How To: Dye leather

Dye leather

Dying leather is a great option to revamp or change the look of an existing leather piece. Choose a dye that provides the qualities you are looking for, be it flexibility or depth of color. The possibilities are endless.

Although dyeing leather is more of an art than a science, the basic procedure is quite simple.
You Will Need

* Leather dye
* Water
* A spray bottle or sponge
* A cloth for dye
* Soft cloth for buffing
* Leather deglazer (optional)

Step 1: Select a dye

Select a suitable dye, which will be depend on the type of leather you are working with. Alcohol-based dyes add a strong color to leather, but tend to stiffen it. Water-based dyes do not add as strong a color, but they are better at preserving the leather's natural suppleness.

Step 2: Clean the leather

Clean the leather surface, taking care to remove any coating or dirt present.

Use a commercially available leather deglazer.

Step 3: Dampen the leather

Spray the leather with water, or dampen it with a moist sponge until it is uniformly wet.

Step 4: Apply the dye

Apply the dye evenly with a clean cloth.

Step 5: Let the leather dry

Allow the leather to dry. As it dries, flex it occasionally to keep it from becoming stiff.

Step 6: Buff the leather

Buff the leather with a soft, clean cloth to remove any excess dye.

Did you know? Egyptians made a red dye called "madder," extracted from plants, about 4,000 years ago.

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