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dyeing leather black

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:40 am
by oakenshield
hello i once read on here a while ago that you can dye leather black using iron unfortunatly i cant find that post and i was wandering if anyone could tell me how its done please #

thanks
sean

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 6:34 am
by CeDeBe
Hiya - The recipes are in the 1100-1500 section Sticky: Resource: Authentic and cheap methods and recipes.

I have had some success with this 10 day process:

Boil your iron (In my case an old steelo pot scrub!) in cider vinger and leave it to cool. repeat twice again at 5 day intervals, leave to cool and use on vegetanned leather*. I store mine in a thick glass bottle and after 8 months it is really foul smelling, and stains fabric

To knock it up a notch, make really strong tea (I stewed 50 cheap nasty teabags in around 3 litres of water). leave to go cold. Soak cut leather in tea for as long as you want but at least 5 days. Dry.

The tannins from the tea help in the staining process. The vegetan leather I have access to is usually a pale flesh colour and after 5 days of soaking is noticably browner.

It worked a treat on my new arming boots

Best of luck

*be warned there is a synthetic "leather" called "vegetan" for members of the Mankind for Ethical Animal Treatment movement that don't want to wear animal products

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:58 pm
by oakenshield
excellent thanks cedebe :D

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:30 pm
by Colin Middleton
In theory, you don't need to add the tannins. The leather is impregnated with tannic acid (that's what tanning is all about). You're after a reaction between the iron and the acid (don't ask me what it is, I just know what it looks like). If you leave ferous tools on wet leather, you get grey or black marks. I've even notived that when cutting wet leather with a steel knife, the edges of the cut turn a grey colour.

Good luck.

Colin