion in 'Materials & Technique' started by poppa bear, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. poppa bear

    poppa bear Member

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    Hey I'm new to leather work and thinking about dying a sheath from the tan that my leather is. I had been reading that wood dye is almost the same as leather dye. I know that they are totally different but the post I was reading (not here) is that you can use wood dye and get the same effect.

    Is this true? I doubt it is but ckm is thus far the best forum I have found.
     
  2. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    I have used trsansmission fluid for both knife and sheath, it worked but not recommended.

    Now you have the old brain working overtime so out to the shop to see what wood dyes are made with. bet it would be cheaper but less color selection.
     
  3. poppa bear

    poppa bear Member

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    Lol true, maybe oil based would help with water repellent propertied
     
  4. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    I always coat everything with Dubin or something like it for water proofing. from the one wood dye I have here the main ingredient is mineral spirits which is pretty hard on leather if I remember correctly. Now if there was an alcohol / acid based wood dye then that should work.
    looked up "eco-flo" leather dye msds for a little comparison to wood dye, the eco-flo is water alcohol colored acid mix (whatever acid black 210 is)

    found it acid black 210 is 2,7-Naphthalenedisulfonic acid or disodium salt
     
  5. poppa bear

    poppa bear Member

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    So wood stain and that bad
    Leather dye good

    Got Ya, that's what I thought.
     
  6. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Do you mean wood stain or wood dye? Wood dye is usually water soluble and absorbs into the wood, whereas stain sits more on the surface of the wood. I've used food colouring for dying wood, blue, red, purple etc. It needs to be sealed but it worked really well on a guitar I made.

    For leather, maybe best to stick to Tandy or Feibings.

    Dan
     
  7. poppa bear

    poppa bear Member

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    Sorry I should have said both wood dye and stain. Thank you for pointing that out Dan.
     
  8. Yamroll

    Yamroll New Member

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    Don't worry about dying leather - it's already dead! Ba dum ch


    You could try contacting shoe repair places, a lot of them carry basic colours of dye. I know soaking the leather in warm water a bit first helps the dye penetrate, but I would think there are some nuances to that to keep rot to a minimum.
     
  9. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    Rot or water stains. Have done the second and even months later it is still visible in the sheath.
     
  10. Newfiebackflip

    Newfiebackflip New Member

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    Tandy Leather is a great source for dye, just be careful with the U.S.M.C Black. Takes forever to buff off the excess pigment! Also get some deglazer it really helps clean your leather of waxes etc before you put on the dye. It also removes dye super fast as well as destroy ant hills in a giant ball of fire.

    I was on the fence about selling all my leather tools as I have not touched it in years.
     
  11. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    I have only used Fiebing's USMC black. It's basically like shoe polish. Expect to buff it a few times with a clean cotton cloth to get all the excess black off. After that it's fine.
    Sorry, I cannot comment on Tandy's USMC black.

    Dan
     
  12. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    I now only use Fiebing's. When I was starting out with leather, I was using the eco flo dye because it was the most readily available. I thought was doing something wrong because it was never a consistent finish and was blotchy. When I tried Fiebing's I noticed a huge difference without changing the way I applied the dye. Ecoflo is okay but I won't use anything other than Fiebing's. Stay away from the ecoflo all in one. The guy at Tandy pretty much said that he heard they are talking about phasing it out. I had to redo 2 sheaths because I was so unhappy with the finish.
     
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  13. poppa bear

    poppa bear Member

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    Thanks for the heads up I was just reading this at tandy with a bottle of ecoflo in my hand. I'm not trying to sound sarcastic with that honestly I'm not. I think you just did me a huge service because the wifey wants to try her hand at "dye painting" leather. (Wipes forehead) dodged a bullet on that one.
     
  14. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    Since you are /were at Tandy I would definitely go with Fiebing's but the regular eco flo dye is still okay if Fiebing's isn't sitting right next to it. Keep in mind that these are just my opinions. Both Fiebing's and eco flo have been around for a long time...longer than me. Lol
     
  15. poppa bear

    poppa bear Member

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    Lol that's fair @icho
     

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